Postgame Quotes

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
DECEMBER 29, 2012

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  Head Coach Lon Kruger

Opening comment:
"It was a good win over a good ball club. Ohio is really solid and (head coach) Jim Christian does a good job with them, so I feel real good about the stretch we played in the second half. I thought it was as good as we've had all year on both ends of the floor. In the second half we got off to a great start. Everyone was kicking in, starting with (Steven) Pledger making shots early and picked everyone else up. They all responded in a good way. A lot of good activity defensively as well. They're a ball club that spreads you out and is tough to guard. Our guys, as a unit, had good communication and reacted well to one another."
On the offense:
"Much improved. When you make shots, everything is going to seem better. I thought we had better movement offensively. I thought we came off picks crisper and sharper, and jumped into shots with good rhythm. Some transition opportunities helps the percentage too, which we had a few of those in the second half. We played better, more aggressive, and with more purpose in the second half than we've had for most of the season."
On the defense:
"Again, (Ohio's) got a good group of guys. They have a veteran group and a lot of guys that can make shots. They spread you, use a lot of ball screens. I thought our big guys did a good job. D.J. Cooper is such a terrific player. Everybody for the most part was on him, but we had a lot of help, out of our big guys primarily. Our big guys were aggressive and getting after Cooper, and he still had a good game. He's that good of a player. We gave him a lot of attention and he still had a good game."
On second-half improvements:
"I thought we moved a lot sharper. I thought we moved the ball better, I thought we came off screens sharper and more crisply. We shot with better rhythm and had some transition opportunities too, so that was helpful with the percentage."
On the team effort:
"A lot of guys gave big contributions. Again, you look at these three guys (Pledger, Romero Osby and Amath M'Baye), of course they led the way in scoring. (Buddy) Hield's line was good with steals and assists. I thought Sam (Grooms) came in and gave us a nice lift when Je'lon (Hornbeak) picked up two fouls. Cam (Clark) came in and did a good job. This was a type of win you like because a lot of guys contributed in significant ways."
  Senior Forward Romero Osby

On rebounding:
"We were missing a lot of shots, and we gave them a lot of opportunities to rebound. The second half we started to make more of our shots, so they didn't get as many rebounds. On the other end we just tried to get down and finish off some good defensive plays."
On contribution from teammates:
"It makes you feel good to know that your team, everybody is coming into his own and becoming more confident. I think it was a team effort. I think it was a team effort all week in practice. We really shared the ball better, talked on defense better and went after rebounds together better. I think that will be huge when we get to the Big 12 because it is a team game, and when we are all playing well and working for each other, it is always a good feeling."
  Senior Guard Steven Pledger

On his shooting improvement in the second half:
"We were just trying to move the ball. I came off a couple of screens. The big guys especially, Amath [M'Baye], Ro [Romero Osby] and Fitz [Andrew Fitzgerald], they set beautiful screens and I just used them to my advantage. Buddy [Hield] was really putting it right where I wanted it, so I could just catch and shoot. I felt good."
On his first-half shooting struggles:
"All of my shots were dying on the rim; they just weren't going in. I made the adjustment at halftime getting my fingers on the ball a little bit more, and everything started dropping."
On what he expects to see from his team Monday:
"Play smart. We can't have any mental lapses. We are going to see how the young guys adapt and how the vets adapt."
  Junior Forward Amath M'Baye

On his play:
"It feels pretty good [to play a good game]. I mean, it was way more fun definitely from my part to be out there. My teammates always do a great job of keeping my head in there and just supporting me whether I am playing good or bad. The coaching staff did the same thing."
On closing the rebounding gap in the second half:
"First off, I think the fact that we were shooting only 30 percent in the first half gave them a lot of rebounds. I thought our guards especially did a better job rebounding the ball because it was an emphasis on our guards just collapsing and rebounding. The big guys did a terrific job."
  Head Coach Jim Christian

On what happened in the second half:
"In the second half we just had so many live ball turnovers. We let them get out and run."
On what happens when they (Ohio) start turning the ball over:
"It was about stretches. For stretches we played really well and for stretches there were so many simple basketball plays that we just weren't making."
On if his team is experiencing growing pains:
"I think it's hard. It's hard sometimes when you have success. You start to take your eye off what you did. We didn't play very sound, especially on the defensive end of the floor. It's hard for me because I don't have history with these guys to go back to certain points, so I have to depend a lot on their leadership and their experiences."
On what Ohio can learn from this game:
"We did some good things that we can build on from this game. In the first 20 minutes we had the game going wherever we wanted it to go, but we just have to play for 40 minutes."



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