OU vs. TAMU-CC Postgame Quotes

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
DECEMBER 05, 2013

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Head Coach Lon Kruger
Opening comment:
“Well, it was under unusual circumstances moving the game time up and adjusting the routine. I thought our guys handled that pretty well. They got off to a pretty good start, got a margin early. They continued to handle the ball pretty well and shared the ball very well. We did pretty well on the defensive field goal percentage. It was good to see D.J. (Bennett) get in there and get some more minutes and get a little more comfortable, and Frank (Booker) and some others as well. Good day.”

On the weird circumstances as a result of the time change:
“We practice every day at 2, so from that standpoint it wasn’t too much different than coming for practice. The eating schedule was a little different. We didn’t have a pre-game meal, we didn’t have walk-through and they went to class this morning, so all of that’s a little different from (a) normal (weekend afternoon game). I think it’s good to be challenged by something other than routine from time to time.”

On if he felt more comfortable getting D.J. Bennett in early in the first half:
“D.J., again, the two-and-a-half weeks that he missed in October were really critical. I think it has taken some time to get back to where he was prior to that injury but he’s getting there. He’s closer all the time and in Europe he played like he did today several times in terms of being aggressive, attacking the rim, blocking shots. I think that’s what we’re going to see out of him going forward. That’s great. We need that. We know he can do it and it was good to see it today.”

On if DJ is close to where he was before the injury:
“I think he’s close. Again, I thought today we saw a little of that bounce and that explosiveness and he was more engaged, especially on the defensive end. He finished a couple of good plays offensively. It’s good to see that. As he has gotten healthier and spent more time and investing more time that will only quicken the recovery.”

On how having a shot blocker changes them:
“Today, it was extremely important. With the rules the way they are, it’s harder to guard the ball. The ball is getting keyed in to the paint more just because of the way the rules are. Having a shot blocker behind you takes on a greater significance more and more each year. That’s going to become even more obvious. If you have a guy back there that can block shots and change shots it’s really important. That’s why we need D.J. to keep progressing and keep getting more comfortable.”

On how he feels going into the game against George Mason in Washington, D.C.:
“Weather-wise it’s certainly looking like we’re going to get some not great weather. It may be a little bit warmer than it’s going to be here. It will be a good experience. We’ll go to the Capitol. We will get in there tomorrow night, weather permitting, practice Saturday morning, tour a couple of things, watch the OU-OSU football game and get ready for a noon tap on Sunday. It’s all part of growing the team and playing another game away from home. We’ll have a good challenge in George Mason. Coach (Paul) Hewitt always does a good job and they will be well prepared.”

Junior Forward D.J. Bennett
On his performance today:
“For me it was mainly just being a presence defensively. Coach and the rest of the staff emphasize that every day in practice. I just try to help as much as I can on defense.”

On if he feels he is close to full health:
“I definitely do. The main thing with me is just trying to stay in the gym longer, get extra shots up and gain my confidence back and do what I know I can do. It’s definitely getting better.”

On if he feels his game is back to where it was during the trip to Europe:
“Honestly, I don’t know. I am just going to keep working. I’m just going to keep working to be the best I can be and try to get better every day.”

Sophomore Guard Buddy Hield
On OU’s team defense:
“We are just trying to be active on defense and bring up our activity every day. We want to get stops and run out and score the basketball. That’s what we are trying to do every day. We can get as many turnovers as we need and that gives us opportunities to score the basketball.”

On if having a shot blocker makes the defense feel different:
“Definitely. Just having a presence and knowing you have help back there. Shot blocking, we are going to get blocked shots. We are going to run out and make plays for our teammates. It’s good for a defensive team.”

On what he thinks about the snow and ice:
“It’s not my style.”



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