Oklahoma Postgame Quotes

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma

Nov. 19, 2008

 

Oklahoma Head Coach Jeff Capel
Opening comment:
“That was a great college basketball game. I feel fortunate to sit here as the winning coach. I’m really proud of our guys for digging in and finding a way. People got to witness two great performances; two special performances by two special players, what Blake (Griffin) and what Stephen (Curry) did. Fortunately for us, we had other players for us and had a little bit more help. That was a really good basketball team we beat. They are tough and well coached and they will win a lot of basketball games this year. We feel very fortunate that we were able to hold on for dear life in this game.”

On defending Stephen Curry:
“The thing with him is that he so efficient and it doesn’t take a lot for him to get his shot off. He gets it off very quickly and really understands how to move without the basketball. We held that team to 35 percent shooting and, honestly, we tried to double Stephen at times. But when he got it, he passed it and he just knows how to move without the basketball. I thought for the most part we played pretty good defense on him. He is special and you are looking at a guy who is one of the best guys out there. That is certainly one of the best performances I have seen.”

On OU’s offense:
“I think we can get so much better offensively. I told our guys coming into this game this would be the most physical team we play. Davidson is very physical defensively. They check you on your cuts and they go to a defense at times when they start switching everything. In the first half, I just thought we were stagnant. I don’t think we moved, we just kind of stood around and watched. I thought we did a better job of moving in the second half. It hurt us when Willie(Warren) got in foul trouble. He was in one of those grooves where all of a sudden you think he could explode for 30 plus. I love the way he going, but when he went out it was a huge blow to our offense.”

On the game:
“This kind of a game early really helps you out. It is a character game where you find out how tough you are. Even if we lost I certainly wouldn’t have felt good, but you still find those things out. It certainly feels better to find out by winning. Guys have to dig down and make some plays. Cade (Davis) getting on the floor for a loose ball gave us another possession. We still realize there is so much we have to work on. Seventeen turnovers is not good enough for this team. We went through a stretch there in the first half when Curry went out with three fouls where we should have been extending and they actually got closer. We went through a span where we just couldn’t score and some of the decisions we were making, some of the passes, are areas where we have to get better.”

Sophomore Forward Blake Griffin
On the rally by Davidson:
“I don’t know what was going on, but we have to do a better job of that. We had them down by 21 at one point, and we can’t let teams, especially ones like that with a player like Stephen Curry, get going because they are hard to stop.”

On being on this stage this early:
“I liked it.  Coach Capel said before the game, this is why you guys play college basketball. This is why you come to the University of Oklahoma, to play in games like these. I think it is a confidence booster for us, and gives us something to measure our team by.  Davidson is a great team, and they are going to do well the rest of the year. We need to take this, learn from it and move on.”

On making 11 of 12 free throws on the night:
“It felt great.  These last few games, I haven’t shot well.  Coach Klein, our assistant coach, told me to just keep doing what I’, doing and concentrate. My teammates kept encouraging me and adding confidence.”

On the atmosphere tonight:
“It was definitely a treat. Just being able to play a team of that caliber gives us a confidence booster, especially going into New York, where we are going to play some teams like that. It is always great to play a game like this at home, and our fans did a great job.  It kind of sets us up for the whole year.

Junior Guard Tony Crocker
On guarding Stephen Curry:
“It was a team thing.  No one can just go out there and stop him by yourself.  You have to have everyone around you, and all of your teammates helping out. He is a great player, but we did alright against him.”

On going back to New York for the second consecutive season:
“Hopefully this tournament will be our first championship of several this year.”

Senior Forward Taylor Griffin
On the game:
“With a team like Davidson and how they shoot the ball, you saw this tonight when we were up by 21, you can never really be up enough. They can come back quick, especially with a player like Stephen Curry and the game is never over until all of the time is off the clock.”

On going back to New York for the second consecutive season:
We are all excited about it. Last time we didn’t do very well, and couldn’t get anything going and lost our first game. This time we are going up there to try to win the whole thing.  Everyone is excited about it.  New York is somewhere that a lot of people haven’t been, so the first time for them to go, and to have a chance to win the championship is great.”

Davidson Head Coach Bob McKillop
Opening Comment:
“Congratulations to Oklahoma for advancing and going to New York City. That is certainly something that would have been a wonderful experience for us at Thanksgiving. I feel our guys played with great heart and energy. I am delighted that we never quit, we never packed our bags. We have pretty good experience in that situation (of coming back from a double-digit deficit), because you can recollect Georgetown, Gonzaga and Kansas of last year. Each of those three games we were down by significant deficits and never gave up. These guys have taken that lesson from last year and learned from it and gotten better from it. Our objective of coming here is to get better and I think we got better as a result of this experience.”

On the offensive game outside of Stephen Curry:
“For us to succeed our system has to be implemented by five guys. It is team oriented defensively and offensively. There was some static, rhythm breaking and lack of flow. I think a lot of that had to do with missed shots and not the system.”

Senior Guard Stephen Curry
On the game:
“It’s a disappointing game. We came out and played to win. We didn’t get it tonight. It is disappointing, coming into Oklahoma’s house and trying to steal a win. I think we have to learn from this game, similar to last year. We had a tough loss early and hopefully we can come back like we did last year. We played hard all the way to the finish. We were down big and we made it a game, so I am proud of how we played.”

On coming back down from 20 points:
“You have to play hard when you’re down that big. We experienced that last year in the tournament against Georgetown and Gonzaga, so we have been there before. We just stuck to our system of playing solid defense. I don’t think fatigue played a factor, we just made plays. We got key second-chance rebounds and got extra possessions, we just couldn’t finish it. With the experience from last year, it helped make it a game and not get out of hand.”

On playing against another preseason AP All-American in Blake Griffin:
“It is definitely exciting. Us basketball players want to play against the best and try to beat them and he is one of them. So is Oklahoma as a team. I heard about him and to be on the floor with him and battle with him, showed he was a great player. He is definitely worthy of all the accolades he has gotten so far. He is definitely a great player.”

Junior Forward Steve Rossiter
On Curry’s play:
“Stephen brings it every night. His play keeps us in a lot of games. Our system is designed for anyone who scores and tonight Steff had a lot of open looks. He did a good job of getting open and we got him open. He stepped up tonight and kept us in the game, especially when we were down big.”

On playing against Blake Griffin:
“He is a fantastic player. It was tough and we knew that coming in. We thought that our team of defenders could do a good job against him, as well as the other great players they have, but it was definitely a tough match-up.”

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