Jan. 5, 2008
Oklahoma Head Coach Jeff Capel
"We are pleased to get the win. You know last time we played here and didn't play well (against Stephen F. Austin), we lost. I don't think we played well, but you have to give Rice credit for that. Those kids from Rice fought. They just played Vanderbilt on Thursday night, and for them to travel and get here and play that hard just speaks volumes of the character of that program and their coach, Coach Wilson. I'm just glad that we did enough and got enough stops to get the win."
On if he was worried about the team coming out flat:
"Yes, absolutely, we talked about it last night and then again this morning. I thought we started with decent energy, I thought we got very deflated when we couldn't hit a shot from outside of a dunk or a layup. We had some wide open looks, but one of the things that really concerns me is our rebounding. We haven't rebounded the ball well all year, which coming in I thought would be a strength of ours. We have to continue to work and get better at that, but we did enough to win tonight. Last time I came in here after a game like this it was a totally different feeling. I don't feel great, but I feel better that we won the game."
On the team's 3-point and free throw shooting:
"Well, it's frustrating when you aren't making shots, because you aren't making shots. If we are taking good shots, it's okay. One of the things that I have always said is that if you are going to allow a guy to shoot you have to allow him to miss. Guys aren't going to make every shot. I mean the best player that played the game only made 49 percent of his shots, so he missed over half of his shots. It was just one of those nights. We have shot the ball well, even this morning in shootaround, but we just couldn't find a rhythm tonight."
On Monday's game:
"We have a quick turnaround. We play Monday against Mount St. Mary's, which is a good team. They are well coached and they are going to come in here ready to play. We have to get ready to play better than we did today."
Junior Guard Austin Johnson
On getting the team motivated for Rice:
"Coach has been talking about it all week. He wasn't worried about it when we played West Virginia or Gonzaga to get up for the game. He was worried about it this game because it is a team that is not as good as West Virginia or Gonzaga, so he was worried about our mindset coming into the game. It is kind of harder because some teams play down to the opponent and I think that is what happened to us today. We started out slow. We picked it up a little in the second half, but we started out slow."
On the team's shooting:
"Not all shots are going to fall every game. Teams are going to have bad shooting nights. If we had hit our shots it would have been a wide open game. Sometimes you're just not hitting shots and you have to play through it."
Freshman Forward Blake Griffin
On if he thought the team came out flat:
"I definitely did. We came out kind of strong at first, but we let that go and the air came out of us. They made some tough plays and they are a good team and have played a lot of good teams. But we need to do a better job of coming in strong and playing strong throughout the game."
"We need to find a way to motivate ourselves, to come in and play just as hard as we do when we play top-25 teams. We just need to find a way to motivate ourselves."
Rice Head Coach Willis Wilson
"Basketball really shouldn't be played on a Saturday afternoon. It wasn't a pretty game played by either team. I am very disappointed in our guys. I thought we had an opportunity today. We played some tough competition the last week or two and we've made progress, but I really felt like with the things we learned in the last few games that we could come in and make a better showing of ourselves. It's disappointing that we didn't take advantage of it."
On outrebounding Oklahoma:
"We've done a good job on the backboards the last couple of games. It's an area we put a lot of focus and emphasis on. A key for us tonight that I'm disappointed about is that we got more shots from the field than Oklahoma. That is something we have not been able to do on a lot of nights because of the turnovers. We compensated with rebounding and we didn't take advantage of it. It's plain and simple."