OU 81, Mount St. Mary's 57
Jan. 7, 2008
Oklahoma Head Coach Jeff Capel
"I felt really good about our second half. I thought we ended the first half well and did a better job in the second half of making shots and executing. We were able to get a good start and build a lead in the second half and build off of what we did in the first half. Obviously, Blake (Griffin) had a tremendous game. He got to the line 18 times and made 12 of them. I am really pleased with that. I am also really pleased how we played in the non-conference schedule. Coming into the season, I knew we had a very challenging non-conference schedule, playing against five teams that were ranked, four of which were not at home. We feel good about going into conference play with a record of 12-3. We need to get healed up a little bit, rested up a little bit and get back to work."
On his team being aggressive and getting to the free throw line:
"In the last five games we have gotten to the line an average of 25 times a game, which is really good. We still need to do a better job of converting them. I thought Blake (Griffin) did a better job tonight, but we still need to improve because we missed 14 as a team tonight. I really like how we are attacking and Blake is a guy who puts pressure on the defense. Personally, I think he gets fouled about every possession because of how physical he is. He gets banged up down there."
On the nine steals his team created and the need to improve team rebounding:
"We are creating some scoring opportunities from our defense. We have done that a few times in our non-conference schedule, but we really have to rebound the ball better. I constantly talk to my team that we have to do a better job of rebounding the basketball. If we do that, we will cut down on our opponent's field goal percentage. We have to do a better job of getting that first rebound. Coming into the season I thought that it would be a strength of ours. I am hoping that is becomes a strength in conference play because the teams in this league are more athletic than some of the teams we have faced."
On opening the Big 12 Conference season with Kansas State at home:
"I am glad we have them at our place rather than theirs. It was a tough place to play last year. Obviously, they were very good last year and I thought they certainly deserved a spot in the NCAA Tournament. Their team is extremely talented with a guy like (Michael) Beasley, who may be the best player in the country. Hopefully, we will have a big turnout and get some energy from the crowd."
Senior Forward Taylor Griffin
On tonight's physical play:
"It almost felt like a Big 12 game, which is good going into conference play. They're a good team and they played well the first half. I thought we came out better the second half and matched their physical play and were able to stretch it out toward the end of the game."
On being outrebounded:
"With the players, size and athletic ability we have, I think we should not be outrebounded. It has been disappointing these last couple of games. It's something we have to work on and something that Coach has been stressing a lot. It's definitely something we have to get figured out before conference."
Freshman Forward Blake Griffin
On his play:
"My teammates did a really good job of getting me the ball early. Thankfully, I hit more of my free throws than I have been in the past, which helped."
On the physical play:
"Going back to rebounding, we have to do a better job of blocking out. That's exactly how the Big 12 is going to be. I haven't played in a Big 12 game yet but I have played against Memphis and teams like that and that is exactly how it is night in and night out. So we have to do a better job at that."