Feb. 17, 2010
OU Head Coach Jeff Capel
On the Game
"Colorado was really good tonight. You have to give them all the credit. Those guys came ready to play; they shared the ball, and did a lot of good things. (Cory) Higgins and (Alec) Burks were very good. (Marcus) Relphorde really gives them a different look. (Nate) Tomlinson was very good tonight. You have to give them all the credit. They got away in transition and got some easy baskets, and really put us on our heels."
On Closing the Gap Near the End of the Game
"They (Colorado) took it back. (Nate) Tomlinson hit a huge three from the corner. I thought we had done a pretty decent job that possession. (Nate) Tomlinson called for the ball and made a really big shot. He got going in the middle part of the second half where he was driving and scoring and seeing the ball go to the basket, and he was coming off a game where he had zero points. He does a magnificent job of running this basketball team."
On Colorado's Play
"In my opinion watching tape, I think they vary it up. I think a lot of teams probably are a little bit more aggressive at home, and certainly their team has been that way. They have changed their style a little bit. Last year, they would hold the ball for 25-30 seconds, and this year they mix it up a little bit. Especially with (Cory) Higgins and (Alec) Burks, they allow those guys opportunities to be players. The biggest surprise was that they didn't play as much zone. That's one of the things that watching tape that they have been playing a lot of zone, and a lot of different zones. We anticipated seeing that. One of the things we thought we could take advantage of was getting to the free throw line. In conference play, teams are averaging 28 free throws against them. We didn't want to just settle for threes, and I thought at times we still did that. Not just driving, but getting the ball inside. But we have to do a better job of having a post presence. We have to post bigger and stronger, and make stronger moves when we do get it inside. I thought their defense was very pesky, and they had guys all around us down there. We didn't do a good job of finishing strong."
On F Andrew Fitzgerald's Play
"I thought he played okay. He was doing some really good things in the first half. We were getting him the ball, and then all of the sudden we just stopped. When he stopped getting the ball, we had to get him out of there because he was having a tough time guarding Relphorde on the defensive end. It was a tough matchup for him because (Marcus) Relphorde is really more of a perimeter, a wing player. We really didn't have anyone to guard him tonight. He is perfect for their system because he is big and strong enough, and tough enough where he can guard a four (power forward), but he is a difficult matchup at times for fours. One of the things coming into this game, we talked about defensively; we can't try to take shortcuts. If you do that, this is a team that can make you pay for it. And they made us pay for it several times tonight. We didn't display the discipline enough to do things like we talked about and play the whole possession."
On Their Game Plan
"Our game plan was obviously we wanted to have good ball pressure. We thought that could take away from some of their cuts and their vision to see some of those cuts; maybe we could cut off the timing a little bit. We wanted to get back in transition. That was one of the main things we talked about; and make them play against our half court defense. Offensively for us, we wanted to control the glass, we wanted to get out of transition and get some easy baskets. We really wanted to try to get to the foul line, and really execute and get the ball moving. I thought at times we did that, and when we did that I thought we were very good. Then, other times we were very stagnant on the offensive end. The ball was dying in guys hands and we didn't really have movement. You have to do that when you are playing against a team that has good defensive fundamentals like this Colorado team."
Colorado Head Coach Jeff Bzdelik
"It was a really solid team performance, and I want to include our student body as a part of this team because they are really awesome. When I say this was a rock solid team win, I include the student body. I say that because, from a basketball standpoint, we had four players in double digits [scoring]. Dwight Thorne was one point away from being our fifth player. We had 19 assists and only seven turnovers. We shot 50 percent, with 19 assists out of 28 baskets. Everybody contributed from a defensive rebounding standpoint. We were able to stay even on the boards with them. We really wanted to push the ball and create a quick tempo against Oklahoma. We had 22 fast-break points. I think for the most part we made them earn tough shots, so in a lot of ways this was a rock solid team performance."
On Pushing the Tempo of the Game
"Their bigs have big, wide bodies. I thought we could beat them down the court and create some advantages. Austin started the game off with a lay-up. I think every time you out-sprint them up and down the court, even though our bigs might not have gotten the ball, you kind of wear on them and take advantage of the altitude. That's really an important part of how we can be successful at home. If we can rebound the ball, we're pretty good in the open court."
On Oklahoma's Run Late in the Second Half
"I think young players have to learn how to win. We put ourselves in positions many times to win and we haven't been able to close it out. I get animated out there on the sidelines and I tell them that it's because we need to understand how important each possession is in a basketball game. You can't be careless with the ball; you have to value the possession itself because so many of these games come to the end. Throughout the course of the game, all of these possessions add up, offensively and defensively. We also made free throws today too and that was huge. For a team that was at one point number one in the nation, we've been misfiring here some lately from the free throw line, but we made them today."
On Gaining Momentum from the Win
"Every game is so critical. To win back on our home court after three tough opponents; Kansas State, Kansas- two teams that are in the top seven in the country- and Missouri. Getting that winning feeling is a good thing."
On Beating an Opponent with More Size
"We are undersized and there is no question that we wanted to take advantage of our mobility by running the basketball and being active and being up and into the ball defensively. We have worked very hard these last few days defensively and on how we wanted to defend them. As you can see with Tommy Mason-Griffin, we were double-teaming him off catch and shoots and off pick-and-rolls. To me, a big part of this game plan today was unbridled effort; to play so hard that you eventually would wear on a team, especially here. We had to stay in constant pursuit when we were coming out of those double-teams and to keep scrambling. During the timeouts we talked about it a couple of times. Whose will is greater? Whose passion is greater? Whose desire is greater? We need to just get those loose balls and that little extra effort."
On G Nate Tomlinson's game
"I think it was especially momentous to him because his father came all the way from China. His dad coaches in China. He came all the way from Beijing, so I think it was a very special game for him in that regard."
On G Marcus Relphorde's game
"I think I've learned a lesson, and do you know what that lesson was? I didn't practice him for three days, so obviously I'm screwing him up as a coach by practicing him. Maybe I should just not practice him anymore."
On Having the Big Three Healthy
"We've been kind of patching it, and we need them all to play well. We need everybody to play well, because we don't have a lot of margin for error. We just need to keep playing hard and collectively, and as well as we possibly can. I know they'll make mistakes. I'll be there to point them out."