Feb. 23, 2008
OKLAHOMA HEAD COACH JEFF CAPEL
"I want to congratulate Texas, and it was sort of an ugly game offensively for both teams, but especially us in the first half. You have to give credit to Texas' defense as I felt like we had some plays that we didn't finish. It's tough to battle uphill against a team as good as Texas. I think they are playing as well as anyone in the country. I think people should really start mentioning [D.J.] Augustin for National Player of the Year, because he is on one of the best teams in the country and he is the orchestrator of their team. I thought that Damion James was very good in the first half for them. I thought that Alexis [Wangmene] was really good in the first half and gave them a huge boost. I want to congratulate them and we have a lot of work to do."
On Texas' defense:
"They play hard and their guards really get up there and pressure and that is what I feel like they have been doing in the past five or six games or more. They have several different big guys who they can throw at you and keep bringing bodies. Then you have [Connor] Atchley that is the leading shot blocker in the league and with his length and determination he is able to affect some shots around the rim. We dug ourselves in a hole and it was really difficult to get out of it."
On if their team is a Tournament team:
"I definitely think we are. If you look at our schedule and the games we've won, I think we are. Some of the losses we've had, we didn't have some of our key guys playing."
FRESHMAN FORWARD BLAKE GRIFFIN
On the game:
"We really didn't shoot well, and we didn't hit shots that we usually hit. At the same time, they are a great defensive team and they obviously pride themselves in playing tough defense."
On Texas' defense:
"They just get up in you and don't give you very much room. When we got it in the post, somebody from up high or across would come and double team you constantly, and we never got single coverage down low."
On their offense:
"We did a decent job of taking it to them and getting fouls in the first half and then we just got in a funk and didn't take it to them in the second half and we didn't get the fouls we wanted. Their big men did a good job."
TEXAS HEAD COACH RICK BARNES
On the team's improved defense:
"It's been going on for five or six games. We continue to get better on defense. We started talking about this during February about a way we have to separate ourselves from the rest of the league because all good teams do that during this time of the year. We talked about picking out one or two things that we know we can get better with as individual players and as a team. We knew that we had to improve defensively, and we knew that we had to have an inside game to go along with our perimeter game. Today was a great case in point for that. We went 2-of-19 on threes, but yet we were able to find a way to win against a really good basketball team that doesn't give you a whole lot. We're getting so much better with our rotation and having guys make plays. Today we had eight blocks and the other night, we had 12. That is what we have improved on over the past two or three games. We've had guys come over and make plays."
On the effort of the team:
"That is our goal, is effort. We don't talk about winning, but instead we talk about what we can control and that is our effort, both mentally and physically. That is what we're searching for. It's really hard to get 100 percent because when you talk about 100 percent, you're talking about perfection and that's hard. But as long as you are striving for perfection, that is the goal. We've always had a very unselfish team and where we've been really unselfish is what we've been doing defensively."
On the team's progress:
"I think as the season progresses, we've gotten better at defense, no doubt about that, and now we know that we can get the ball inside and score, whether it's through our post players or guards. I think as a team, we're much more comfortable throwing the ball in there. We've gotten better with our patience when we do that. We're better in that area as well, so we don't have to rely on the fact that we have to shoot the ball well to win games."
JUNIOR GUARD JUSTIN MASON
On the team's improvement on defense:
"At the beginning of the year we would put together great defense for some games and then we had a couple of breakdowns. But I think our defense is all coming together at this time of year."
SOPHOMORE FORWARD DAMION JAMES
On what D.J. Augustin brings to the team:
"Every night he goes out there and he's the floor general. He creates shots for me and my teammates. He works hard on defense which transitions into offense. He's a big time player."
On improving on defense:
"It is something coach has been expressing all year. We can go out and put ball pressure on the opponents and it's better to go out there and improve than just talk about improving."
On the improvement of Texas' big guys:
"You've got to have an inside game to win. People know we have great guards, but we also need good posts in order to have an inside-outside threat. It's an integral part of the game and we need to keep getting better."
SOPHOMORE GUARD D.J. AUGUSTIN
On the team's performance tonight:
"Our defense was playing well tonight, but it can always get better. That is what we need to do in practice. Our defense can get better all around. We did great tonight but maybe next time we can hold our opponent to 15 percent."
On Monday's game against Kansas State:
"It's going to be a team effort. We're going out there to play Kansas State and we need to keep playing like we have on defense. Our defense is going to be the deciding factor. It's always good to start out with offense, but it comes down to defense, so we have to play hard and play defense."
-- Quotes courtesy of UT Media Relations