OU vs. Baylor | February 23, 2013 | Norman, Okla.
|| Head Coach Lon Kruger
"It was a good win for our guys. I thought the first half was pretty good offensively and maybe a little better defensively. I thought they opened the game really well-focused and have done a great job getting each other ready to play. I thought they did that again today. The second half got pretty chopped up, but still a good win. These guys played great and we need that to continue."
On getting off to a good start:
"This group has done such a great job of getting each other ready to play. We have talked about that several games in a row here. They really opened up the game with good energy and good focus. Again, the older guys have done a terrific job with that from a leadership standpoint. It doesn't just happen; you have to prepare to make that happen each game. They have done a good job of that, but we have four more times they have to do that."
On the success of the offense:
"We aren't really trying to do anything that differently. We still are looking to push the ball in the backcourt. Today they were fouling to try and get back in the ballgame, so that was a big part of the game with all the free throws. But still, they are moving the ball better and making good plays for each other. I think offensively we have as many guys playing with a high level of confidence than we have had all year. Anytime you have more guys playing with confidence you have a better chance of making shots. The guys are doing a good job of that.
"There was good activity (as far as) the guys moving the ball and moving themselves and setting screens. They are getting the ball out of their hands pretty good and making that extra pass."
On the status of Buddy Hield's injury:
"We want to make sure he is very much healthy. The doctors and Alex [Brown] our trainer are terrific. I am sure Buddy will want to be back sooner than later but we will not rush that. We will make sure he is healthy."
On the seniors playing selfless:
"Our seniors are good people to start with. They all want to play and all want to compete for minutes, but at the heart of it all they are really good people. They are concerned about the team. They are competitors and they want to get in there, but they handle it well. If not then we probably wouldn't be having the success at all. So credit to them in terms of thinking about the team and what we have to do to make the team as good as possible."
On being more relaxed as a starter:
|| Senior G Sam Grooms
"I don't think it really matters either way. I'm happy to start, but if I came off the bench I would still try to do the same things I'm doing."
On his offensive improvements:
"I've just been in the gym working hard, just about every day, trying to build confidence in myself first. And then every day, my teammates, Ro (Romero Osby) says every day that if I don't shoot the shots that I shoot in practice in the game, how are people going to actually respect me. He has said some things that have motivated me. I'm a senior and I want to win right now. If that's going to help the team, I'm just going to do whatever it takes at this point in time."
On improving his free throw shooting percentage:
"I was just stepping up to the line and shooting. Eventually, the stuff that I worked on in practice and in my off time would have to show up sometime and it just so happened to show up now."
On helping to build Isaiah Cousin's confidence:
"We're going to work on it. We all still believe in him, no matter what anyone else says. We believe in him as a team and I'm pretty sure the coaches do. We've got a couple practices to the next game, so we're going to pick him up as much as we can. I know I'm going to do my part to do that, because he plays the same position that I do and I've been there before. I'm going to do whatever it takes to build him and try to get him going again, because we need him, point blank."
On playing physical against Baylor's Isaiah Austin:
|| Senior F Romero Osby
"I thought I played alright. I got mad at myself when I missed those last two free throws; I hope I didn't show that too much. Other than that, I thought I tried to battle him. He is a seven-footer, so he's a couple inches taller than me. I just tried to use my strength and my size against him. I just tried my best, but it's hard hanging on against a seven-foot guy with long arms like that. He's going to be a terrific player in this league eventually. I just tried my best to use my experience against him."
"I give all the credit to my coaches and my teammates. They've really been on me about not hanging my head about what happened at Kansas. Ever since then I've just been relaxing and just playing, not really worried about going out there and scoring. I just try to do the little things and everything else will fall into line I guess."
"Coach made it a point and we made it a point. It was a team effort on the rebounding. We were just trying to keep them off the glass with their length. They got a couple on us in the second half, but it was nowhere near like it was down there at Baylor. We just tried to make it a point to rebound better."
On motivating Sam Grooms:
"I've just told him to play with confidence, because you know a lot of times last year he would get down on himself and he would only shoot when people would sag off of him. And he still hesitates, so I said to let it fly, and if you miss it, you miss it and if you make it, you make it. We all miss shots. I just told him to work on his game too much to not take those shots in the game."
On keeping rhythm through foul calls:
"You've just got to adjust to it. That's the only thing to say, is to just adjust to it and adjust to what the referees are calling. You try to adjust the way you play defense and make sure you're not being overly aggressive on offense, especially when they were switching like they were switching."
On the offense working well in the first half:
|| Senior G Steven Pledger
"I was just getting to my spots and hitting shots. I was square to the basket and hitting them."
On foreseeing the team's chemistry:
"I thought it was going to work. From the beginning, Coach told me that it was going to work. All we needed from you was to hit shots and do your role, and that's what I was going to try to pride myself on."
On it being tough to leave the game:
|| Freshman G Je'lon Hornbeak
"Yeah, I wanted to come back, I didn't want to go up there. They said it was in my best interest to stop my nerves from being exposed, especially if I really wanted to get my teeth back on. They thought that was really the best thing to do. I came back and it was just regular pain like playing with a hurt ankle, just any pain really. It was just throbbing, I had to be mentally tough and we work all offseason to be mentally tough."
On if he has ever chipped a tooth before:
"This is my first one. I always told my granny, because she was worried that I didn't wear a mouthpiece, not to worry, because I'm not going to chip my teeth, I've never chipped my tooth. Today would be the day; they came to this game and I chipped both teeth. They're mad at me and said they paid too much money for those teeth."
On wearing a mouthpiece:
"I had. I got my braces off in seventh grade, and I never chipped a tooth in six or seven years, so I thought I'd be fine. We also played (Baylor center) Isaiah Austin today, and he took a couple pictures and made a couple jokes. They'll probably end up on Twitter or something.
"I think it would probably be best to wear a mouthpiece from here on out. I'm trying put some fangs in, or a little 'OU' on my teeth."
On sweeping Baylor:
"I really don't like Baylor, honestly. It's good to sweep anybody. We swept Texas Tech, we swept Baylor. We can't sweep Iowa State, but we can try to sweep Texas and TCU."
On the play that knocked his teeth out:
"I think me and Franklin were battling for the ball, and we ended up losing footing. I'm pretty sure he fell on top of me and kind of hit my head. I just kind of broke my fall with my teeth, which was the wrong thing to do."
|| Baylor Head Coach
"I want to start out by apologizing to Baylor Nation. [That was] the worst job of coaching I have done this year in the first half. I apologize for the team's effort and lack of focus and intensity in the first half. Baylor deserves better than that. I am proud of the second half, how we responded and how we played. We came back and competed. I think Oklahoma did a good job game plan-wise and did a great job of getting to the free-throw line. Obviously we were not trying to foul as much as 45 free-throw attempts, and then to make 39 of them at the end of the day...We know Sam Grooms came in shooting 44 percent from the free-throw line, I believe, in conference and he shot 15-of-17, hats off to him. [Grooms] had not made a three, and [was] 2-of-2 from three. So again, Oklahoma won this game and their players stepped up and did a good job. "
On Baylor's flat start:
"Obviously we should have done a lot of things different in the beginning of the flattened stage to try to end it quicker rather than get in such a big hole by halftime."
On switching from zone to man defense in the first half:
"They had just hit some threes and we wanted to change defenses. At the end of the day, if the intensity is not there and the effort is not there, no defense worries about that. We did not guard them for the first ten minutes of the game."
On Baylor's defense over the last three games:
"First of all, the caliber of teams had something to do with it. At the end of the day, you have to make shots and everybody plays percentages and statistics. And unfortunately for us, some of the people that statistically have not been shooting as well have shot really well. We just have to adjust and get better."
On Oklahoma's improvement since last year:
"I think Coach Kruger has done a good job of recruiting because the players that have played a lot of minutes now come off the bench and play a different role. It does not mean that they are not talented, it just means that they have brought in others that can help the team. I think that a big thing is the chemistry from the standpoint that it is hard for a senior to go to the bench for a freshman. And for them to put the team first, I think chemistry-wise that is really impressive by their team."
On the tough loss:
|| Senior G Pierre Jackson
"It was really tough. We settled for a lot of jumpers when we have been practicing going to the rack. They were just executing and we did not do enough to stop them. "
On Baylor's defense over the last three games:
"It's hard to explain, but some other teams' best players have been playing well for their team when they need them."
On Oklahoma's improvement since last year:
"Their returners from last year are really stepping up and knocking down big shots for them, scoring the ball for them.
On guarding Sam Grooms:
He was just aggressive. He did not think twice about shooting some of the shots he does not usually take and he knocked them down."
On moving on:
|| Junior G Brady Heslip
"I think we just need to play with intensity from the jump. In the second half we came fired up and we were just running around and making things happen by getting tips, getting loose balls. We just cannot come out acting stagnant acting like we are here. We have got to come out hungry and intense on defense, bouncing around and having more energy. "
On finishing the season:
"At halftime there we were not feeling horrible. The way that we fought in that second half, I think, shows how this team can still fight. We know that people count us out. We have been in that situation before. We're not counting anything out. We are going to take it game by game. We're going to come out with a lot more energy than we did today."
On the flat start:
"Before the game you have got to do whatever you got to do to get yourself ready to play. Whether it is listening to music or talking to somebody. I was not ready to go from the jump. I missed some plays that I wish I could redo. But that is not going to happen again for me or for anybody else."