March 8, 2008
Oklahoma Head Coach Jeff Capel
"I'm really proud of our team and the way we responded in the second half. I felt Missouri really knocked us back in the first half. We knew they were going to play hard and I told our guys that during two days of preparation before this game. They really out-competed us in the first half. They dominated the glass and they really knocked us back. I thought our guys did a better job at responding in the second half. I thought for the most part we did execute and value the ball. Maybe that didn't show up in turnover numbers, but I thought we did a pretty good job with that."
"We had some guys step up and make some huge plays and hit some big shots for us."
"So I'm proud of this win, proud of the way we ended the regular season. I'm happy to have a bye going into the conference tournament. We look forward to getting rested up, getting a little bit healed and getting ready to play on Friday."
On preparing for Missouri the last two days:
"It was probably as nervous as I have been. Since we got back Wednesday night, everyone's been telling these guys how good they are. When we got back, we had people waiting on us and had the band here. That's different than has happened before. I think sometimes that has a tendency to make you a little bit soft. I didn't think we had a good practice on Thursday, which was totally different in our preparation. I thought we responded better on Friday. It's such an unconventional style. For us, our pattern has been this year, and unfortunately it drives me crazy, we'll play well for a couple of game and then all of a sudden we'll have a letdown. We don't play well, it's bad.
"I was really afraid of that and then how we got started not being able to get a rebound. It looked like they were just faster than us in everything. I was really concerned. Then we challenged them at half time, and our guys came out and responded. (It was good) to be able to do this without one of our better players, Tony Crocker, who was in foul trouble most of the game. He played 16 minutes but was never able to get into a rhythm, at least not after his start. (Austin Johnson) had 16 points in the second half and hit some big shots for us. David (Godbold) hit some big shots. Blake (Griffin) was terrific in having him back. Taylor (Griffin) played really well. Omar Leary gave us some really good minutes. Tony Neysmith came in for a defensive possession and did a good job. It was a total team win by us."
Senior Guard David Godbold
On the victory:
"We are just looking forward to Kansas City and the NCAA Tournament and we knew that if we were able to get the victory today that we would be a lock for the No. 4 seed in the Big 12 Tournament. That was really important. Missouri is a team we have never beaten in the regular season, so we had two goals and that was to get the No. 4 seed and try to get a victory over a team we hadn't beaten in the regular season since 2002."
On improving before the Big 12 Tournament:
"We need to continue to rebound, get more stops and limit our opponents' best shooters from getting open looks. Missouri had a lot of penetration from their post players which was kind of different for us to guard. We were able to work on that today and hopefully when we get to the Big 12 Tournament we will be more prepared as a team to guard any type of player and team."
Senior Center Longar Longar
On the importance of the win:
"This was really important for us and we have been talking about that all week. We wanted to get the No. 4 seed in the Big 12 Tournament and to do that we needed this win. We have not beaten Missouri in a regular season game since 2002. Coach Capel emphasized how important this game was and to keep our emotion going and win every single game from here on out. That has been our mentality during our last two games. Guys understand that we need to come out aggressive."
On today's game:
"We came out a little slow today in terms of getting back on defense. They did a great job of running the floor and getting easy baskets. We had to come in at halftime and make adjustments to go out there and stop that. We made the proper adjustments and were able to get a huge win heading into Kansas City and then the NCAA Tournament."
Freshman Forward Blake Griffin
On the win:
"This was huge because we get an extra day to rest for the Big 12 Tournament and also it solidifies us as an NCAA Tournament team. This game was huge and we had a number of reasons to come out and get the victory: this was our last home game, the last time our seniors will play in this building and getting position in the postseason."
On his play with his knee:
"My knee felt good today. At times it hurt a little bit, but nothing to0 serious to where I couldn't play. Having the extra days off, I can continue to build strength and continue to get in the training room and work on it some more."
On improving before the Big 12 Tournament:
"One thing we are going to have to do is be ready to come out and play without being able to scout very much. We need to come out and play hard and play aggressive and not get ourselves in a hole like we did today. We need to finish out halves better and start out the beginning of each half better than we have. And most importantly, we need to be mentally ready to play."
Missouri Head Coach Mike Anderson
"It certainly was the tale of two halves. I thought in the first half, we played some of our better basketball as this season in concerned. I think OU came out emotionally charged, being in the position they are in, but I thought that we matched that. We played defense, attacked the glass, but towards the second half it was just the total opposite. You always talk about momentum plays and such, but our inability to take care of the ball hurt us. People say quickly don't be in a hurry, well I thought we were quick and in a hurry. That was the difference in the game."
On where the team goes from here:
"Well, you know, we are into another season right now, everyone is 0-0 and it's a neutral setting. It's in Missouri, but its neutral and again I think everyone comes out ready to play. The first game is the most important game and it's been shown in our league that anyone can beat anyone. I think we just have to go back and regroup and get ready for whoever we are going to play."
Missouri Forward DeMarre Carroll
On playing against the Griffins:
"The Big 12 has a lot of great post players. It is just another day, but give credit to [Blake], he knows how to position himself and draw fouls. So I give credit to him, but I don't think it was too much of what Oklahoma did. I think we shot ourselves in the foot. We would get a turnover and comeback and turn it over, or we would get a turnover and come back and do something crazy. It was more us shooting ourselves in the foot. That is something we have to get in control of going to Kansas City."
Missouri Guard Matt Lawrence
On Missouri and close games:
"We were in a position there up 54-53 and the tide was kind of turning. I think today our turnovers killed us. We haven't turned the ball over like that in a long time. The biggest issue was they were at critical times in the game. It seemed like every time we would turn the ball over, Oklahoma would go down and score. I think the turnovers were definitely the difference in the last five minutes of the game."
On where Missouri goes from here:
"Next game we don't know who we are playing yet. It doesn't matter, we have seen everyone. We have to go a game at a time and remember that everyone is 0-0 now. It doesn't matter how we finished up going into the tournament and we really just need to get that first one. You have to win the first one if you're going to win it all so, we just need to try to take it a game at a time and go from there."