Sooners defeat the Hawks in OU's first exhibition game.
Oct. 31, 2007
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|| HEAD COACH JEFF CAPEL|
"I'm somewhat pleased. As a coach, there are always some things you could have done better. I would like to have seen us start with more energy. I don't think we had energy to begin the game, especially on the defensive end. I thought we picked it up a little with that second group. We got a huge play from Tony Neysmith on a transition play when he dunked it and got fouled. I thought that gave us a jolt of energy and that second group really picked up defensively. They started to give us some stops and things like that. I say this, and it might sound a little bit crazy, but we scored 93 points and we shot 62 percent, but I still think there are a lot of things that we could have done better. That's what I tried to explain to the team without getting them discouraged. We want to be able to do things more consistently."
On playing well as a team:
"I thought we did some really, really good things. We made shots at a high level. I think we shot 57 percent from two, 75 percent from the line. We did some really good things, and I don't want it to seem like I'm picking on them. I am somewhat pleased with some of them, but they just need to know that there are some scenarios that we could improve and get better at. That's what these exhibition games are all about. It's good for us to play someone else that's running something besides the stuff that our guys see every day at practice. Now we have a point of reference and we can go back and watch tape."
On freshman forward Blake Griffin:
"I want to see him rebound more. For him just to have one offensive rebound, I think he is capable of more than that. I think Blake is capable of having a double-double every night, and we want to push him to do that. Early in the game I thought he was nervous and excited. I thought he got tired pretty quick, but he came in and settled down. I think there is more that he can do, and he knows that because I tell him all the time. I was impressed with some of the plays he made tonight and I think there is still so much more room for improvement. We'll work on it."
|| FORWARD BLAKE GRIFFIN|
On making his first Lloyd Noble Center appearance as a Sooner:
"It was a lot of fun getting out on the floor and playing against someone other than ourselves. We have all been looking forward to this for a long time. We were able to do a lot of learning about ourselves, what we do well and what we need to improve on. Tonight was exciting, being able to suit up for Oklahoma for the first time. But I know there are things I need to improve on and I look forward to the next time."
On what the team needs to improve on:
"I can definitely improve on talking on the defensive side of the ball. I was a little timid on defense and I need to step up and do what I am supposed to do. As a team I think we can always improve on defense and we need to do that each week. If we can do that then we will be able to accomplish our team goals."
|| GUARD TONY CROCKER|
On improving as a team:
"We have to get better on the defensive side of the ball as a team. If we are not a sound defensive team, then we will not be a very good team. That is something that we can always look to improve on. We need to be better communicators because that is what will make us a sound defensive team."
On what the team's strong points were:
"I thought we shot the ball very well. We did not get to the line as much as we should have but we shot the ball extremely well. But it is early and we have a lot of things to improve on because the Big 12 is such a strong league. We realize that we will not be able to take a night off and we need to bring our best every night."
"I think Oklahoma is very athletic and strong. They are deeper than I thought they might be and I was impressed with the way they shot the ball. I saw an athletic and deep team that shot the ball well."
On what their game plan was coming in:
"We wanted to contest a little bit better than we did, there is no doubt about that. If you break it down, they had a lot of shots where we didn't challenge like we should have, but it is October 31. They hit, we give them credit because they knocked the ball down. Good players do that and the take care of business."
His thoughts on Oklahoma freshman forward Blake Griffin:
"Looking at the stats, he had 19 (points) and 8 (rebounds). He looks like he really understands the game and is very talented. If you combine talent with a good feel for the game, he is going to be a really good player."
Rockhurst Center John Torson
On the game:
"More than anything, we are glad to get the chance to play Oklahoma. It's a big deal getting to play in front of a crowd like that to start out the season for this young team. We just enjoyed the opportunity."
On Oklahoma's front line:
"There are some big boys down there, some leapers. That is quite a front line and they can all leap out of the gym. It was fun to play against guys like that."