Nov. 9, 2007
Head Coach Jeff Capel
"With tonight's win we're going to New York City and advance on in this tournament, and that was our goal. I thought we did some nice things out there today. I was really happy with our second group that we put in - I thought they gave us some energy, especially on the defensive end. Our first group, I thought they responded. I liked how they were on the bench and were encouraging. They didn't go over and pout, but they fed off of that second group of guys. So we're really proud to get this win."
On freshman forward Blake Griffin being upset with his play:
"He's honest with himself and he wasn't happy. I don't think Blake got off to a good start. I like how he responded, especially coming out of halftime. Those guys who started the game for us got off to a good start, and Blake was one of the guys up on the bench. I heard all of them were, but I really heard Blake shouting encouragement and cheering for those guys when they made plays. I thought when he got in during the second half he did a lot better job of playing with energy and a sense of urgency.
"Blake knows that I'm a lot harder on him than anyone. I think I've said this after just about every game. I have very high expectations for Blake because I know what he can become and I know what we need him to become for our team to get to the level where we want to be. Blake also has high expectations for himself. He's such a talented and good kid, but sometimes we forget because he's 6-10, 255 pounds and has seven percent body fat, that's he's 18 years old and he's just playing his second game. I thought both of these games were great learning experiences for him and I know that he'll use it to get better."
Freshman Forward Blake Griffin
On his performance tonight:
"I did not play very well at all. I was not very involved and I did not rebound as well as I should have. I came out and played a little bit better defensively in the second half. I have a lot of things to improve on to be the type of player I want to be. I was not very happy with my play overall tonight."
On playing in New York:
"I just want to go out and rebound better and play better defense. It's going to be tough against Memphis and we need to rebound better than we have the last two nights. Longar (Longar) and Taylor (Griffin) rebounded well and played good down low, but we need to step it up as a team."
Junior Guard Omar Leary
On the team's victory:
"It feels good to get this victory and have the opportunity to go to New York and play at Madison Square Garden. We have the opportunity to put our name on the list as one of the elite programs -- not taking anything away from last year, but adding to our winning tradition."
On improving his play:
"I need to stay mentally locked in the whole time I'm out there and knowing the defensive assignments. And as a point guard you want to know everyone's position and everyone's assignments. So just being aware outside of myself knowing exactly what's going on out on the floor."
Denver Head Coach Jeff Scott
"This was a huge challenge for us at this juncture in where we are at and how we are trying to build our program. Obviously, they make it a challenge. They have unbelievable size and play well together. They took advantage of that size and made 57 percent of their 3-point shots. I will be mad at our team for letting that happen. We have to get better at defense, but at the same time you have to give them credit for moving the ball well and getting open shots and making them. Some teams can get open shots and miss them, but they got open shots and made them.
"They have a really good, young team. They are going to get better as the year goes along. I am sure seeing that team get better as the year goes along is Jeff's (Capel) plan."
On Oklahoma freshman forward Blake Griffin:
"He is a physical specimen. I think every coach in America knows players have to learn the college basketball game. There are a lot of good players in college. He is a very good player and has to continue to develop and learn the college game and learn to score inside and learn to be a part of the offense. But obviously, he is an unbelievable player and to have a guy like him who you can throw the ball inside to, not too many teams have a luxury like that. His brother (Taylor) is a good passer and they play well together and get the ball inside. He is just going to get better as the year goes along. His skill set is better than just standing down there on the block. The guy can shoot a little bit and dribble a little bit. I think as he goes along in his career you will see more of that come out."
On the cause of Oklahoma's 16 consecutive points in the first half:
"We turned the ball over five times in a row. We got it to 15-14 and then turned the ball over. They were all unforced turnovers, we were dribbling the ball off our feet. We got it to 15-14 by settling down and running our offense and taking good shots. We turned the ball over five times in a row trying to do too many things. That is our learning curve. We need to do what we do, no more than that. We have some pretty good guys too, we just let it get away from us a little bit."