Dec. 15, 2007
Oklahoma Head Coach Jeff Capel
"First of all, I would really like to thank our crowd. Our crowd was phenomenal today. They gave us energy and it was just a fun game to be a part of. I thought there were some very good things in a game between two good teams. Obviously, I'm proud of our guys. It has been a long week since we were here last Saturday and our guys responded in a big-time fashion."
On how long of a week it was:
"There are just different dynamics. I wasn't pleased with last Saturday, which made Saturday turn into a very long day for us. Then we came back Sunday and went to work again. With exams this week, our practice times were not as normal as they usually are. To our guys' credit, they never wavered, they worked through it all and we found out a lot about ourself and who we can become through that experience. Sometimes you have to go through something really bad to appreciate things and to really understand how you have to play. Sometimes it takes losing a game, but when you are dealing with 18 to 22-year-old guys, you never know what it's going to take to get that message."
On the game's last four minutes:
"I just told our guys, "Look forget about the rest of this half, the rest of this game. Forget about everything that has happened and let's focus and concentrate on this 3:54. I can't remember the last time we got a defensive rebound, but let it go and let's get them now. Let's execute on the offensive end and let's defend." Our guys did it. We came out of the timeout and got a big rebound, Longar took a charge as well. David (Godbold) made a good play on a steal and got it up to Longar. I'm proud of our guys for doing what it took to win the basketball game."
On Longar's game:
"He was very good. He can score, and he can do it in different ways. He showed some of that tonight, by scoring on the block and shooting. He just showed the variety of ways that he can do it. I didn't like the Magic Johnson impersonation, but he took a couple of bad falls and he kept getting back up and playing. We went to him and he delivered, and he also had two huge free throws. He played well, and that was against some very good post players. Steven Hill was the SEC Defensive Player of the Year last year and Longar had some nice moves to get past him and score. So we are proud of him, and hopefully he can use this to build on and get better."
On the large number of 3-pointers:
"Obviously, getting the ball inside to Blake (Griffin) and Longar (Longar) is key. We want to get those guys as many touches as we can, but we also feel that we have some guys on the perimeter, that can make 3's at a pretty good percentage -- Omar (Leary), Austin (Johnson) and Tony Crocker in particular. We got a huge boost off of our bench, with Omar coming in and going 4-4 from 3-point range in the first half. I thought Cade Davis was really really good. He gave us some good minutes and hit a couple of shots. Cade is going to be a good player for us. I have said that from day one. In the second half I think we did a better job of getting the ball inside and we only took seven 3's and we hit four of them. We feel like if we take good shots we can hit most of them."
Senior Center Longar Longar
On tonight's game:
"Arkansas is a good team. They have a lot of strong players that pound the glass hard. We battled hard today and were able to come up with a big win."
On his play today:
"Coach Capel talked about being a leader on the floor and leading by example. I felt like I had to step up for my team. I huddled the team up and A.J. (Austin Johnson) told me `you have to go after everything. You can't let those little guards come in there throwing the ball up.' My teammates got me going and I just kept going from there."
Sophomore Guard Tony Crocker
On tonight's game:
"This meant a lot for our team. After our loss to Stephen F. Austin, we felt we had something to prove today. And we came out and played the way we are capable of playing. Getting this victory before the break means a lot and gives us some confidence before we get into Big 12 play."
On his play today:
"I did not shoot the ball very well in the first half but I contributed in other ways. I had a few steals and tried to do other things. In the second half, I was able to come out and knock down some shots which helped the team. When I am not shooting the ball well, I have to find other ways to help keep the team going, and I did that today."
Junior Guard Omar Leary
On the importance of the victory:
"Today was a must win. With the loss to Stephen F. Austin, we needed to comeback and respond really well. I think this was a good victory against a good team that was ranked at the beginning of the year and that I think will be ranked at the end of the year. So it was a good win for our program and as a team to build on going into Christmas break."
On what the team needs to improve on:
"We need to rebound. We have to work on boxing out, getting to your man and then going after the ball. We also need to work on getting into our sets quicker. I think that is part of the point guard's job, is getting the team into our sets quickly. Once we get into Big 12 play, if we can put it all together as a team and learn from this first semester, I think we will be a team you have to come ready to play for 40 minutes."
Arkansas Head Coach John Pelphrey
"I thought Oklahoma was very impressive. They got off to a great start and played with a lot of toughness. They took great care of the basketball and they operated at a very high level. Obviously, when you have 18 assists in a basketball game, you are getting the right guys shooting and getting to the right spots. Early, they made a lot of 3-point shots. (Omar) Leary was terrific in the first half at shooting the ball. A couple of offensive rebounds here and there found him, as well as a couple of loose balls. With all that being said, we were in the ball park with about four minutes to go in the game when it was a two-point game. We kind of got it to where we wanted it. Offensively, we got some good looks. Oklahoma just played better than us down the stretch. They were able to get it in the basket, and any time we were able to get close, their big fella (Longar Longar) was a big presence back there. Give Oklahoma all of the credit."
On his team's struggles:
"Some of our struggles tonight were when we got it close to the basket, we weren't able to convert them all. It felt like Oklahoma just kept making them. Seven (3-pointers) in one half (by Oklahoma) and four in the other, that's good shooting."
On OU's success shooting from behind the arc:
"Tonight they shot 45 (percent) from behind the line. That 3-point line, on any given night it can beat you. Tonight, it was kind of both sides of the ball. We could have done a better job defending it, we needed to. Give them credit, they made shots in our face, and we couldn't have thrown it in the ocean."
On his team's ability getting to the offensive boards:
"I think we have done a good job of rebounding the basketball and hope that will continue. If you miss it at the alarming rate as we did, then there are more opportunities to grab one."
On the loss:
"This was an opportunity for us to come and play a very good basketball team on the road. This was a good time for us to go and do this. There is going to be another one coming, we are going to get another chance. If we can win the next one, then we will be 1-1."
On Arkansas' pressure not being able to rattle OU's guards:
"I thought that they did a really good job. I was hoping that we would get to them, but their guards did a very good job. We were not able to get to them. We were hoping they would get a bit fatigued into the game and maybe wouldn't shoot it as well. You just have to give Oklahoma credit. Some of the things we were trying to do to them, they were just better at it."