Dec. 29, 2007
OU Head Coach Jeff Capel
"What a great college basketball game. West Virginia's a very good team and I think we are becoming a very good team. This is a heck of a win for us. I'm really proud of our guys. We were resilient, we stayed together and we fought. We knew coming in that it was going to take that kind of effort to have a chance."
On the overtimes:
"At the end of regulation, I thought we were very deflated in our huddle and also for the first 1:43 (of overtime). There was a timeout with 3:17 left and I told our guys, 'Wipe those looks off your face.' We were down five and our guys showed a lot of resiliency and a lot of heart. We were able to get back in it. We got down quick in the second overtime, but still we were able to make plays. These two guys sitting beside me (Blake Griffin and Longar Longar) were a huge part of it, to combine for 40 points and 20 rebounds. (Smiling) We've got to get Longar rebounding more, because Blake had 16 of them."
On individual efforts:
"I'm really proud of our guys. So many guys made plays - Austin Johnson controlling the team and playing 48 minutes; David Godbold playing 50 minutes and never coming out, and then down the stretch (defensively) on (Joe) Alexander; (Tony) Crocker, who didn't have anywhere close to the kind of games he's been having for us, but hitting the 3 that put the game into the second overtime. Just all around. Keith Clark's free throws and his drive and dunk. Yesterday was the year anniversary of him tearing his ACL. So it was a total team effort and I'm really proud of these guys."
On what the last three games says about the character of his team after losing to Stephen F. Austin:
"I don't think we win these games if we don't lose that game. I really and truly don't. This is such a great game, because if you really pay attention you learn life lessons. In life, sometimes to succeed you have to fail. Failure sometimes makes you realize how much something means to you, how important something is to you. And it puts things in perspective. I think that loss did for us. It put things in perspective - that we have to work harder, we have to play harder, we have to respect the game more, we have to respect us more. We're not as good as we think we are."
Senior Center Longar Longar
On his improved play down the stretch:
"I came out after I had given up an offensive rebound and Coach got on me. My teammates kept believing in me and they told me to keep going, not to be hesitant and not think about the mistakes I made. I just got out of it. I lost myself in the team and helped us to the win."
On his free throw makes late in the game:
"(Assistant) Coach (Mark) Cline always says not to think when I'm shooting free throws, because sometimes I'm leaning back or kind of leaning forward. He just tells me to go to the line and shoot. The most important thing is to bend my knees. I just went up there and knocked them down. I didn't think about it at all."
Freshman forward Blake Griffin
On the physical nature of the game:
"It was a really physical game, but I think we did a really good job all week of preparing for that. The guys on our scout team did a really good job of running their offense and playing really tough 'D' and being physical just like (West Virginia) did. So I think we were prepared for it."