UofL 94, ORAL ROBERTS 57 POST-GAME QUOTES

“It was really a good first half for us. The second half was just okay, but the first half was very good because the ball movement was great on offense and that’s what we’re looking for. The defense was terrific. In the second half, the ball movement wasn’t as good.”

(On why he selected this game for the pre-game speech to be shown live inside Freedom Hall) “I felt we needed motivation for our fans and we needed motivation for our team. I thought we really needed to get off to a good start in this game. I used the baseball analogy as an illustration because if you look at those three teams, they were all in first place after 27-30 games, but at the end of the year, they weren’t. The teams that had losing records were on top and sometimes it works out that way.”

(On the effort of the team defensively) “It was very good. We made some adjustments that really helped us in our defensive transition tonight. The good thing about this basketball team is that we ended last year with T-Will pretty much reaching his potential, Andre reaching his potential and Earl reaching his potential. This team is nowhere near reaching its potential and each guy can get significantly better and that’s the good thing.”

(On the play of Samardo Samuels and an effort to be more aggressive) “He was and he did a good job. He was turning toward the rim on his shots even though he missed a couple. Instead of going away from the basket, he was going toward the basket. He’s learning those things. He still has to learn to go over his right shoulder to shoot a left-handed jump-hook. He’d rather pass off his right shoulder than shoot a jump-hook and his left hand is pretty good, so it’s puzzling a little bit.”

(On the team’s passing tonight) “The passing was great in the first half tonight and it was like last year. Inside-outside, dribble and quick pass. In the second half, we stopped. I told the guys after the game that when they get more joy out of passing than they do shooting – for instance, Preston Knowles had seven assists and if that was T-Will, he would’ve gone for 13 or 14 so you all would write about him. Preston can’t figure out that the eight points didn’t matter. He should’ve gone for 13 or 14 assists and T-Will would’ve figured that out and then envisioned the headlines for him the next day. He would’ve typed your story for you.”

(On the play of Edgar Sosa) “He’s done a good job if we can just get him to play good defense. He’s shooting the ball well. He knows the offense and he’s a very smart basketball player. He’s very accurate and he knows exactly what these guys can do. He’s just got to pick up his defense.”

(On whether this type of win could lead to more success) “We’ve had some loses where we played really good basketball. Western Carolina was a really good basketball team and they were much smarter than us with their ball movement. Charlotte hit some tough shots and just got into a zone. They’re good basketball teams and we didn’t play well. If we had played well in those games and lost, I would’ve been okay with it. I wouldn’t like but I would be okay with it. Tonight, we played really well. Even though the other team is banged up and injured, they did beat Missouri banged up and beat Stanford earlier in the year. Regardless, if we play that type of basketball, we’re going to win.”

(On the big change for this team from last year) “I think they relied so much last year on T-Will, Earl and Andre because they were the glue to the basketball team. We have to understand that not one guy that can guard his own man without someone getting his back. This is not a defensive team, so we all have to move together and trap together. We said tonight that everybody was going to attempt to draw a charge and everybody tried to do that tonight. Reggie (Delk) I thought drew one. Samardo is always stepping in.”

(On the play of Terrence Jenkins) “He played well but he still needs to block anything in there. He really can be a great shot blocker and he doesn’t understand that. He’s another one that if he wants to get paid someday in this game, he needs to block shots and rebound. If he wants to score in this game, he’ll play in Russia. Really. If he blocks shots, rebounds, sprints the floor and becomes a defensive demon, then he’ll someday play at the next level. If not, he’ll play overseas and learn a new language.”

(On whether he thought the team took out some frustration or panic on the floor tonight) “I told the guys to stop panicking and stop worrying. This has gone on in this town for three straight years. You don’t crown a champion until the end of the year. I’m a little more concerned than I have been in past years. I’m never concerned when we play great defense. I always think the offense will come, so I’ve been a little more concerned than I have been in the past. I’m more worried about getting a wing player for next year than I am anything else. We’re going to work hard and we’re going to get better. I’ve told you a hundred times that I’ve miscalculated with the schedule. I think the BIG EAST is better this year than last year and last year it was the best in the history of the conference.”