Men's Basketball rallies to 75-64 win over Kansas State
Feb. 11, 2012
The Longhorns' third win in a row is an important one for a team desperate to build its NCAA tournament resume over the final weeks of the regular season.
Texas trailed 40-27 at halftime before battling back. Brown, the Big 12's leading scorer, made a deep 3-pointer to put the Longhorns ahead with just over 8 minutes to play.
Wangmene had his first career double-double for Texas (16-9, 6-6 Big 12). His 15 points and 13 rebounds were both career highs.
Angel Rodriguez scored 15 points for Kansas State (17-7, 6-6), but the point guard also had six of his team's 16 turnovers.
TEXAS COACH QUOTES
HEAD COACH Rick Barnes
On the difference between the two halves: You have to give Kansas State a lot of credit because they create trouble for you. I didn't think we had the intensity that we needed in the first half, and then we had the foul trouble that both teams had to work through. It really got us out of rhythm. I didn't think we really did anything in the first half. I thought we really got out of character, for the first time all year, in terms of how we have been moving forward. In the second half, we played a terrific half of basketball. Our defense got better. With no question, Alexis [Wangmene] played the best game he has ever played at Texas. I thought Sheldon McClellan worked as hard as he has ever worked defensively. We still had to play through some foul situations. In the first half, Julien Lewisshowed as much character as he had. It was obviously a great win for us.
On how the officials called the game:We talked about this from the very beginning. The officials said in the beginning of the game that they were going to blow the whistle. We told our guys this going into the game. Both teams worked really hard to try and get position. They were going to blow the whistle. Both teams are known to be physical. When you look at our numbers across the board, it is truly amazing how identical we are in so many categories.
On senior forward Alexis Wangmene:I was talking to Lex yesterday and I said, "What I don't understand about you is when we really challenge you to get up against guys who can really play, you take that challenge on." At A&M, I told him on the last possession, "You are going to be the key here. You are going to have to do your job." He was terrific. I asked him today, "Why don't you do that all the time, regardless of who you are playing? You can really change the way a game is played by what you do inside." What he did tonight is go and get some rebounds. I also told him that he needed to get back to making his free throws, because he has always been a good free throw shooter. He really helps sometimes to a fault by getting away from his man a little too far. But, he is a guy that will mill around the basket area and make some plays on missed shots.
On playing "Rick Barnes''' basketball:I have been doing this for a long time and I sat there in the second half and enjoyed it. I love teams that get after people on the defensive end. I love teams that attack on the offensive end. They are in a constant attack mode and that is what we have told our team since they have been here. In the second half, you can tell our defensive intensity went up. We started on the defensive end and made some really good plays against a team that goes as hard as any team you can play against.
TEXAS PLAYER QUOTES
JUNIOR GUARD J'Covan Brown
On his team's play in the first versus second half:You've got to give credit to K-State. They ran us out of our offense. When Myck (Kabongo) was out (because of foul trouble), everyone was just standing around. We really need him in the game to get us going. That's all it was--not moving, not running the offense, not taking shots that we need to take.
On adjusting to the officiating: When the game started, the referees were calling everything and we realized that if you put the ball on the floor, you were going to get a call, no matter what. We had to adjust to it on defense. When some of our "bigs" (post players) were in foul trouble, we had to try to put the ball on the floor and drive to the rim. Coach (Barnes) kept saying, "Keep driving it." We got to the (foul) line and did a good job there.
On whether he practices or improvises his spin moves: Everybody is saying, "I like the spin." I do (practice my spin moves). I'm very crafty when I spin. Crazy things happen. I just felt like I should spin on both of those plays and I did. It was just a great move by me, I guess.
On whether his team felt desperate when it was down by 15 points: We just needed Myck (Kabongo) back in the game. That's what he's here for, to run the team. When he got in, he did it. When he got in foul trouble, I moved to point guard and I tried to keep the rhythm going. We shot a great percentage in the second half. We were down 13 so everyone had to be aggressive and take open shots. Our "bigs" were ready to do what they do--block shots. When they shoot the ball, we wanted to be the first ones to box out and not let them hit us. And that's what we did.
FRESHMAN GUARD Myck Kabongo
On how his foul trouble affected his team:Everyone has their job to do on this team. My job is to get us in the offense. Picking up silly fouls like that in the back court doesn't help our team. I have to be a lot smarter out there. I've got to know that the team needs me to do my job.
On his aggressive play in the first three minutes of the game: I was just trying to run the offense, really. You've got to play with your instincts as a basketball player. If someone is really trying to play up on me, I need to blow by them. So that's what I was really doing. I'm learning from our offense. We do a good job of spreading the floor. Our big guys did a good job blocking out their "bigs" and opening the lane for me to go through. Our big guys deserve a lot of credit for that.
SENIOR CENTER/FORWARD Alexis Wangmene
On the physicality of this game: I like all kinds of games, especially physical games. I really don't care how physical they are. I'm just going to step out there and play, because in my own mind, I think I'm the strongest. I just treat every game like the same thing. I just go out there and do my job.
On whether he played more cautiously when the other forwards were in foul trouble: All I know how to do is be smart. When (Clint) Chapman got the second foul, it was my fault because I didn't play good defense on my guy. I knew I had to make up for my mistake. After I got my first foul, I knew I had to be smarter and be efficient. (After that,) I was in the right position from the get-go every single time. At the time, I didn't really think about it. I just went with the flow.
KANSAS STATE QUOTES
HEAD COACH FRANK MARTIN
On the difference in the two halves: I have been a Rick Barnes fan since I was a young high school coach. I told Rick "That is Rick Barnesbasketball. That is the basketball I grew up watching your kids play." I cannot compliment them enough. They came out in the second half, and they punched us in the mouth, again and again. They got us on the ropes and we never punched back, and (for Texas) to do that with so many freshmen is awesome. I told (Alexis) Wangmene after the game "That was awesome." I cannot stand losing but when you see a senior do what he did toward the end of his career - that is what it is about.
On the reason for the Kansas State offensive difficulty in the second half: The reason is the team wearing the other uniforms. Texas dug up in us. We broke down from our disciplines, could not execute and wanted to play one-on-one. They did to us what we have done to a lot of opponents in the last five years. They defensively crawled up into us and completely took us out of anything that we tried to do. Everything that we did in the first half just went out the window. Offensively we played one-on-one. If you play one-on-one in college basketball, you have zero chance to win. We played one-on-one in the second half. It is not like our guys wanted to do that; Texas had everything to do with that. They guarded us in every facet of the game. When we got punched in the mouth and were put on the ropes, we got wrapped up in getting hit, which caused us to break down in our discipline and responsibilities. We played selfishly on both sides of the ball. Defensively, we played one-on-one. We did not play team defense, and when you play that way you will get beat.
On the inability of Kansas State's Rodney McGruder and Will Spradling to score during the second half: That goes to Texas. They went into halftime and made some comments. Will had an open three from the corner that he missed, and they hounded Rodney. They played, and they did not let Rodney get any looks. There are three other guys on the court when the two of them are out there, and those guys did not do a good job of screening and passing the ball because they got locked up with the game. That is what happens. You deal with adversity. You have to be mentally tough enough to stick to the discipline. We did not do that today.