Quotes: Texas vs. Rice
Dec. 29, 2012
Head Coach Rick Barnes
On overall thoughts from the game: From a coaching staff standpoint, this is what we expected. I don’t think this is what the players expected. Defense helped us in the last 10 minutes of the game. That puts a lot of pressure on them obviously. Javan [Felix] broke the ball loose twice when he really got underneath his man. Sheldon [McClellan] had good numbers for the night.
On Javan Felix today: I think he has done pretty darn well considering the fact [that he is a true freshman]. On the other hand, I know where he is right now and I know where he can be. He will never be able to do enough for me right now. He did a great job today staying connected with the coaches. We need more of that. From a mental standpoint, he was really sharp.
On Jaylen Bond: He brings energy. We took him out at the end because he broke down defensively, but he has been out for a month. His intensity and rebounding is going to help us out a lot.
On heading in to conference play: There are a lot of things we would like to change, but we can’t. We go to Baylor next Saturday and we will see where we are. This time of year, players are ready to get in to conference play.
On practice this week: This time of year, the teams that keep moving forward are the ones that have the attitude they are going to get better. We need to continue to get better on the mental side and understanding the game.
On his rebounding numbers rebounding: The coaches wanted me to be aggressive on both ends. Not just scoring, but also rebounding. I thought I did a better job focusing on that side of the ball today.
On forcing turnovers and speeding the tempo up: We wanted to pressure them and hopefully force some turnovers, and then speed the game up a little bit. They wanted to stretch the game out and use up the shot clock, so by speeding it up we were able to take them out of their game plan.
On defense and holding Rice to 31.9% shooting from the field: It’s been a main focus of ours to lockdown defensively. That’s what we preach everyday: defense, blocking out, and finishing possessions.
On the game being close at the half: We knew what we were doing wrong and what we had to do to take the lead and finish the game. The first half we got shots we could make we just weren’t making them, and then needed to do a better job of finishing possessions. We did a better job of that in the second half.
Head Coach Ben Braun
Opening Statement: I told our team after the game that we battled pretty hard down until the 10-minute mark - we had the lead but we shot ourselves in the foot. We created disparity from the foul line, fouled because of our inability to go up and get rebounds. I thought some of our turnovers lead to some fast break points for them. We missed opportunities inside with layups. You cannot make those kinds of mistakes against Texas - they are going to capitalize on those. They really took advantage of that today by going on a run at the 10-minute mark. We have to do a better job of not having that disparity. The rebounding - it is a tough way to go when you are giving up 16 offensive rebounds. We have to make sure that that does not happen.
On the Texas defense: They are long and they make you go up over them. They do a good job but we just missed some point blank shots. You are not going to get a lot of easy shots, so it makes you think more on the offensive in. You have to think up baskets, they are not going to give up baskets; we made some shots but not many. They have got a team that when you are playing them; if you are not making shots they are going to get a ton of offensive rebounds. They have been a good defensive team all season long. They did not do anything different today, they are pretty tough to score against.