Opening comments: It was good to see our guys out there competing tonight at a higher level than we had in our last game. I thought our guys did a lot of good things. St. Louis, the way they play is really tough to guard with those big guys that can shoot it so well and those guards that are quick coming off those ball screens, but all in all our guys did a good job.
On changing up offense in 2nd half: In the offense, you compliment it with something. When you play certain teams they guard it a certain way, but they can’t guard the other motion part. Our guys knew that and we went to that in the second half and it loosened everything up.
On confidence in high-post offense: We’re getting better at it. It just takes time, but we’re getting better at it. Before we majored in the motion minored in the high post and we weren’t as good in the high post. We didn’t have to be really good in the motion [tonight] because it was a different look. It’s like how some teams you play against you have to play more zone, but some teams you can’t play zone. We’re able to go back and forth based on how a team is defending us.”
On St. Louis’ defense: They were really bodying us up, grabbing a lot and holding, just really chugging everything. It just kind of slowed us up. When we spread them out we didn’t think that they could beat us off the dribble, and that proved to be true. Our guys got into the lane and made plays.
On C.J. Wilcox’s offensive performance: He’s being really aggressive right now. When all our guys come back we don’t want him to change the way he’s playing. The only guy who’s ever done that who has played here was Trey Simmons—he scored 21 points in 13 minutes I think. But aside from that, it was about as efficient as you can get.
On Wilcox: That’s about as efficient as you can get.
On Wilcox, N’Diaye and Gaddy: I think those guys are right now, showing they’re the most capable, until we get our other guys back, which is going to start happening here.
What happens if those guys don’t have their normal night? It makes it a little tougher. But, let’s take any team that has three guys. If LeBron doesn’t have his night, what happens? If Dwyane Wade is off, what happens? If Carmelo Anthony is off, what happens? It makes it a little more difficult unless you have a star-studded team and it doesn’t matter. But we have such a short bench, you count on those guys to bring it every game. It’s not just us. Yeah, if one of those guys don’t play as well, it makes it tougher because we don’t have a lot of options with the injuries right now.
Better by role players tonight? I thought Jernard Jarreau played very good. He made some defensive mistakes. He was aggressive, took shots when he needed to, made some. Hikeem Stewart I thought came in the game and played quality minutes. Didn’t hurt us. Played good defense, chased down an offensive rebound one time, made an extra pass to C.J. one time. Just played smart basketball and that’s what we need those guys to do.
Sense of relief? It’s good to see. Understatement, we needed that one.
N’Diaye’s scoring: I’ve always said, Aziz is not the guy, we’re going to Aziz, he’s going to take it home for us. But, Aziz improved his skills to a point where he’s a functional scorer. He’s not Tim Duncan yet. But, he’s gotten to where he’s improved, I still think he’s averaging a double-double. Tonight, he was very aggressive going to the basket, was very confident. Sometimes it takes a little longer for big guys. Aziz is a senior. People improve. People get better. I remember Matthew Bryan-Amaning, all of a sudden his senior year, man, he’s scoring up a storm. Took him a while, though.
Late time have any influence? I don’t think so.
How much do you attribute tonight’s win to effort? The majority of it. Guys stepping up. Aziz stepped up, C.J. stepped up, Abdul stepped up. Some guys stepped up.
On the technical foul, what did you say? The ball went backcourt, they called a backcourt call on us, I thought they deflected the ball in the backcourt. The next time, when they had it and went in the backcourt, I said, “Why don’t you call that one?” I think I was waving my arms too much. I’m telling you I said, ‘Why don’t you call that one?’ I think I said it three times. So, got to be real careful this year. Really careful this year.