Final: WKU 83, Alabama A&M 61

15 11 2010

Some quotes postgame from Ken McDonald:

On tonight’s win:

“I thought the intensity on defense early, especially when Jamal Crook got in the game and set a good tone, he got deflections and started our fast break. Everybody fed off it, Snap Peters got into passing lanes and then Juan and Pett are up there. We can do that at times and be aggressive – I was happy with the spark.”

“To start the second half we were sloppy, that’s why I substituted the five guys and that team that came in was solid. We’re going to go through those ruts, that’s part of a team developing and growing together. But overall, the quickness and the speed, I thought we managed it pretty well.

“We tried to mix up a lot of defenses tonight, I tried to see if they were focusing and listening and we made some mistakes at times because of that … but we’ll continue to get better.”

On the group’s athleticism through two games:

“When we’re really good with our athleticism you can see how explosive we can be. But we can also take too many chances with our athleticism and that’s when you see us get sloppy, someone goes for a steal and then it’s a five on four (the other way). Someone will get in the lane and be sloppy trying to throw an alley oop – other teams stay in plays. As we mature as a team, hopefully we’ll get that completely under control.”

On the high amount of fouls Monday and WKU’s poor shooting from the line:

“We were aggressive. We have a lot of driving, slashing type players from the point all the way to our fives. Those guys can handle the ball a little and do things that put pressure on other teams’ defense and that’s a strength. Ken Brown and Jamal can really push the ball and get down in the lane in a hurry. That’s got to be a big strength for us and we have to understand that when we get to the line we have to take care of business.

“I’ve only been in one other game with 50 free throws shot. I was an assistant at Clemson and we were at (North) Carolina and ended up on the other end of that and ended up playing with four players. It’s good to be on this side of it. But we’re aggressive, we’ve just got to finish our free throws.

“We have to work on our free throws more. There are some things that we’re not doing. Staying on the line, at times everyone was backing up and not following through. That’s something you can correct. You don’t want to get too mental with it, but reps and confidence helps. As you continue to do that in basketball games, I think we’ll get better.”

On the combination of Steffphon Pettigrew and Juan Pattillo in the paint:

“I love it. I think they’re different players that have learned to really play together. There’s already a chemistry with those two guys. They’re both very hard-nosed in terms of not wanting to be scored on, a lot of pride defensively. They’re both quick, they’re both strong but even though they’re both undersized they’re different. Juan is a quicker guy that can recover on defense because he’s so quick, Pett’s just a natural textbook guy. He just listens to exactly what we’re talking about he’s going to have all that technique on the defensive side. He’s very rarely out of position, he had two or three charges tonight and he’s always that solid guy that bails you out at the end. Very similar to Jeremy (Evans) last year, except Jeremy blocked shots and (Pettigrew) gets charges.”

On the play of point guards Ken Brown and Jamal Crook:

“They’re both learning still. Jamal’s been in the system a year but he’s only a sophomore. He’s getting better and bringing it defensively a little more and running the team a bit. Ken Brown, early in his career here is obviously a talent. But he’ll make mistakes as well. They’re both still fighting for minutes and on any given day they could play equal minutes and I like that because they’re quality players. I’m not concerned right now with who plays more, I want them to both understand that they have to continue to get better at running the team. We had a lot of mistakes tonight where I would call a defense to one of the guards and we all wouldn’t be in the same defense so you saw breakdowns. That’s on the point guards. Same thing on the offensive end. I call a play, I want them to run the play and want all five guys knowing what we’re running. That’s on the point guards. They’re continuing to grow and they’re doing a good job.”

On the importance of this week’s Puerto Rico Tip-Off Tournament:

“The first two games have played out in our favor because they weren’t close, but the next three are going to be high execution type games. You have to understand that they’re going to be one, two, three possession games. We have to execute every possession. We’ve had careless turnovers we have to cut down. We have to get the rebounding out of control. … Teams like this are going to make you pay for stuff like that, they’ll exploit weaknesses. It’ll be a high level of focus and preparation understanding that these next three games are going to be tight.”




One response

17 11 2010

Glad to have basketball season back! Nick, you are doing a great job here also. Keep up the good work.

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