Nebraska Coach Tim Miles
On the game
“Well, first of all, I’m more than happy that [the University of Nebraska-Kearney] was here. Watching Coach Kropp and Coach Lofton and those guys, I remember when I was a Division 2 coach at Southwest State in Wayne, Neb., with Greg McDermott and Wayne State hosting the regional, watching them compete and win and play so well, thinking to myself “We have to build our team the way those guys do it. Tough minded guys that know how to play. That’s the only way we’re gonna be successful in Division II.” Three years later, we were in the Elite Eight with a pretty tough-minded group. I admire those guys. [Kearney]’s not where they used to be, of course. But the significance of that game meant more to me to start with. We have a lot of work to do. We took a lot of quick outside shots. We didn’t do some of the things we’ve practiced hard and well that we’re going to need to do better against Division I competition. I thought our defense rotations were a little weak. I thought we turned the ball over unnecessarily too often.”
On freshman guard Tai Webster
“I thought he got better as he got the nerves out. We wanted to play that whole first group about six or seven straight minutes to start the second half to wind them a little bit, get them a little tired and get to a point in the game where we can just play the rest of the guys. I thought he was really good in that whole eight-minute run or whatever he had. He might have had more than that. But I saw him get more comfortable. He’s a true freshman. It’s just going to take some time for him. He probably needs to take more than five shots, in a way. But we didn’t do much to get him more than five shots, either. We had a couple of other guys out there who were eager to get their shots before the guy actually passing the ball was going to take his.”
On the team’s chemistry
“I think the guys like each other. They all want the same thing. We get a little high strung. I mean, we get a little hoppy, but they care. The care factor’s there. They want to do well. They want to win. How we figure that out is the important part. We figure out how to win together, playing for each other. It just takes time. These are guys that are ambitious, high-energy guys. It’s going to take time. We’re not going to be as good as we want to be against Florida Gulf Coast. We’re just going to get a little better from this and then keep getting a little bit better from Western Illinois. We’re going to have a lot of tough games early. “
On Ray Gallegos
“We’ll take a look at his situation tomorrow. He could have played if we really wanted him to.”
Sophomore Forward Shavon Shields
On the game
I think we did a pretty good job. As coach said, we probably should have got on the offense boards and defensive boards better in the first half. I think we did a better job of coming back in the second half and doing better. And then just shot selection and things like that. I think we need to work it around the offense a little more but over all I think it was a good first game in front of a crowd with all of the new guys together.
On shot selection
I don’t think it’s that hard. I don’t know how many assists we had on our field goals, or anything like that, but overall I think that’s something we need to get better at. Whether it is practice or whether it’s this game I think it is something we need to get better at.
On the differences in officiating
It is going to be almost impossible to take a charge this year with the new rule they implemented. Also, on ball defense, it’s an adjustment we just have to make. I think we did a decent job at it. We brought in refs for practice and we’ve been getting called a lot for that. I think we did a better job than we have in practice, but it’s definitely different.
On communication with the refs
When we went up for captains to go to the middle he kind of explained how they were going to call it on the ball and all of the new rules, so we kind of had an idea and I went and told everybody what was going on. They did a good job of voicing that.
Freshman Guard Tai Webster
On his game
I don’t think I had a good start, but I got a little more into the flow of the game in the second half. The first half I made too many mistakes both offensively and defensively, but as the game went on I think I got more into it.
On emotions during the game
I wouldn’t say I was nervous. I was more excited to be out there. It was a new experience being in front of a college crowd at my first college game.
On playing in the arena
This is amazing. I’ve never played in a gym quite this big and the fans are just amazing as well. It’s an enjoyable experience for me.
On what he has been doing well in practices and games
I think I’m doing a good job at creating for my teammates. I should work on scoring a little more, but I think I’m doing a good job at creating for my teammates at the moment.
Nebraska-Kearney Head Coach Tom Kropp Postgame Quotes
"I wish we would have been able to give them (Nebraska) a better game, first half they jumped up to such a big lead that it was obviously over at halftime. I guess I am disappointed that--as well as they treated us, giving us this opportunity--we were not able to come down and make it a little bit more worth their while."
On what UNK can take from this game
"The big thing is--we came out really soft for the first half. I don't want to say we were intimidated, but we kinda had the deer in the headlights look. We have 10 new players--several of them are freshmen. If you look at the stat sheet from the first half, we came out with the idea that for us to have success, for us to have any chance, we had to hit home runs. It showed up in the three-point shooting, I believe we were 1-11 at half. It showed up in the turnovers. I believe we turned the ball over nine times in the first half, but they were unforced turnovers. They were turnovers where we were just jittery with the ball, and looked scared. The thing we have to do is-- in sports people that are hard-nosed and tough minded and mentally tough, they are the ones that are going to win. No question the University of Nebraska at Lincoln was much better on that end than we were. I am very happy for them and certainly wish them luck. I like their mental attitude--the way they play."
On having a lot of new guys on the team
"You know, last year we had a disaster for a team. We had very selfish players, and we just never got any better. From day one to the end of the season, we had kids that didn't work hard and that were very selfish kids. They are no longer with our program. We really like our kids though. We struggled here for the past five or six years, when we had success here we had Nebraska kids that were hard-nosed and really unselfish kids. We have gone back to that, 11 of the 15 kids on our roster are Nebraska kids. We think this is a team that will get better, because they work hard and have good attitudes."
On what this team does better than last year’s team
"At this point, if I had to pick a positive, we have more depth than this year. We played nine kids with quite a few minutes and we would like to do that. We hope that out of those nine kids, two or three of them will really come on, obviously you want all of them to come on, but two or three of them would make a big jump. We have a couple of players that are injured that will contribute."