Arkansas State Head Coach John Brady

Opening Statement
"Well, it looked like we had a 12 day layoff, the way we started. We did not have any continuity to us offensively and then defensively we had some problems. They (Nebraska) made threes early on and then continued to do, that is not something they do characteristically. I guess we allowed them to get into a rhythm of play. Offensively, we never got anything simple. Finally, we settled it down and started being more patient offensively and running some things (in the second half). We got the ball where we need to get it, but still, we missed five baskets right at the rim in the second half. We got to the free throw line in the second half--10-18, three of those are front ends of one-and-ones. There is eight points, and there is probably 12-14 points that we left on the floor in the second half. I was proud of our guys in the second half. We got ourselves back into position to win, that was encouraging. We still have a couple of guys that need to play better on both ends particularly. I have to get them to do that. This team, when it focuses and concentrates and does things necessary to compete, we can be pretty good. We got ourselves back today which was good. But a 12 day layoff, and a tough place to play, and we started so poorly, getting ourselves in a hole, we came back in the second half and won it by 11. We held them to 43 percent shooting which was good. We got to the  line 18 times, should have shot over 20 if we hit our one-and-ones. We shot over 50 percent and I was pleased with that, but it was good for us to come up here and play. 

On how this game can help them, 
This type of team and in this type of environment, it was good for us to be able to come back in the second half and some grit and toughness. It is going to help us for Toledo. They won today, they beat Sam Houston State by 14 or 15. They are going to come into our place, a good team, and hopefully some people will respect that and come watch a good basketball game. Hopefully they come help and support us, and hopefully we will have more than we did against Niagra (1645 in attendance). We need it. We would love to have it and we would appreciate it. We certainly do need it. The second half as far as the game is concerned, I was pleased with that. Now we have to travel tomorrow and make sure we do the right things on Monday for that Tuesday night game against Toledo." 

On getting the ball inside/ Kirk Van Slyke's performance
"We got it into Kendrick Washington as well for seven points also, and I bet at least four of those were on the rim. We did get the ball inside, which was good, Melvin Johnson was solid. He was better in the second half, but he still left a few free throws on the line. A shooter as good as him, it must be a concentration thing. We have been a really good free throw shooting team. But you know, we did get the ball inside and Kirk was excellent. I thought Seth Kisler did great today with the minutes he had. He had 10 minutes and has not practiced in a month and hasn't played in a year. I like the second half we have to build on it and get ready for Tuesday."  

 


Nebraska Coach Tim Miles 
On The Offense
"I thought we practiced well all week. The ball movement was great, and we practiced that way. Just a lot of different things happened whether that was hitting threes, in transition shots, the ball just moved well. We had a whole bunch of assists and that was good, we needed that. We didn't hold it the way. We wanted to, but we are a young team and we were playing against a veteran team with five seniors. They are a tough minded team that was not going to go away. I was disappointed we lost some of our poise. We got those two technical fouls. We just cannot lose our poise. We can't play that way. I thought we lost our intensity when they came back, and we started second guessing ourselves a little bit, and we just cannot play like that. Hopefully being a young team we have learned playing this veteran team. I thought it was a good effort but there is a lot to take from it. 

On The ball movement
"I think there have been some good things, but I still think we need to help them. Just with role definition. When you look at the guys, they want to share the ball and get assists. Sometimes they end up over handling the ball like Tai, and Deverell did tonight. Terran tried to make some spectacular passes rather than just getting the next open pass, and that lead to many turnovers on our part. Those guys are all home run hitters, they are swinging for the fence and tonight we had a bunch of strike outs."

On  guarding Melvin Johnson III and holding him in check for most of the game
"I would include Ray (Gallegos) in that too, I thought Ray did a good job tonight, but I thought Terran did a great job on him too. Benny just really bothered him, I thought he was a frustrated guy when Benny was there. Benny is also very hard to screen, so we worry about him, shooting over the top of him. I thought Benny did a really nice job and was critical for us. We had that whole group, nine different guys contributed well in the first minutes of the game."

On The great start
"We had to get out on these guys early. They are a veteran team and their coach has been through every kind of grind there is. I thought this week of practice was great, and I thought we were going to be successful tonight. So getting out to an early lead was the number one thing. We wanted to hop on them early. You knew they were going to make a run thought. I have watched on tape, they are a team that play with a team for a while and then suddenly they break out with a great run. I knew they were a dangerous team to make a run like that. To me, I was never quite comfortable. 

On comparing this start to the Creighton game 
"We never want to live that Creighton game every time. You don't want to have this crisis of confidence and not know where your offense is. This week is going to be crucial to keep it up because like I told the guys, 'It is on." It is at Iowa, at Ohio State, Michigan at home. There is a billion people who are going to pick us going 0-5. YOu can go all across the world and you can ask people, they will look at the schedule and the will say the Huskers are not winning any of those. So we just have to prove them wrong."

On Kirk Van Slyke
"I thought he did a nice job, he was good inside. I thought that we might be able to play him one-on-one in the post but we couldn't. When he got into the 20s we started double teaming him which got him off kilter a little bit. He is a kid that he can post up and make threes, he is a tough match-up."

On Nathan Hawkins and his role
"Yes, we are trying to figure it out. Where does he fit? Can he play a 1,2 or 3? Where does our rotation go? Where does David Rivers come into play. I think those are just the kind of things we are just trying to prove out in practice, and get this thing finalized." 

 

Shavon Shields
On Arkansas State cutting the lead from 20 to 11

“What needs to happen is we need to play a full 40 minutes. Our intensity went down and we kind of lost what we were doing to get the lead. That can’t happen. That’s what happened.”

On if it is a concern that the same situation happened a couple times this seasom
“Not a concern. We need to improve each and every day, each and every game. We learn from our mistakes. We just have to keep getting better. We can’t look at the negative side of it. We just have to know what we need to do next time. We’re going to watch film on Monday and learn from it.”

On ball movement and screens
“We’ve been working on that all week. We executed at the start really well and that’s what we’d been working on. Like you guys said, we kind of lost our edge and messed it up, but we look at the positive of that and we have to build off that.”

On 19 assists for the team
“It was good. We were moving the ball and knocking down open shots. That’s what we’ve been kind of working on a lot, making that extra pass and things like that. I think we did that and that’s why we got those 19 assists.”

On if the team’s offense is building as the team’s chemistry grows
“Yes. Just playing with each other and knowing what everyone’s going to do. People are figuring out their role with the team. Just building off that.”

 

Walter Pitchford

On whether intensity in practice through the week carried over to the first half
“Mainly, we worked on ball movement a lot. We’ve been moving the ball great in games. I think teams can’t really guard us when we’re moving the ball that fast, at that speed. Somebody is always open and we knock down shots. We’ve got shooters.”

On whether first half was crucial after the Creighton game
“Yes. Obviously we had to wait another week to play a game. Before this game, the ladies played Creighton. I went and saw a little bit of it. There was something about seeing Creighton on their jerseys that really fueled the fire. Mainly I just think for the whole team that was something that we needed to get done. We need to come out like that every game.

On team chemistry
“The ball movement and stuff, as far as that goes, we’re giving up a good shot for a great shot.”