Nov. 19, 2013
Oklahoma State vs Memphis
Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013
OSU head coach Travis Ford
On the overall performance of the team
"This was a total team effort. Obviously, Marcus (Smart) stood out early and did some great things in this game and he showed why he's the best player in the country. We had so many great performances. Brian Williams had 15 points and eight rebounds. He played to his strengths and stuck to his role. Markel (Brown) got hot late. Le'Bryan Nash had 10 rebounds. I thought that Kamari Murphy and Michael Cobbins really battled inside. I thought that we went out there very business-like, had some goals we wanted to accomplish from the beginning and got after it. I thought the effort was at a very high level. I thought the execution was really, really good. This Memphis team is really good. They're going to win 30 games, probably, but today we played really well."
On Stevie Clark's performance in his first big games
"We were anxious to see how Stevie would respond against this type competition, these veteran guards. I thought that he did terrific. I thought that he gave us what we needed. Again, I didn't think we had a great practice yesterday. I thought that we had a few jitters yesterday. And then we had to battle Phil Forte (being out). When your leading scorer doesn't play, it's going to be a little bit of a concern. Everyone picked it up for Phil. We obviously cut down the rotation a little bit."
On limiting mistakes
"We did a pretty good job of guarding their ball-screen action. We did a pretty good job against their full-court press as well. Sometimes we're a little sloppy, and it's usually when we don't run our press offense. I was glad how we handled their press, and we actually kind of got them out of their press in the first half. We defended. When we got them out of the halfcourt, we really defended. And that's not easy to do with the talent that they have. We were clicking today."
On Marcus Smart's run in the first half
"Those kinds of moments are special. He was definitely feeling it. He made some really tough shots, and sometimes those aren't really ones you want taken, but you've got to go with him. When he's feeling it, he knows it. Our biggest thing wasn't threes. It was attacking the basket, and I think that we did a good job of that. When you get a guy that gets hot like that, it makes it that much better. It energizes your defense. It makes everything better. He got hot early, and that set the tone for the game."
On the great crowd tonight
"It was a great crowd. We appreciated everyone coming out. Hopefully they enjoyed it and liked what they saw, how hard our guys have been working. Our students are the best. We had over 100 people camping out last night. We really appreciate it. Our players were talking about it in the locker room. Hopefully they liked what they saw and they'll come back and pull for this team. We've got a lot of big games coming up. I know that we're going on the road a little bit, but when we get back, we've got a big game against South Carolina coming up on Bedlam weekend. I was very happy with the crowd."
On moving forward coming off this big win
"We need to be very humble and be looking forward to the next practice to get better. Not thinking that we've done anything and are too good to practice. Humility is the key word for our team. We just need to go out there and be humble and get better each and every day. We need to look at each game as a challenge and opportunity to get better because its a long season."
OSU sophomore guard Marcus Smart
On the career high
"I knew when I let go of my first shot and it went in with the foul, I knew I was going to have a good night. I was just feeling a good night, and my teammates gave me the ball when I needed it in order to get my shot off. Words can't even explain. I think this is my first 30-point game in my career, and it's amazing. It was a great team win out there. Like I said, if it wasn't for my teammates, I wouldn't have had 30 points."
On beating a top-15 team on a national stage
"This was a big game for us. Of our early three games this year, we kind of came out slow, playing competition that we knew we should beat. We knew that Memphis coming in here was going to be a tough game. They were named the No. 1 backcourt in the country. We knew there were some talented guys we had to stop, and we just wanted to go out there and play our game. Just because everyone says they're the top backcourt in the country, we're not going to stop playing our game. We wanted to show everybody that we're not backing down. That's what we did tonight."
On his aggressiveness
"There was just something in me. Before the game, I was in the zone where I told myself I was going (to do) whatever to help the team win. That's just what I went out to do. When we got the first tip, Geron Johnson bowed up and denied me the ball. I was a little surprised by it. He said a little something to me. He jawed off, and that motivated me to become more aggressive."
On Kevin Durant in attendance at the game
"It was crazy. Coach actually told us that he asked to come to the game, but we thought he was playing around. We were like 'Kevin Durant? Really? Come on.' Then we looked on the front row and I was like, 'Oh, whoa. Wait a minute. Am I dreaming?' That was an amazing experience to be a part of. We saw Kevin Durant, and we just wanted to put on a show for him."
OSU junior wing Brian Williams
On Marcus Smart's performance
"I knew it would happen eventually. He had a couple of good games, but we knew a breakout game was coming soon. He definitely had that tonight. He shot the ball with confidence and found us when he could."
On his rebounds
"I had one rebound last game and the coaches challenged me to attack the glass more, and I did that tonight on both ends. They are a good transition team, so I had to do a little bit of both."
On what this game did for him
"It's good for my confidence, a game like this. I hope I can keep it rolling."
Memphis head coach Josh Pastner
"Oklahoma State kicked out butt. Bottom line, it's a very good basketball team, a well-coached basketball team. Obviously, Coach Ford does such a great job with them. I've been saying it to my beat writer for a long time now, I believe for our team to be great, which I believe we can be great, tonight I didn't see that coming, how they played. It's going to be hard to win if those four (seniors) combined are 8-of-34 and 0-of-8 from three-point range. But I didn't see that coming that they were all going to play not well. That being said, that's why we play the game, we got our butt kicked, but that's why we play the game early so we'll have to get better. We have course correction, it's a long season. I know back in Memphis, for the Memphis media, they're going to be all over us, and rightfully so. I told our guys that we have to deal with it because of how we played and we have to now turn things around and get better. But you have to give Oklahoma State full credit."
On scheduling more games before this one
"I just felt that with our four senior guards, the reason we scheduled them was because of our personnel. I don't mind scheduling them, this was good for us. Should we have schedule more games? No. This was a good opportunity for us to see where we were at. I didn't see our four senior guards come out and play like that, I didn't see that coming. They practice well, we practice well, we've been at a high level, they've been locked in and it's just not good. It's hard, I've been saying for our team to believe to be the way we can be because I believe we can be a great team, but those four guys have to be really good. Tonight, it wast just hard."
On Marcus Smart and Memphis' performance
"Even Marcus having the game he had, which he was tremendous. Two things, I thought when Marcus tried to make a play we didn't try to get back in a hurry. I've been telling our guys this isn't about Memphis vs. Marcus Smart, this is about Memphis vs. Oklahoma State and there is no eight-point shot. We can't get it all back at once, we have to get back to the second and third side, play unselfish basketball. Last year, we were fourth in country in assists. We've been really good about sharing the ball and today it got individualized on a lot of areas offensively. And that's on the guards. The second thing is even with him out of the game, we had stretches where we couldn't score the ball. We weren't scoring, couldn't press and were just struggling to find areas to score and my whole thing is you are counting on them to get points and when they don't score it makes it tough."
On Marcus Smart being tough to deal with
"When he scores like that, he could be the best player in college basketball. I've watched a lot of film, and obviously there wasn't always games where he shot it like that but he was around a 29-percent three-point shooter last year. He was awesome, you have to give him full credit and there's a reason why he's a first-team All-American. Tonight, he was tremendous."
On moving forward
"We have to focus on Saturday, and the good thing is with our schedule, we have a lot more Oklahoma State's in front of us as far as good teams on the road, at home and I kept telling our guys that this is how it's going to be all year, this is our schedule. ESPN ranks us as the second-toughest schedule in the country. This is how it is. We can have a great year, we have a great team, if our four senior guards play at the level of my expectation, at what I expect of them, if they play like that then they can be dangerous. If they play like tonight then it's going to be a different deal, but I just didn't see those guys playing like that. I could see one guy to play poor, but not all four. And I didn't prepare for four guys to not play well like that."
On OSU and Coach Eddie Sutton
"Have to give total credit to Oklahoma State and Coach Ford. And I wanted to say earlier this year, I had a few minutes to spend with Coach Eddie Sutton. What a true gentleman, and I tried to get osmosis from him, but it didn't work. I really hope he gets in the Hall of Fame. He really deserves to be in the Naismith Hall of Fame, not that I have any juice, but he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame and he's a good man."
Memphis sophomore forward Shaq Goodwin
On the biggest issue with team's performance
"Our biggest issue was probably keeping our heads at a consistent level. Marcus (Smart) came out on fire. I saw a lot of heads drop and everybody lost their ego that we had before the game. So keeping everybody at a consistent level and maintaining our composure."
On if the team was too hyped for this game
"I think that a couple of people got down on themselves at the beginning, then after the first half we were down by a lot. I think everybody lost their edge that we had at the beginning of the game."
On the hard effort of he and Nick King
"Nick King is a great guy. Even though he is young, you can see that he has a lot of fight in him. Me and Nick, we're just two players who play hard throughout the whole game. As a team, that's what we usually do. We just need to bounce back from this loss."
Memphis freshman guard/forward Nick King
On playing in his first road game and putting in a good performance
"I wouldn't necessarily say that my first road game was a good one because of the loss. I think that we could have played better as a team and put it together. Like when adversity hit, it should have brought us together so we could have a better run at it."
On too much one-on-one play
"That was kind of true. We have a competitive team, everybody is wanting to win. With the hype of the game coming in, the crowd, it was crazy. So I guess it kind of got to a couple players' heads, but we'll be ok."
On being a young team playing in this type of atmosphere
"I don't think it was tough. Once you're on the court, the crowd doesn't exist. It's just you five and the coaches. It got crazy at times, and you could hear the crowd when they'd go on a run. Marcus Smart hit a couple of threes, that's when it gets crazy. You get the timeout and when you're walking to the bench, that's when you realize it. But I don't think it affected us that much."
Memphis senior guard Michael Dixon
On if playing Oklahoma State on road and on national television overhyped some players
"No, I don't think so. I think that everything we do is new. This a totally new team from last year. You got new guys, including myself, and it's just going to take some time. I think we could have done a better job out there, but we didn't. That's just the way it went tonight. They hit a lot of tough shots and made a lot of tough baskets. They were just the better team."
On the team's struggles in getting into it's offensive flow
"They way our offense is designed, you've got to move the ball a few times and get it inside. Our big guys did a good job in there for the most part. As guards, we didn't do that good a job of getting it inside to them. That's something we're going to work on as far as getting it inside to them more. We've played two games. This hurts, and we played bad, we played horrible. But you got to move on. And who knows, we might see them again."
On how tough playing in this type of environment is
"It's tough, but I think we have enough guys that have been through a lot in college that we should have put on a better performance than we did. This is all new for this team. Everything that we do is a new experience. I think that with time, we're going to get better."