Dec. 31, 2012
Oklahoma State vs Gonzaga
Monday, Dec. 31, 2012
OSU head coach Travis Ford
On the performance of the team
"I thought that our guys really competed and played hard. We really hung in there early when we weren't playing very well. We had some over-anxious energy early and it kind of wore us out early in the game. We just stayed calm and responded from it. Our lack of physicality really hurt us. We only have one physical player around the rim, and that's Philip Jurick. We have some physical guards, but nobody around the rim. Jurick got in some foul trouble, and we had to bring him out. They just destroyed us on the glass. That's the bottom line. We just let one guy control the game in the second half, and in a close game like this, the team that is getting the easy baskets is probably going to win, and they were getting easy baskets. We had to work so hard for ours. It goes back to rebounding. We just couldn't get any physicality around the rim."
On Marcus Smart's play to get to the line late in the game
"We wanted to go to the rim. That's definitely what we wanted, because I thought we had some success with that in the second half. That's part of it. When you're a great player like Marcus Smart, you're going to be put in those situations. Sometimes it's going to go your way, sometimes it's not. There were so many other plays in that game. We turned the ball over at crucial times late in the game, and it really affected us. Marcus, overall, played a great game. We wouldn't have been in the position we were in if it weren't for a lot of things he did. He'll shake that off because he'll be in that position again at some point."
On how the non-conference schedule prepared the team for this game
"We've played against some deep, physical teams, Tennessee and North Carolina State, and we competed with those teams on the glass. Virginia Tech and Gonzaga, we did not and it cost us. Our halfcourt offense was good enough to win. We shot 56 or 57 percent in the second half, and in a tight game that should be good enough to win at home, but the lack of physicality aroud the rim hurt us. If you can't point to anything else, that was it."
On bouncing back from this tough loss
"We had better bounce back quickly. This was a mental, physical game. We've got to get back and bounce back quickly. The guys expended a lot of energy out there and we have a tired team in the locker room back there. We competed. We played hard. We got beat by a better team, but we still think we should have won at home. We didn't make the plays. They made the plays. Give Gonzaga credit. They're a really good basketball team."
On the large fan turnout tonight
"It was great to see. Thanks to Boone Pickens and what he did to pack the stadium. I wish we could have gotten them a victory. I know the players are very disappointed about that. We appreciate the support, and we hope they come back because we're going to need it. We have a very young basketball team that needs all the help they can get."
OSU junior guard Markel Brown
On Gonzaga's Kelly Olynyk
On the difference in the first and second half
OSU freshman guard Marcus Smart
On what the team gained
“I feel like we gained a lot of trust in each other. We learned that we can play with high-caliber types of teams. Gonzaga is a great team. They beat a few great teams, and for us to come out and keep it that close, that just proved a lot to ourselves and to a lot of people. Oklahoma State has a chance. It wasn’t the outcome that we wanted, but we’re going to take this as a learning lesson and get ready for conference play.”
On OSU’s ability to fight back
On his final free throws
Gonzaga head coach Mark Few
“It was a heck of a road win for us. We’ve never experienced this place before. It’s loud and the Cowboys play really hard and really inspired in here, and to withstand all the rallies and to make plays on the defensive end and get after them on the glass like we did. It was a great night for us.”
On Kelly Olynyk
“I don’t think we would have had that breakdown against the run-and-jump press if we would have had him in there. He’s kind of our problem solver, especially against pressure like that. He can handle it and pass the ball because he has such a good feel for the game. I know it was important to keep him in there. We thought coming in here we’d play some zone. The guys did a really good job because that’s a tough zone team with (Phil) Forte out there and Marcus (Smart) can make plays on ball screens. It’s a tough team to zone.”
On Marcus Smart
“He’s one of the all-time greats. I love that guy. He’s a warrior. He’s a winner to the umpteenth level. I’d go into battle with that guy anytime. It was great to compete and put it on the line. I was happy for him and he played great. The best thing about Marcus is, as good as he is on the floor, he’s and even better person and legitimate guy off the floor. I can’t help but root for good things to happen for him.”
Taking advantage of OSU’s second-half foul trouble
“We have good depth. That’s one thing that we do have that good depth and good balance. If we can get everyone through that first half. Kelly (Olynyk) is usually the one guy that has trouble with fouls and we were able to get him through with two and we knew we had all of our horses for the second half. Our bigs can attack you in a number of ways. This isn’t the first time that we’ve gotten people in foul trouble. They post you hard and they can drive you. It’s nice to have two or three guys that can drive. They can shoot it. Sam Dower can shoot that three as can Kelly. The issues we’ve had with this team, if we’ve had many issues is sometimes we fall in love with the jump shot because we can shoot jump shots pretty well. At the end of the day the bigs are the bread and butter."
On Kelly Olynyk’s fifth foul
“Obviously those are two really good players going at it. I knew Marcus Smart) was going to try and make a play there. We just didn’t want to give up a three there. It was a tough break for him there at the end but we did a really good job of executing everything at the end. We made a big shot. We guarded well, especially after not playing much zone this year. I thought we did a great job under some heavy adversity to step up and play zone.
On the Michael Hart three in the second half
“Kevin (Pangos) made a great pass off the deep penetration of the ball screen. Then Mike Hart did what Mike Hart does. He does every little thing you can ever imagine. He tracks down loose rebounds. He’s an unselfish guy and he set a good screen for Gary Bell out there. I thought G.B. did a good job. He did not look good when he initially came back from the knee. He missed one badly. It took a lot of courage but he stepped up and it went in."
On the first half
“There were turnovers in the post. They did a nice job of bodying up to us. It was something we haven’t seen. It was pretty physical in there and we had a couple quick fouls. We quite attacking so that allowed them to get into the game.”
Gonzaga sophomore guard Kevin Pangos
On the final offensive play
"We had a play set up with the bigs but they played it well so we brought it back up top. We then just attacked the big and got in the lane, and then they all collapsed. I saw Mike (Hart) screen for Gary (Bell) and then Gary hit a big shot."
On Marcus Smart
"He’s a great player. He’s a tough guy who really defends the ball well and can score in multiple ways. He is just a great competitor and will have a great career. It was a lot of fun to go up against him."
Gonzaga junior forward Kelly Olynyk
On being effective in the second half
"Well I think part of it was because Gary (Bell) and Kevin (Pangos) were playing so well in the first half of the game and the guards weren’t able to help. Then things just began to open up and it all worked out. I was thinking a lot of the Washington State game where I didn’t get an opportunity in the first half but I came back at them in the second half."
On playing Big 12 teams
"I think it really prepares us for later on in the season. Our conference has a bunch of different teams and the Big 12 has more physical and athletic teams, which will help us later on in the season."