Nov. 21, 2011
Head Coach Frank Haith
"I thought our guys played really, really well. Thought in the first half we were executing offensively, we were getting good shots. Obviously when the ball goes in the hole, your offense looks real good. But we were taking good shots. I thought in the second half, our defense was really, really good. Tim Abromaitis was unstoppable there in the first half, and he was 2-for-8 in the second half. We did a much better job against him."
On the team's offensive talent...
"We played great today. I mean it's just one game, but we played very well tonight. We've got guys that are gifted offensively. The numbers that jump out at me - we're plus 14 on the boards, this team was minus five on the boards last year. (Notre Dame) shot 37 percent in the game - those are numbers that excite me. And we didn't just shoot a lot of three's. We only shot 11 three's in the game, but 44 points in the paint. Those are things I'm excited about because I do know this team can shoot the ball from the three very well, but in terms of their talent, we've got good offensive talent."
On their quickness setting the tone...
"Ithought that was the key. In terms of our movement, understanding let's move that ball from side to side. We have the ability to drive the ball."
On Tim Abromaitis...
"He got loose and he had a couple plays in the first half where he just bully dribbled us and scored over the top of us. Matt Pressey and Mike Dixon guarded him early, little guys. So we had to do our work early. We have to understand this: don't play D when he catches the ball, let's play D before he catches the ball. I thought we did a much better job on that in the second half.
On gaining confidence...
"Notre Dame's a really good team. They're going to win a lot of games in the Big East. To have a performance like that tonight obviously has to give these guys some confidence. We're here and we've got another game tomorrow. You look across the country and there are a lot of champions that are going to be named this week. We want to have a championship program. Winning a championship, we're competing for the CBE Championship, is important to get our mentality of winning championships. There's no question; tomorrow we're going to play another great team and we'll be excited about the opportunity."
Senior guard Marcus Denmon
On playing at home in Kansas City...
"It's always good to be able to play in front of your home fans. It's always fun, but the most important thing is getting the win, and that's what we went out there and did."
On what worked offensively...
"We just came out together, collectively as a team, and we shared the ball and moved the ball and we took the shots that were open. Credit to my teammates, they got me a lot of open looks because of that moving the ball and screening and working as a team."
On playing all around...
"It's about the other end. If we can get stops, eventually, with a team like ours, I feel like we're going to put the ball in the basket. If I'm not getting it going one night, we have other guys who are capable. I feel like points in the paint, we got those today, it wasn't just jump shots."
On stopping Tim Abromaitis...
"We knew coming in Tim was a really good player, one of the better players in the Big East. With his size matchup, we were going to have to find him on the floor everywhere he was. He got it going early, but the second half we made adjustments. We came out with the mindset of trying to get stops."
On competing in tournament play...
"We come out and do what we can one game at a time because if we don't come out and play the way we should in the first game, there's a second game but it's not the one we want to be playing in.
Sophomore guard Phil Pressey
On their quickness advantage...
"Going into this game, we knew that we were a lot smaller than them, but I guess it works to our advantage because being smaller means you're quicker. So going into every game we know that we're going to have a lot more quickness than other teams so we prepared for that to help us out in this game."
On sharing the ball...
"The coaches preach everyday to be selfless and want your teammates to score just as bad as you do. So that's why we always make the extra pass and pretty much try to make sure everybody else is happy, make sure everybody gets their shots off. It worked out today."
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