Dec. 10, 2011
Head Coach Frank Haith
On being a great free-throw shooting team...
"We shoot free throws every day, just like everyone in the country. We shoot pressure free throws everyday. What I mean by that is there is always a consequence, such as running. I think every team in the country has their own methods of doing it. We have good shooters, and these guys have done a great job of being focused when they get to the line and not taking anything for granted."
On what Andrew Jones brings to the squad
"He's a guy that gives us some things at practice. He gives us some physicality and when we get to Big 12 play we are going to see teams that get aggressive with us and he brings aggressiveness to this team. He isn't afraid and he's got a motor, which I love."
On Navy's play tonight
"You can get beat in this game, and Navy is a team that was very capable of that. I commend our guys because I knew that they were going to play tempo. And for us to come out here and win by 25, that's a heck of a job. They didn't turn the ball over and they worked us. We had to play defense for 35 seconds. That was good and healthy for us to go through that."
On Michael Dixon's progress as a point guard
"I told our team at halftime that Mike (Dixon) had his best half of the season, and he didn't even have a bucket. But he had three steals, three assists, and no turnovers. It's just growth as a point guard. In New York, I think he had 7 assists but he was 2 for 13. And when your shots aren't falling you need to continue to do other things. I thought he had a couple of plays that weren't good plays and so he watched himself on tape and he learned from it. He showed that this afternoon."
On the importance of free throws to be successful
"In order to win, you better have great free throw shooters. The great teams that win championships make free throws."
Senior guard Marcus Denmon
On having patience...
"We knew coming into this game that Navy may try to counter our quickness with slowing the pace down. We just have to be patient. They came out to a good start, but then we started getting a couple stops. Us being patient helped us start to take off."
On not losing intensity...
"We work on it every day in practice. I feel that coaches do a good job with us every day so that we understand no one competing against us as hard as we are together so when game time comes it's easy for us."
Senior forward Ricardo Ratliffe
On Navy's physicality...
"We watched some of the stuff that they do when they work out during camps and stuff. It just translated into a real tough team and they're real physical, so we just tried to match their physicality. They started out more physical than us."
On Navy defending him well...
"They were just doing a better job. They were just being more physical than me and making sure I wasn't in a position to get good rebounds. They tried to make sure I caught the ball off the block. So I commend them, they did a really good job. But I just try to keep my cool and still find good spots to catch the ball and still get as many rebounds as I can as best I can against a physical team.
On playing against Andrew Jones during practice...
"We just practice fight every day, basically. He plays like [Navy]. I haven't played a lot of players that are stronger than me. I feel he's stronger than me. Not basketball strong, just natural physicality. He's real aggressive. He's got basketball skills but he still contemplates football. When the time comes, he's going to get back adjusted to basketball. But I think he's doing a really good job. I can tell he was really good in high school. He hasn't played in so long, but he's picking it up."
Senior guard Kim English
On Navy's style of play...
"Coach DeChellis is a really good coach and it's easier to slow things down than it is to speed things up. They did a good job of finding the game that they wanted and we adjusted and got out of here with a win."
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