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Post-Game Quotes

Nov. 27, 2009

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“I thought we played well in some stretches. [Mercer guard James] Florence obviously was outstanding. He kept attacking the paint on us and we didn’t do a good job of keeping him out of the lane. We had a 10-point lead in the first half and committed some bad fouls that kept them in the game. The fouls made it a five point game at the half and then in the second half, they just kept hanging around. “

On Mercer guard James Florence’s performance:

“He’s great, he played very well. But, we knew he was capable of doing that. A couple of years ago, he went out to USC and beat them when O.J. Mayo was there. So, this is no big deal for him to play at that level against this kind of competition.”

On getting outrebounded 39-35 overall in the game:

“It’s disappointing. We looked at the first half and we saw that they got three three’s off of second shots after long rebounds or loose balls. There were probably about 11 points that were given up just because they outhustled us to loose balls. That was the difference in the first half and was why they were able to gain more confidence.”

On Gani Lawal’s performance:

“I was interested to see how he would respond because he didn’t play well in the first half and early in the second half. He was all over the place with the ball and didn’t seem to have a rhythm. He showed some mental toughness coming out with 15 points. He made some game-changing plays down the stretch that helped us get the win.”

On the team’s overall performance in the win:

“I was disappointed. I though we were making good progress. Our defense has been very solid, even the Dayton game. Today, our defense was not up to that level. There’s no excuse for it. We had two good days of practice coming in, we had a lot of rest. I thought we would come into the game with a lot of energy, which we did. We just made some mental mistakes with the fouls and not getting loose balls.”

On improved three-point shooting in the game:

“I’ve been saying that once our passing improved, then our three-point shooting would improve and that’s what we did a better job of today. Obviously we can still improve and it’s something we have to keep working on. But, we’ll keep taking what the defense gives us. I would like to see us dump the ball in more to Derrick [Favors] and Gani [Lawal]. Especially Derrick, because he is such a good passer.”


“Great basketball game, I thought our kids fought. I’m disappointed for them that I couldn’t help them at the end get a couple more easy shots. [James Florence] did a great job getting us some easy shots on his own. He is an unbelievable player, and he is as good as anybody has anywhere. I’m thankful to get to coach him. I’ve got some others, that are just as good, didn’t play as good today, but they are going to play better next week. I’m excited about the future, and what lies ahead for us in the coming days. Coach Hewitt did a really good job. It is a hard thing, where he has two great centers, so that is hard thing to balance and he has done a tremendous job with spacing and getting those guys in the right spots. Their guard [Mfon] Udofia had ten points in a row which I think broke our backs. We were going under screens, we were going to make them shoot, and they hit a couple in a row and that was pretty much the difference.”

On Keeping the Ball Away From Derrick Favors

“[Daniel Emerson] and Brian [Mills] and all of our guys might have been outmatched but they were not outhustled. Danny Emerson is a tough kid. He played great position defense all night.”


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