La Salle 62, UMass 54: Postgame Press Conference
Jan. 24, 2009
Head Coach Derek Kellogg's general comments
That was obviously a difficult game for us. Going 3-21 from three and missing numerous, numerous layups was the key to the game. For La Salle, they did a good job in their zone, but I actually thought we attacked it pretty decently and finally got the ball into the middle of the paint. We just didn't finish a lot of our plays tonight and I'm not sure what the reason for that is. I thought we played pretty good defense. The key factor in the game was in the end, we were down one and they posted Rodney Green two times in a row. He just makes plays. He made two great plays to basically seal the game. I think they went up 55-50 and that was it.
Coach Kellogg on Ricky Harris
Obviously teams are going to stay connected to Ricky and make it hard for him to get off shots. I thought although he was 0-6 from three, three or four of them were pretty good looks on tip outs. He didn't have it going tonight. If he scores six points, we are going to be in a close game. We need his 16-20 points a night; there is no doubt about that.
Coach Kellogg on the team's play
We've put together a pretty good stretch where they've played very hard. I am accustomed to that now and that is the way I expect them to play. I'm playing Tony and Luke quite a bit and I need to make sure they get their rest between games. The overtime game at Charlotte and then traveling back, that could have something to do with it. I'm not going to make excuses; I just think that we need to have the mentality that we are going to come out every night ready to play.
Coach Kellogg on Luke Bonner
Luke has given us everything he has. There is not an ounce of energy in him that he is not trying to put out there. He only played 23 minutes tonight, which is good. I think he should be playing 25-30 minutes per game, where he can give maximum effort.
Luke Bonner on Minutemen effort
I would say, in the second half the intensity was there. I don't know what was going on in the first half. We came out flat and a couple things didn't go our way. It didn't seem like there was much energy in the building, or from the team. In the second half we found ourselves in the game. We found a way to keep it close, but you can't just expect to show up and win just because you are home. You need to play 40 complete minutes. I give credit to La Salle as well for getting a tough road win.
Bonner on the loss to La Salle
This one hurt a lot. I only have 12 games left and you never want to lose a home game, especially in conference. We were still down one, and I know I got an open look in the corner. I thought that was in and it rimmed out. We just couldn't get over that hump, but we were in a bad position from the start. We shouldn't have put ourselves in that position in the first place.
Bonner on Ricky Harris' play
I wouldn't say that Ricky's scoring was so much the issue. Defensively, we had a chance and we didn't get stops when we needed them. There was a few seconds in the first half when we got down 13 and it's tough to overcome that. We don't have that much margin for error, and when you have lapses its tough to make up for it.
Tony Gaffney on being down one late in the game
All in all it was a frustrating game. If we are not knocking down shots, we need something else to win the ball game. We haven't done that all year. When we're not hitting from outside, we're not winning. We shot 3-21 threes tonight. Coach stresses over and over again, if you are not knocking down shots then you better do something else to keep yourself in the game. Across the board we didn't do that, and it showed. That is why we lost the game.
Gaffney on La Salle loss
For four guys, this season is going to be over and for the young guys it goes by fast. We have 12 games left and we just threw another one away tonight. Guys have to learn that the season might be long, but you only play so many games.
La Salle Head Coach John Giannini's general thoughts
Obviously we are very pleased with the play and the result. After two lopsided losses here the past couple years and then seeing UMass play so well against extremely strong Temple and Dayton teams, it just highlights how pleased we are with these results. They are a very hard team to defend and we did a tremendous job trying to do that. We had a lot of guys contribute and I'm very pleased with my team.
Coach Giannini on defending Ricky Harris
We are a switching team and we played some zone this game so there was no one person that was responsible for that. The key thing is that we always tried to be aware of him and we did say that if you are guarding Ricky Harris, or Anthony Gurley for that matter, not to leave him. We really didn't want to play conventional defense where you are helping and we didn't play help at all. We would rather live and die with some other people scoring than have those guys get threes.
Coach Giannini on Rodney Green
We came here last year with freshmen and sophomores, the year before that with almost all freshmen, and it's just normal maturation for an outstanding player. He was an All-Rookie Team guy and he's an All-Conference guy. He's just a good kid who has really worked hard and he's moving towards his potential. We think he is a tremendous talent and he was tremendous today.
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