Men's Basketball

Postgame Quotes: Xavier 77, UMass 65

Jan. 27, 2008

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Coach Ford opening statement:

Xavier is who I thought they were, no different than what I've seen on tape. I've watched their team with a lot of weapons, a lot of weapons, and a very good basketball team with a lot of talent. They've got a great point guard [Lavender] that does a great job with controlling their basketball team as well as I've seen. He does a great job of controlling the tempo, controlling his team, controlling himself. He's very, very good. They have a lot of weapons and we have a couple and our couple didn't play too well tonight. You've got to give Xavier a lot of credit. They did a good job of shutting down a couple of our guys. They're bigger and stronger than we are. They exploited a lot of the weaknesses we have and we can't do anything about that. We're not going to grow over night and we're not going to get bigger and stronger overnight. Give them credit, they came in here and did what they had to do.

Coach Ford on his team's effort:

I thought they played hard. We're just not putting anything with it right now. We're just not playing very well, plain and simple. You get out rebounded by 11, it's disappointing. It has a little bit to do with effort, but not too much. We are who we are. We need to have our good players playing well. Our veteran players need to do their thing. If they don't do their thing, we need to do something else.

Coach Ford on Ricky Harris' poor performance:
Burrell is the best defensive player in the league. He had a lot to do with it, but my philosophy is that he knows what you will be doing if you stand around a lot. This is good for Ricky. He's got to realize that all is great when you're scoring 20 points per game, but when a real defender gets on you, then what are you going to do? They did a good job of not letting Ricky get many shots. Ricky gets a lot of shots off of Chris Lowe and Gary Forbes, driving and kicking. They didn't allow that tonight.

Coach Ford on preparing for upcoming games:

The guys that consider themselves good players need to step up and be good players. I think we have some really good players who need to step up and carry this basketball team. Gary Forbes, Chris Lowe, Ricky Harris, Etienne Brower--these guys are going to be the backbone of our basketball team. You've got to bring you're A-game every night and it just can't be one of them. I know that Etienne did extremely well tonight, at least getting to the foul line and playing out of the offensive set. Anytime we've had success, it's been a group effort.

Xavier Head Coach Sean Miller opening statement:

I'm pleased with our team's effort tonight. When you think of Xavier, if you watch this at our best this year, you can really point to some terrific offensive performances. There are times when we beat those teams that everyone gives us full credit for. When you look at the offensive side of the ball, you can tell we had a great night. Tonight we played an excellent UMass team on their court and we struggled shooting the three. If Lavender did not make that "hail mary" three at the end of the game, we finish 3-21 from three. For our basketball team to be able to win this game, knowing we can be playing better on offense is something that is very meaningful to our future. I think as we all know there are going to be nights when the offense comes and goes, but tough defense has to be the constant.

Coach Miller on going inside:

UMass changed their defense up. They played a zone, switching and going with cutters. I thought that hurt us a little in the first half. We did a better job in the second half. I think the byproduct of that is we shot free throws, and even the shots we missed, were high percentage shots. Against that type of defense, you don't want to live and die by the three.

Coach Miller on the team's balance:
We're the only team in college basketball that has six players averaging double figures. It's hard to do when you play 21 games. As a coach, I'm not saying `hey you shoot, you don't shoot, let's make sure we have six.' It just happens: the balance with different people that can do things. You put that whole group together and it lends itself to a lot of balance.




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