Men's Basketball

Postgame Quotes: UMass-Xavier

Feb. 3, 2010

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Coach Kellogg's reaction to the game

That was a good Atlantic-10 battle. Xavier was very good in the first half pulling out with a 17 point halftime lead. Our guys regrouped at halftime and put a little scare into them. I thought we played tough and really made plays and shared the basketball. That second half that way we competed and played was kind of how I envisioned our team playing for a full 40 minutes at some point, preferably in the near future. I thought when the game was in the balance we made a great comeback run, Crawford really took over and made some big time plays. He did a good job, and I think our youth in junctures there hurt us. I guess I'm going to try to take some positives out of this game, our guys fought and competed. We are going to move forward and try to compete and get better.

Coach Kellogg on his guys playing hard for the full 40 minutes in other games this season

Yeah we definitely could have pulled out some W's. It's still a learning curve, if you look at the stats and who played the amount of minutes, it's a lot of new faces, it's a lot of young guys and I foresee them getting better every game and as the season moves forward.

Coach Kellogg on getting his team to believe they are getting better

One of the things they got to believe is that if we continue to do what we do in practice and in games that at some point you start getting notches in the victory column. That's hard especially when you are playing in league this year that is about as good as it has ever been. I think top to bottom I don't know when it has ever been this good. I'm looking at all this bracketology stuff and they have six teams from our league in the NCAA tournament. That's a lot of good teams. This is a very good team we played tonight, that's mature and a little bit older, and has a pretty good way about them. But I am going to keep preaching to my guys, we aren't going to settle. We aren't coming out on top but at the same time it is a little bit of a process right now.

Coach Kellogg on Ricky Harris' performance in the second half

That was as good as he played all year. He was very good, he shared the basketball, he was working and scraping on defense and I only remember one play in the half that he wasn't totally in control. At times I thought he was the best player on the floor in the second half, and he did a really nice job for us.

Ricky Harris on taking positives from the game

I'm not happy we lost but down the stretch we cut a 17 point lead to a tie game then we took the lead at one point. That definitely showed toughness on our part, it showed the will that we wanted to win and not quit. That's the exciting thing about this young team, these guys have three more years left together if they start doing this now im pretty sure when they become sophomore, juniors and seniors that its going to all come together and they are going to be a good team.

Ricky Harris on this being a milestone game

I would say so, Xavier is a good team, they have one loss in the conference, we played them pretty tough. Every game that we have played so far, these last couple weeks, we have learned something from and we have to take something from each one of those games and eventually just bring it all together, so we can find the solution to winning. And whatever that solution is I want to find it.

Freddie Riley on coming out aggressive

Coach Kellogg talked to us about that earlier after shoot-around. He told us its late in the season and we need to stop playing scared and we need to stop playing like freshman and we need to assert ourselves more on offence and on defense.

Xavier Coach Chris Mack Postgame Notes:

Well I want to start off by saying it was a tale of two halves. I thought we were playing exceptionally well in the first half, I thought we defended the first four minutes to start the game as well as we have all year against a very athletic, explosive backcourt that UMass presents. After halftime we go into the second half, UMass took over the game and I give them a lot of credit. They were able to penetrate, they really gave us fits the first four minutes, we turned the ball over several times. I told our kids at halftime to remember our game at La Salle which was our first conference game. We were up big at halftime at La Salle and we told them that the first four minutes would set the tone for the rest of the game. And it did, unfortunately UMass became energized, it got them back in the game. Their defensive energy and aggressiveness took us out and it became a ball game. I'm happy that we won, I'm disappointed with the way we played in the second half, but again happy that we won.

Coach Mack on team being too comfortable with a 17 point lead:br>

Well you can say that, but you can also give UMass a lot of credit. I thought their kids played a lot harder on the defensive end in the second half. They were certainly pressuring us out on the floor and we turned the ball over several times which lead to easy transition points and eventually got the score below ten points. I think once UMass saw the deficient shrink below double digits, they felt alive and it became a ball game. We couldn't get any easy looks because we were pressured early on. We finally settled down on the offensive end late in the second half. It might be a little bit too late because it was a tie ball game by then, but we were able to down the stretch to finally win the game.

Coach Mackbr> He's a guy that can take over the game. As an offense we were out of sink. I give UMass a lot of credit, they pressure our big guys, we stood still too much early in the second half. Our dribble ball screens, our handoffs were away from the basket, which I thought was affective for us in the first half. Again we settled down, but by the time we settled down on offense, we had a ball game on our hands.

Mack on having multiple turnovers:

I would say my biggest concern. When you do that on the road, you usually get bit. It was a repeat performance that we had against La Salle. It was too easy too early, we were playing well and then the other team decided to get aggressive.




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