Postgame Quotes: Saint Joseph's 68 UMass 64
Feb. 8, 2009
Head Coach Derek Kellogg's General Comments
I think we have been involved in as many close games as any team in the country. I give St. Joe's credit. They have been in as many close games and they have done a good job of figuring out ways to win down the stretch. Something that has alluded us as a team right now. I thought we played a good basketball game, today. We played about as good a defense at stretches as we have all year. We really picked up the intensity and the pressure on those guys. We came out hard on them. They do have, who I would say is the player of the year in the league, a kid that you have to double and even triple team every time he touches the ball. And that makes a difference when it's a big guy, especially. We were right there with Gaffney in foul trouble and a few other things happening. I thought we were right there. The little, tiny things are what makes the difference in this league. I am really figuring that out. It's a missed block out here, a tough shot there. Free throws come into play at times. There are some things that we really have to get better at in the last four minutes, not only for this year, but for the entire time that I am here as coach.
Coach Kellogg on shot selection
No actually, [at the end of the game] I was trying to push it a little faster because we have gone different ways in the last four minutes of trying to win games. I was telling our guys to push it and try to get an easy, open shot if we could. I don't know what the time was, but I thought we had a bunch of good looks that just didn't go in. At the end, I thought they did a good job in the half court. We took a couple of ill-advised shots that we will rectify in the film session.
Coach Kellogg on losing Tony Gaffney
Obviously, he is a kid that we would like to get in for 18-20 minutes in the second half and when he goes out, it hurts us a little bit.
Coach Kellogg on 1990's celebration
Before the game, I went up to the Massachusetts room and it was jam packed. You couldn't even move up there. I walked in and got to see a lot of the former guys and see how many guys were happy and excited. There are a lot of memories that walked through that door today. They brought back a few to myself and a little bit of a tear to my eye. How those guys want to be a part of the program and how they want to help the program in any way they can. I said this on the radio. They have a lot of tall, young kids. Some potential recruits! There are a bunch of young kids that look like they could be future Minutemen. I told them, if any of them get over 6-feet, 10 inches, they're coming right to UMass.
Tony Gaffney on finishing out games
I don't think offense is the issue, I think we have to figure out ways to close out games. We have been in so many of these situations and in the end the other team just seems to make more plays than us. It is nice to show that we can play for 38 minutes but it's bad that we can't play for 40. It is frustrating, I don't think the word frustrating describes it. We have to keep going and getting tougher, and hopfully around A-10 time we will be rolling.
Ricky Harris on
I knew that Saint Joe's was going to make a run because they always do that to the other teams. That shot that Nivins made gave them momentum. In the second half we knew as a team that we were going to have to fight, and it was going to be a war before we were through. Like Tony said, we play for 38 minutes but in the other two minutes they played harder and came up big.
Saint Joseph's Head Coach Phil Martelli's general comment
All year this team has talked to themselves about toughness and what it means on the road. I don't thnk that was a great basketball effort, I think it was a great mental effort. The defense had to keep scratching, and once we got the lead, they had the bulldog mentality of holding on to that lead. I'm impressed with that. It is a good step for our team with half of the league season done. This was a road test. Harris is a wonderful player and what we were trying to do was make sure that Chris Lowe didn't run amok. Darrin Govens did a great job defendinng Lowe all day. I'm very pleased with the second half defense but we have a reasons to practice on Tuesday.
Coach Martelli on the shot clock
We have been in that situation a lot this year. I have not done a very good job of coaching this team in halfcourt offense. We spent a lot of time on shot clock calls, you will hear me yell different colors. I thought Garrett Williamson had a huge basket on a dribble-drive against Tony Gaffney, who is a great defender, in a shot clock situation. We are okay with getting to the end of the shot clock, as long as we don't turn it over that would be considered a good posession for us to run the clock all the way down.
Coach Martelli on defense
I think the defense we were playing, we did not want to push up on that. I thought they did a fabulous job at Xavier, exploiting Xavier's overexhuberance. Xavier was chasing and Chris Lowe was penetrating the lane. In the Richmond game he had 10 assists and they just dribbled at everybody. We tried to back off and keep the ball in front of us. If a guy made a shot in front of us, as long as it was not Ricky Harris, that is okay with us.
Coach Martelli on UMass' future this season
I have watched five of their games and I think that Derek Kellogg is the right guy here. I am amazed at how calm he is for a young head coach. I know what this means and I know what this means for this community. The change these players have undergone. Lowe was not even recruited by Travis Ford and now he has been through two head coaches. I think this league is jumble, I think Xavier is the best team despite what happened last night, and seeds 2-12 can compete any day, any time, anywhere. UMass certainly fits in that mix.
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