Men's Basketball

UMass Post Game Quotes vs. Rhode Island (A-10 1st Rd.)

March 14, 2014

Recap |  Box Score |  Notes

Derek Kellogg
Opening Statement: "We're excited to be able to continue to play here at the Barclays Center. I thought once again, Rhode Island played us tooth and nail all the way to the end, and I thought our guys made some big plays to come away with a victory on a night where obviously we didn't shoot the ball at a high clip, but we made free throws tonight.

I thought had we attacked the rim and I thought we got some contribution from a lot of different place. We are excited to take on the challenge versus the George Washington Colonials tomorrow.

Q. Chaz, you had a tough game early, what did it mean to you especially here to hit the three pointers?
Chaz Williams: My teammates just kept faith in me. They kept telling me to be aggressive. Whenever I would miss, they would tell me the next shot is going in. I was just playing with confidence down the stretch and I feel like I haven't done enough this game to help my team and I didn't want to let the guys down, so I feel like I needed to make a stance.

Q. What did that shot mean?
Derrick Gordon: It was big. It was definitely a crucial shot that he made. But we just didn't let up. He wanted it more and we went out there and got the job done.

Q. Chaz, who did you have here tonight watching?
Chaz Williams: I don't even know

Q. A bunch of family and friends?
Chaz Williams: A lot of family and friends here. I didn't deal with that this year. I let my mom and the family deal with it.

Q. I was going to ask you, you had a very visual reaction after the three point shot. Just if you wanted to make another comment on what was going through your head when it went through the net.
Chaz Williams: Just expressing myself. Throughout the whole game it's been tough for me. I haven't been making shots. I felt like I wasn't making shots so I wanted to take a defensive tone in the second half and guard Munford, and once I made a shot, I was just like, finally, thank you, and here we go, and I wasn't too long to miss too many. So I was just going to wait for one to go in.



Q. There was about a four minute stretch late in the second half where neither team scored a field goal but the intensity of the game was really picking up where the energy was starting to elevate?
Chaz Williams: We were just playing, we were trying to find a basket, trying to score. The way the game was going, we were making stops and making great contests on both sides of the ball. It was kind of tough but that was the kind of pace we wanted to play with and it was just like, one of our shots got to fall in sooner or later, because this is how we usually play.

Q. Can you talk about the spark that Maxie gave you guys?
Chaz Williams: Oh, man, four for six, seven rebounds, 15 points off the bench, that's great right there.
You know, he was the one that kept us going in the first half and early in the second half honestly with his energy and the way he came out to play, just wanted to let him be the only one out there doing it so everybody else just jumped on his shoulders and said, we're going to follow your lead.

Q. Why do you think your team succeeds with the same formula, sluggish and then you seem to turn it off?
COACH KELLOGG: That's not how I'm coaching. I do think that we were a little out of sorts in the first half. A lot of things weren't going our way. We kind of started like getting a little selfish, I should say, just one dribble, but these guys are older and they are more mature. We had a good halftime pow wow, if you want to call it that, and they came out and played hard in the second half and competed at a high level. It's really a testament to their makeup. We have good kids that all have their hearts and heads in the right place which is important in tournament play.

Q. I apologize if this has been asked already, maybe in the second half, especially the last ten minutes, was it a case of, you guys were going to have to win the game on defense and hopefully your offense was going to catch up?
Chaz Williams: Yeah, pretty much, 17 for 54 today, so not many shots was going in, and 3 for 15 from three, so no shots really was going in and the free throw line kind of saved us.
We just wanted to bear down on defense. We knew our shots wasn't falling, so we can't allow them to score and let them keep their lead going. We wanted to go out and make a defensive stand and we usually know that every time we play the defense that we are always capable of it, it will be easy for the offense.

Q. It's close to past 11:30 now but you have all your friends and family. Do you have any time to celebrate tonight?
Chaz Williams: No, there's no celebration. Getting ready for tomorrow. God willing, we celebrate on Sunday.

Q. You had a chance to sit a little bit at the beginning of the second half, is it just getting refocused?
COACH KELLOGG: Pressing a little bit; he's in Brooklyn, wants to be the best guy on the floor. Him and Munford were getting it into it a little bit, and so I thought getting him a blow, let him watch for a miknute or two would kind of refocus him, which I thought it did. I thought it was a good move; I guess I'm not supposed to say that about myself. But it worked out, put it that way, and he came back a little more focused. And I thought his defense was fantastic down the stretch.

Q. And the three pointer
COACH KELLOGG: No, I was waiting for that. He's made so many of those over his career. They kind of slipped, didn't step out on the three when he raised up and I basically knew it was in. I've seen that numerous times in his career and that was one more in the memory bank for me.

Q. With the way the game was trending in the second half, it seemed like everyone was growing frustrated with the inconsistency of the flow; but, that said, and the way that you guys played Rhode Island. Did that actually benefit your team just to kind of get the game to kind of be tossed in mud so to speak, and then you guys really seemed to capitalize?
COACH KELLOGG: Absolutely. I thought the first half had no flow, at least for how we want to play. In the second half, although it wasn't a beautiful game to watch, per se, because guys were missing shots, there were some back and forths and the floor opened up more, and I think we are a better team when there's some space to operate. Allows our guards and allows our hybrids to get to the rim and make plays.
Actually I like the when game looks ugly, because I think that's when it becomes a little bit of a street fight or a street game.

Q. It looked like they were extending on Trey quite a bit, what were you telling him with the two base client drives?
COACH KELLOGG: He did a great job. He's shifty. That play was set up to post Sampsan. They did a nice job of fronting him or kind of getting on his side, and Trey on that, when he went baseline really, he created for himself.
Again, like we talked about, he's a guy that needs a little space, and as the game moved, there was more space for him to operate. And there wasn't really any true post players for either team in the game at the time, so a lot of guards and wings playing.

Q. Did you do anything differently in the second half that held them to one field goal over the final 9:50?
COACH KELLOGG: We played like we guarded in the second half. At halftime I asked him how could a team shot 60 percent? This is crazy. This is not our identity. This is not who we are. So if you guys would like to continue to play, you'll go out and take it to them and if you'd like to go home, do what you did in the first half. It was kind of pretty simple but I thought we executed better and we rebounded better in the second half.

Q. As a follow up to that, how critical is Raphiael's length? He had that huge block which almost headed in a dunk in the other end, how important is he on what you do on the defensive side?
COACH KELLOGG: He may be one of the most om[prtant guys for us, because he can do things that a lot of other players on our team or even in the league can't do. He can guard on a wing but he can go into rebound and block shots. When our defense is really good, you'll see he's involved in a lot of plays, whether it's denying the wing or creating a block or doing things along that nature.
So, you know, like every college kid at times, they want to shoot the ball and score, but he's got much more focused this year on the little things that help you win.

Q. I don't want to short change anyone but the way that you guys play and St. Louis plays and VCU plays, is this a tournament of survival?
COACH KELLOGG: Yeah, it really is. The one thing I think the A10, we talk about this quite frequently, so many teams play different styles that you can go up against three or four different styles and you just survive.
For us, what can we really do to prepare for George Washington tomorrow? I mean, get rested, watch a couple tapes and give your guys a game plan. But it's kind of like now, let's throw it up and play and try to survive like you mentioned.

Q. Would you talk about the matchups against George Washington tomorrow night?
COACH KELLOGG: I'm not sure but I think Savage is back from what I've been reading does anybody know? But I really like the team and the job that the coach has done there. They have got really good guards that are solid and the big kid, Larsen is one of the most improved guys in the league and arm Wood is an older guy that basically they have a really good squad. Garino is one of the better slashers, defenders in the league; and McDonald and Creek, they go six really strong as good as anybody guys in the league with their seventh and eighth guys.
They are a really good NCAA Tournament team that has improved as the year has gone on and we'll have to be ready for their 1 3 1 and man to man defense. That's their staple and I thought we did a good job against it down there. But with not a ton of time to prepare, we'll see if our guys remember how we attacked it.
Thank you, appreciate it.

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