Postgame Press Conference: UMass 73 Holy Cross 59
Dec. 10, 2008
Coach Kellogg's general thoughts
Our guys played a complete game tonight. For 40 minutes they put pressure on Holy Cross. In the first half we didn't make a lot of shots and that was the first tie I had seen them run the 1-3-1 this season. We adjusted on the fly, Chris Lowe made some great plays in the second half. We forced tempo. Ricky Harris got going a little bit and made some shots and Tony Gaffney had 17 points, 11 rebounds, eight blocks, four steals. That is not a bad evening. What we received tonight was some lift from other guys. Our core guys of Anthony Gurley, Tony Gaffney, Chris Lowe, and Ricky Harris will give us great efforts most nights, but tonight Matt Glass stepped up in the second half. He had six points he was all over the court on the defensive end of the floor, he got some good rebounds and went in there and scrapped. I thought Tyrell Lynch had not a great amount of energy in the first half, but came out in the second half and gave us some great minutes off the bench. David Gibbs knows when he misses a ball. He is starting to realize and know what is expected of him. I think the team as whole is starting to realize exactly what is expected of them and how hard you have to play for 40 minutes. It is not easy to compete for 40 minutes, but that is how you want to do it.
Coach Kellogg on getting a win
I thought it was great for these kids. They have been working hard and carried a great attitude every single day. To be 1-6 sometimes, kids can go the other way but these kids have not. They looked me in the eye and they want to win, they just need to be shown how. I think us getting a win now validates some of the things we are trying to teach them. Playing Boston College to the wire, and I think the Toledo game was a turning point, where even though we didn't get the win, we realized how hard you have to play and how hard you have to compete for 40 minutes. I'm not sure if we knew how to win then. At the Boston College game, we were ready to win, but we just didn't get there. Tonight, what I was proud of was that when Holy Cross got a lead in the second half, we didn't go away. We stayed with it and pulled away with a W.
Chris Lowe on his play tonight
I've been slumping lately and I just got back to the basics, playing defense and getting my team involved. I was worried about too many things and I was too distracted the first couple of games. I just got back to myself and started being Chris Lowe, what made me a great point guard to begin with. I started playing defense and getting my teammates the ball. The other team was sagging in the paint, so I drove into the paint and got my teammates the ball for open jump shots. We have great shooters in Matt Glass, Ricky Harris, and Anthony Gurley, they knock down the shots.
Chris Lowe on defense
Coach has been preaching defense since he left Memphis and knew he was coming here. The first day he met us, the first day he started coaching, he knew we had great scorers, and that we could score the basketball, that wasn't the problem. The problem was that we needed to learn to defend for 35 seconds. We were only defending for 15 or 20 seconds.
We are a whole different team (when he plays well). When he is in his comfort zone, when he is making plays, when the floor is spread we put the ball in his hands and let him go. He is one of the top point guards in the country. He gets people involved and takes over the game and he showed that tonight.
Matt Glass on his new role
Obviously, we're missing a lot of big players. Tony is playing incredible, but we need a few other guys to step up. I need to keep eating my Wheaties and get in the weight room so that I can be able to bang down there until we get Luke Bonner back. I just need to step up and fill my role and be able to be physical down there. At the same time, I need to be able to knock down shots.
Tony Gaffney on the win
I guess you could say we got the monkey off our back. The biggest part of this run so far has been that the guys and the coaching staff have stuck together. We believe we are a good team. We know we are a good basketball team. When we get Luke back, we will be that much better. Everyone has bought into what the coaching staff is teaching us. Guys have stuck together through this tough time. Hopefully tonight is just another stepping stone in the right direction.
He has been phenomenal. Obviously, there have been people who have doubted this team, especially him. You guys don't see it, but everyday in practice he has been the best leader we have. He comes into practice smiling everyday, trying to get guys going. He knows this is a long season. He has been a changed man and I can't say enough about him. His enthusiasm through this whole time has been great.
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