Feb. 18, 2008
Travis Ford on week's performance
I probably can't repeat what I told our players in the locker room after the Fordham game. I was very disappointed with our play. It was a disappointing effort for some of our better players. I pulled out the film after I expressed my thoughts. After showing it to our players, the film doesn't lie when you sit there and watch it. I challenged our guys yesterday against Saint Louis. I told them, I don't care whether we win or lose, leaving the Mullins Center, people better be saying how hard you played. You better have played with a lot of energy and intensity. It is amazing that when you do that, good things happen to you. That is what happened yesterday. Our guys responded. We had not been playing the type of basketball that we want to play. We haven't been passing the basketball the way we are capable of passing the basketball. Yesterday, we got back to doing some of those things. We had a high number of assists and we were very unselfish. We did not have one or two guys trying to do it all by themselves. We got back to playing a little bit of defense and playing with some intensity.
Coach Ford on Chris Lowe's number of assists
Coach Ford on mid-season talk
That is what your point guard is supposed to do, especially in the style of basketball that we play, where there are a lot of possessions. I challenged him. I have not been happy with Chris Lowe and the way he has been playing. I expect a lot out of my point guards, so I was probably a little unfair. But yesterday was more like it, with 13 assists and two turnovers, while scoring 13 points. He averages 36 minutes a game. Yesterday, he played great defense and I think that is the most important part. I thought he had gotten away from that. A guy of his stature and body-build, he should just be a relentless defender. He had gotten away from that, but yesterday, he did a great job of defending.
I don't know if I was surprised, but disappointed, at the fact that I had to have a talk with my guys at this point in the season. This is not the time of year you should have to be motivating your team to play harder, but that is the nature of the game. That is the challenge of any coach--to get the consistency level effort-wise that you want night in and night out. Especially in this league, where it is so difficult every night, and a lot of times we are playing a Thursday game and then a Sunday game, which is a quick turnaround. But the guys responded yesterday, which was good to see.
Coach Ford on Rhode Island
I think Rhode Island is one of the better teams, definitely in the Atlantic 10, but also in the country. I think they have tremendous talent. They have a group of guys who have played together for a long period of time. They are right there to get an at-large bid into the NCAA tournament, so you know they are going to be playing inspired basketball. They are a really good basketball team that plays very, very well at home. But it always seems to be a good battle when UMass and Rhode Island get together.
Coach Ford on Will Daniels
He is a very versatile player, a great player. He is someone who is always giving us problems. He can shoot threes, he can post up, or he can take you one-on-one. He plays at the three spot at 6'8'' and creates a lot of problems for a lot of teams. We are impressed this year. I think he has shown a lot of leadership on his basketball team. What I've also been impressed with is that he is not forcing things. He lets the game come to him and stays within their offense to get his points.