Kevin Ollie, UConn Head Coach
“I thought we played an incredible first half. I thought we were sharing the ball, I think we had nine assists or ten assists, and then the second half our defense let us down. You have to finish games, even with a poor defense and the drive-bys and I mean blow-bys, we still had that game, a one-possession game. We gave up an offensive rebound on a free throw and then baseline we gave up a low pass for a layup. Those are the things that we have to correct and we have to do that in practice and then get ready to go to East Carolina. I am very disappointed in our defensive effort and we just have to get better. I thought we did a great job offensive rebounding. 15 offensive rebounds to six. They can’t go with their first ten shots out of eleven and six or seven three’s I believe it was something like that. I am going to stay positive, our guys are going to stay positive and go back and practice tomorrow.”
On shooting too many three’s:
“We settled for too many three’s. I believe they were in the penalty with eight minutes to go. We were going to be in the bonus. We were settling for three after three after three. That is toughness, you have to drive the basketball, you have to put some of it on the referees. I thought Jalen got a called foul on this last possession, but I guess Brent on the baseline and Ed out there didn’t think so.”
On the lack of defense down low:
“We went over that play probably about 16 times in practice and it is just the scouting report. When we said we were going to get to the paint, get to the elbow because we knew Jefferies was driving it down with his right hand… the only thing we can do is prepare our guys, but they have to follow the game plan in the heat of the moment.”
Frank Haith, Tulsa Head Coach
Obviously it was a great win for us. I thought our guys battled all night after being down at the half. I thought we improved our defense in the second half, we still didn’t do a good job keeping them off the glass. They did a great job of rebounding the ball. We got some help off the bench from [junior guard/forward] DaQuan [Jeffries] but just a really good, really big win for us and I’m proud of our guys.
On coming back after the half:
We were not aggressive enough. I thought we were really tentative in the first half, we needed more movement out of our offense. We were bailing out and we wanted to do a better job of rolling to have better movement and I thought that opened up some things with us. We allowed them to pressure us and we gave into a lot of the pressure early in the ball game, we were really tentative and we took some tough shots, we weren’t assertive or aggressive in our play. We talked about it at the half that we needed to be way more aggressive, we needed to get more paint touches. We finished with 24 in the paint, we like to try to get 30 in the paint. Obviously, you have to make shots and at the end of the day we’re not making shots.
On the defense:
In the first half, they made a lot of three’s. They came off the bench, [freshman forward] [Tyler] Polley made three three’s, [grad student guard] [Antwoine] Anderson made a couple three’s. We need to do a better job of locating our shooters. I thought our hands were down and we need to talk more in our zone. The biggest thing I thought is that we gave up some second shots too, we had to keep them off the glass but we did a much better job of that in the second half.
Christian Vital, UConn Guard
On the game and playing a good a second half but still losing:
"They [Tulsa] did a great job getting to the basket, giving themselves extra possessions and they shot the ball really well tonight. Contested, uncontested they did a really good job of making shots. That's what it comes down to in the game of basketball, who’s going to make more shots and who’s going to get more stops and they did both tonight that is why they were able to come out with the win."
Josh Carlton, UConn Forward
On tonight's focus:
"Coach put a focus on crashing the boards, making sure we got rebounds so that was a big focus on this game"
Tyler Polley, UConn Forward
On what prevented UConn from getting a win:
"The little plays, the missed box outs, the free throws and the layup we gave up. The little things cost us the game, but we did all the big things right which were good, we just have to focus on the little things in practice."
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