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Houston 62, UConn 46 Postgame Quotes

Dec. 28, 2016

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Houston Head Coach Kelvin Sampson

Opening Statement

Obviously Kevin's team missed Jalen Adams, he is one of the better point guards in our league. Playing a team that doesn't have a point guard it changes defenses, matchups, which is not easy, but I was really proud of our kids. I thought we were very organized and prepared. You know, we are coming off a loss that we didn't feel good about. So I knew we were going to bounce back and play well.

All the injuries that Kevin has had I feel bad for his team but when they get Jalen back, I watched the game against Auburn, and with him they are good enough to win a bunch of games in this league. It is really difficult to play without a point guard against a good team. With that said, I was really proud of our kids, felt we played with a high basketball IQ today.

On UConn's injuries

I think you go day-to-day; the way you get through that is your culture. Culture is important to run a program. Other schools have a good team here and there but if you have good culture it means that you have a good program and Connecticut has that. And has had that for a long time. This is one of those programs that coaches admire from a distance. I coached against Jim [Calhoun] for a lot of years and Kevin [Ollie] took over and they will be fine once those kids are back.

UConn Head Coach Kevin Ollie

Opening Statement

First half was a bad shooting half and we just couldn't make shots. Defensively, we cannot give up an 11-0 run, a 15-0 run. I felt like the defensive effort wasn't there. We have got to get back to the drawing board, keep people in front of us on defense. But that is the first game that I thought we didn't have the enthusiasm on the defensive end, effort and attention to detail wasn't there because there were way too many blow bys. We just need to get better, we cannot give up 52 % FG shooting, especially the way we have played defense this season.

Trying to get the ball down low

They were doubling every time we got the ball inside, so I think that is going to be the game plan. When they double, our bigs were turning the ball over and just not doing the things we needed to in those situations. They saw that we had an advantage there and they forced us to kick it back out to Rodney and try and make a play.

On Jalen Adams

He is still in evaluation, see how he is able to practice tomorrow. We will make the evaluation and go from there. I think he is almost symptom clear but he wasn't quite ready to go today.

Christian Vital

On lack of effort.

"I thought my teammates and I could have done a lot better today. On my end I got blown by a few times when I was recovering in that zone defense we play. I'm going to have to take that personal challenge and make sure I do a better job defending on Saturday against Tulsa."

On playing shorthanded without Jalen Adams.

"Obviously playing all 40 minutes is tough, it starts to wear down on you at the end of the game. Hopefully Jalen is back with us next game, I don't know his case right now but hopefully he gets better in these next few days and is able to play with us this weekend."

On lack of offense hurting defense.

"It shouldn't hurt our defense, I just don't think we were able to get stops. The last few games we held teams to 30-36% shooting and today they were up above 50%. That's a big reason why we lost today."