Texas A&M Men’s Basketball Head Coach Billy Kennedy
“I felt like we played hard but we let one get away Saturday. To turn the ball over in the second half and not handle that pressure was a big factor in us not getting the win. It wasn’t necessarily them getting a big shot at the last minute but not us not maintaining the lead and not having composure at the beginning of the second half.”
On Ray Turner:
“He hasn’t played well since league play started. We have to figure out a way to get him to play better, because we’re limited with what we have. The guys that play significant minutes for us, especially as seniors, have got to be good for us to give us a chance to beat anybody in our league. I really thought the other guys had a pretty good effort against an Alabama team in a good environment. We have to figure out a way to get him to play better because we need him.”
“They have one of the best post players in the league in Johnny O’Bryant. He’s an All-American sophomore. We’ve got to have good post play, defensively and offensively. We only had five offensive rebounds against Alabama. We’ve got to get second-chance opportunities. It’s going to be similar against LSU because their post guys are actually better than Alabama’s. They gamble defensively and offensively. They shoot a lot of threes and play up-tempo. They have a lot of guards but they will press you some. You look at our team and you see a junior college point/combo guard, a freshman point guard and another freshman playing major minutes; teams are going to come after them. We knew this was going to happen and now we need to weather the storm and prove that we can be consistent in our play. I expect LSU to pressure those guys and especially get after J’Mychal because they know he’s a freshman. He’s got to get stronger and he will do some really good things.”
On Alabama in the second half:
“They didn’t change anything. They were a little more physical and more aggressive since they were behind and like good teams do, they came back. Trevor Releford took the game over. He didn’t score in the first half but he scored 15 in the second half. He literally took the ball from us a couple of times. That can’t happen, especially on the road. It got the crowd back into the game and built some consistency. I was proud of our team for taking the lead, coming back and not breaking again. In those situations it is easy to fold and get beat by 15-20 on an opponent’s floor. I was impressed with our young guys finishing strong. They made a tough shot at the end of the game and I have to give them credit.”
On Elston Turner:
“I think the difference between the Florida and Alabama games is that he got some good looks against Alabama and just didn’t make them. He needs to make most of his shots but it comes with the territory of being a success of being the leader of our team. He’s going to have a lot of weight on his shoulders. He does a good job of staying balanced and guards the other team’s best offensive player. He does so much for us we just have to get more production from the guys. We missed a lot of open threes. The guys who get shots need to make shots every now and then. We need to make shots and that would help Elston a lot.”
On second year of coaching team:
“I think we’ve gotten better with establishing a style of play and having more definition about how we want to play. We have some moments of great effort and enthusiasm but we’re not where we need to be. Jared (Jahns) has done some tremendous things for us. When you have a situation where you have a walk-on that you didn’t anticipate playing at the beginning of the year is now playing 20-30 minutes a game, that’s a little bit different. You don’t want your program to have to rely on situations like that. He’s done a great job. We need to add some talent and some depth to our roster. I think that’s the only way we are going to get better.”
Texas A&M Women’s Basketball Head Coach Gary Blair
“We played very well. The last ten minutes of the first half were about Bone. We executed our offense to perfection. I think we hit eight out of ten shots and none of them were post hits. The only one we got in the paint was Pratcher’s runner. Our game is outside and inside. We’ve got some kids that can shoot the ball. If I’m not mistaken, we are second in the league in three-point percentage. We were five out of nine in the first half. We just don’t shoot them if we don’t need them. Our bench played well. We had nine people play and every single one of them did something well in that ballgame. It was just a good team effort when they go to shut something down. The question is did they shut Bone down or did Bone shut herself down? There were a couple of mystery calls but she’s got to learn that on that offensive foul people are going to plop on her and she has to get smarter. However, I was more concerned about the six turnovers than the fouls she got. That was one of the best road wins I’ve had in a long time. The kids were really up for the game. We played well. We took it right to them. I think we’ve opened up five straight games shooting over 50 percent in the first half.”
On win against Georgia:
“I think it felt great because Georgia is one of the top ten programs in the country in terms of women’s basketball. We played almost as well in the first half as what we did when we won the National Championship. In the National Championship game we played two great halves but the second half here we were just spotty. We got out-rebounded. We ran a couple of good transitions. Walker got a couple of good shots. Bone hit a few shots. Other than that, we just hung on trying to slow down the game and trying to get out of dodge with a “W.” That’s why I was holding back trying to run seconds off of the clock.”
On playing against former assistant Vic Schaefer:
“Vic is going to know every call that I make. The difference is that they knew every call Vince Lombardi was going to make and they still couldn’t stop it. It’s all about execution and hitting your second or third option off of it. Aqua, being a former point guard, is going to know everything that we are going to do. We’ll have a few things that he hasn’t seen before but I’m sure he’ll have some things we haven’t seen before either. He’s not running my offense. He is running Vic’s offense. We are going to have to prepare for Mississippi State like we’ve never seen this offense before.”
On growth of team:
“I was going to look like a fool if we had not started getting some top-25 wins after that opening schedule like we had. Nobody opens a schedule like that. We felt like we were one to two years removed from defending the national title. We felt like to get these quality games and get home-and-homes, we needed to play them. After it was all over, we felt that we should have won against Penn State and Louisville but we didn’t because we were not mature enough to handle in-the-game situations at the time. We just got embarrassed with Connecticut. That happens when you play Final Four teams. We’re growing. We’re learning. We are getting better. This has been a fun team to coach because you never know what is going to happen. We just did a great job executing in practice. I believe in all of my kids. The hardest thing about coaching is being able to get all of your kids in the game and it’s never going to happen, particularly in the SEC or the Big 12. When they play that hard in practice it really makes you feel good that those are the players playing 10-14 that we getting the job done for us.”
On Kelsey Bone:
“Bone’s got to be smarter. What happened was that Bone looked like last year’s Bone. Bone is smarter and she knows it. How many times are you going to have a kid going into foul trouble? But did you see the TV cameras on her? She was one of the first that was up there cheering. That shows a lot of a kid to realize that she was there to encourage the others instead of sulking about the fouls or not getting to play those minutes. She’s grown up. She’s matured. But she was 10 and 8 with just a few touches. Just think about what she could have done. She’s getting better and better and people across the country are starting to really notice. I think she’s having a great year but she’s carrying her teammates around. She’s making the extra passes and encouraging. By far, she is the best leader on this team.”
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