Postgame Quotes vs. UNCG - Jan. 25, 2014

Head Coach Will Wade
Opening Statement
“Before I talk about basketball I want to congratulate Coach Foster on his 800th. It was great to be a part of that and see that and see the video tribute after the game. Also I want to thank the fans. They were awesome. The sides were full and some of the upper deck. It was just a tremendous environment for college basketball. We are very appreciative of the fans and student turnout. Basketball-wise, I thought we played pretty well in the first half. In the beginning of the second half we got out-toughed and they just drove it at all on us. But we were able to turn the tide down the stretch. I was pretty proud of Marty. We gave him a break and subbed him back in, and he hit a big three. It was a good play call for him. I thought Lance Stokes was phenomenal today. He had seven points and eight rebounds. Nobody will want to talk to him but he was the player of the game. He was the best. He was energetic, he was all over the court and he got rebounds. He did a great job switching defensively. It was his best game. He was an unsung hero. He did a really great job. I thought Gee played good defense. He squared up Saddler and made him shoot over us. Casey Jones played well. He was really attacking and getting in the paint. Z Mason got into foul trouble early but played great in making up for it late by hitting some shots. He made plays when we needed to. It was a good blue collar win.”

Thoughts on Lance Stokes once Z Mason got his second foul
“He made some great finishes. He went to the offensive glass even when they were grabbing him and holding him. He did a great job defensively on Locke and Cain. He was communicating and just the key ingredient in our switches and stuff. He was tremendous. Best game he has played.”

On staying calm when UNCG went on its 12-1 run
“I think it helped a lot. Our guys believe they are going to win. They have put in the work. A lot of the credit for this win goes to Coach Golden, our strength coach. We are winning the end of these back-to-back. We are pretty good in these under-eight-minute points in the game. We shorten the guys who played in the second half. We basically played seven guys and they were fresh. They had their legs and that’s a credit to Coach Golden. We believe in ourselves and we believe we are going to counter punch.”

At what point in the season the team found its confidence
“I think the win at Furman is what did it. When we got some stops at Furman down the stretch. That was when we really figured out we can find multiple ways to win games. We followed that up with an escape job at the Citadel. We were down six with under four and came back. The Citadel game confirmed it. I think our guys thought then that this thing works.”

On continuing to be the hunter rather than the hunted
“I am trying to keep the mind set on our guys as the hunters instead of the hunted. I think it’s naturally on the outside because people are thinking we are going to be the hunted, but I am doing everything I can to keep an underdog, blue collar workman-like attitude about what we do. It will not be as hard Thursday. We will be the underdog Thursday. They are the kingpin of the league and been that way for years. We are going on the road in a very tough environment. We have to remember we were picked seventh in the beginning. People might be slapping you on the back now but nobody thought that a month ago. We were left for dead and our guys remember that. We haven’t had a lot of success and our guys don’t want to go back to how it was. They aren’t overjoyed with what we have done. We just got to keep progressing.”

UNCG Head Coach Wes Miller
Thoughts on the game
“First off, you have to give an unbelievable amount of credit to Will and his team.  That’s a club that we played against three times last year and I’ve always thought was really gifted.  Obviously we had some success. Those guys they are playing so unbelievably well.  It’s evident on film and evident tonight during the game.  They’re playing with unbelievable confidence, aggressiveness, toughness and I think Will Wade deserves a lot of credit for that.  He is a guy that I consider a friend. I’m really happy for him and happy for the success that he’s having.  I’m proud of my kids. I thought we came into a tough environment against a really good basketball team and competed.  I am not happy with the outcome, but so goes it sometimes. I think that if we can play together as a team like that and stay the course throughout a game whether we have ups and downs, that we can have more success than we’ve been having.  But we have to have that kind of consistent mentality, and I did feel good about that tonight even though I didn’t like the result.”

On how Chattanooga pulled away near the end
“I thought it was more in the last four or five minutes.  I thought they really made the plays and we didn’t.  I thought we panicked a little bit, to be honest with you, down the stretch.  We got a little quick with our shots selection. We have to have a little more patience, take our time to get a great shot under three minutes to get it from seven to five. Now it’s a two possession game.  Get a stop and get it from five to three where I think we panicked a little bit. You saw a couple of turnovers and a couple of quick shots, and that allowed them to pull away. Give Chattanooga and Will’s team a lot of credit.  They made plays. They’re playing with a lot of confidence and they were just a little better than us tonight.”

Lance Stokes, forward, junior
On how the team celebrates 10 wins in a row
“By being consistent and staying smart.  Doing what got us the 10 in a row.  Coach has been preaching consistency so it’s just what we’re going to do stick to the formula.”

Thoughts on the physicality of the game down the stretch
“Give it to Casey.  At the end of the game they were covering everything up.  They did a good job of covering up Z, taking away a lot of his normal shots, and a lot of it was just Casey making his way to the rim and getting buckets for us when we didn’t have many other places to go.”

I seen you get in there and mess with them
“We did a lot of work this summer that toughened us up.  I’m a tough dude so I just try to get in there whenever I could and just finish.  That’s what I do best.  I’m not a jump shooter or anything like. I just try and get to the rim and it’s just real simple for me.”

Casey Jones, sophomore, guard
On the endurance of the team
“Coach always says stay together. We worked hard in the summer. All the coaches said we worked hard in the summer. Coach Golden pushed us hard in the summer and just because we were losing didn’t mean we weren’t going to play as hard as we could.  All that work in the summer other people don’t see, but all our work in the summer is showing.  We just want to keep it going regardless of win or lose. We’re going to play as hard as we could because we remember the summer.  It was hard for us, and that’s what got us here. Like Coach said in the locker room, it wasn’t won tonight. It was won in June, July, and August.”

On the physicality of the game
“Their two guys on the inside are as strong as anyone in the league. They’re really physical. They go to the glass hard and they post you up really hard. I mean, they’re just two tough abd strong dudes.  So we knew it was going to be a physical grind-out game, and we prepared for it well and had a good game plan going in.  We just had to execute.”

 

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