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Postgame Quotes vs. Grand Canyon - Dec 29, 2013

Head Coach Will Wade
Thoughts on the game
“It is good to get back into the win column.  We’ve been getting better and we’ve been working hard.  Really since Northern Kentucky and it paid off for our guys.  I thought Lance Stokes was tremendous and gave us a ton of energy in the press.  He really helped change the game with that run we went on in the second half.  It was great having Ronrico White out there because he is so savvy, and there are a lot of nuances to the game that he gets that you just can’t teach.  He is really critical to have down the stretch.  I am proud of our guys.  We took some punches from their guys, went down by two at one point but didn’t panic.  We came back, held our gloves up and didn’t fall down for the count.  It’s a good win, but we have a quick turnaround and have to get ready for Maine.”

On Z. Mason’s play
“He had a big double-double.  Like I have been preaching, the rebounds are really where we missed him.  I think there were a couple of rebounds that he got that I don’t think anyone else on our team could have grabbed.  We did a really good job on the glass and we really good on the offensive glass.  We didn’t shoot it great, I think we shot under 40 percent, but we did a good job of pounding the glass.  We gave up a few too many offensive rebounds to them, but Z’s rebounding was tremendous.  He is great to have back out there.  We ran the first couple of plays for him and wanted to get him into the flow of the game very quickly.”

On going into the game against Maine
“We have to guard the three-point line and the dribble.  I saw parts of their game and thought a lot of their three’s were off penetration.  They have bigger, longer guards and they do a really good job of sharing the ball.  They changed their defenses up.  We are going to play against some zone so we have to be ready for that.  We have a quick turnaround but we’ve been preparing for them.  We are going to turn the page quickly in the morning and be ready to go.  We’ve done this once already this year with Morehead State and IUPUI, and that was a lot quicker because we played around Noon the next day.  We have experience with this and there are no excuses.  We should be fresh because we played a lot of guys tonight, plus Maine went into overtime.  We need to be a fresh team and play the advantage.”

On the defense’s stand
“Our guys did a good job of going man on the last possession.  We switched some stuff and they did a really good job of that.  We made an adjustment in the zone at half because they were making us run out of men and making us bump down to open squares.  Our guys did a good job of bumping down.  Rico helps us so much when he is out there and Lance is our best talker.  We are much better when he is out there and Eric Robertson has a really good understanding of the zone.  It helps us to adjust on the fly.  I think we did a good job of adjusting and that is a credit to our guys.”

Ronrico White, junior, guard

On the bench’s improvement
“We have been working hard in practice and it is good to see that carry over into the game.  When you see the rest of your team in a rhythm it really gets you going.  You have to credit the starting five for getting us off to a good start, and it is tremendous for us as bench players to come in and not let up.”

On being back on the floor with Z. Mason
“It feels good to be out there with Z.  It’s another overhead out there, and he is still playing like Z – grabbing boards and finishing.  It is great to have him back out there.”

On Chattanooga’s comeback
“That’s what Coach Wade has been preaching to us since the first day.  We have to keep our gloves up because basketball is a game of runs.  We knew they were going to make their run – they did – and we needed to respond – and we did it.  You have to credit Coach Wade for instilling that in us from day one.”

Z. Mason, senior, forward

On the bench’s role in the game
“The bench brought us energy, and that’s what we needed.  We were switching up our defenses and our presses, trying to throw Grand Canyon off, create some turnovers and change the flow of the game.  They brought a lot of help for us offensively and defensively.  They helped us by giving us that push that we needed when we stagnant on offense and defense.”

On getting out to a quick start
“Just attacking and being aggressive.  I just wanted to come out like I said and be aggressive.  Missing three weeks is something that’s tough to come back from but I wanted to hit the paint hard.  I was getting frustrated and down on myself but knew I had to keep pushing through.  I am glad we got the win, and that’s what was most important.”

Thoughts on Maine
“They can shoot the ball.  It’s a quick turnaround so we have to get on that scouting report and be ready to play tomorrow night. 

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