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Postgame Quotes - MBB vs. Western Carolina - Feb. 14, 2014

2013-14 Chattanooga Basketball
Postgame Quotes | Western Carolina at Chattanooga | February 14, 2014

Head Coach Will Wade
Thoughts on the game

“Good win, I’m really proud of our guys. That’s the best we’ve played since Elon. We played with an edge…played with a toughness. We lost it there in the last six minutes of the first half, but we recovered it in the second half and did a really nice job. It’s been a grueling week, tough week for our guys, physicality paid off.  I was really worried coming in because they’re a very physical team and our guys stood up to it for the most part, we got out toughed a little bit. It’s the first time we were able to do some work on the backboards in a while and we did a really nice job there. We did a really nice job sharing the ball and were strong on weak-side rebounding with our guards. For the most part our guards did a good job. Gee McGhee did a really nice job picking up 15 rebounds. Good team win, and I’m glad we’re back on track. Now we need to keep it going keep building momentum and keep playing well as we get ready for next Thursday.”

As physical as they were today, on both sides, is that what you credit the foul trouble for Ronrico and Z Mason?
Anytime there’s a physical game, there’s going to be a lot of fouls called. Both teams are going to get in some foul trouble, and obviously when we have Z in foul trouble we’re a different team. We don’t have a rim protector back there. There’s a lot of stuff that go into it. They scored on 13 of their last 15 possessions in the first half, either scored or got fouled, and a lot of that was because we didn’t have Z in there.” 

25 points from the foul line, is that a good goal?
That’s nice; you have to cash in at the free throw line. We did a pretty good job; we were 25 for 35, so we got there quite a bit. I think our guys did a good job attacking the paint, attacking the rim. They fouled a lot all year; I think 347 out of 351 in fouls per game coming in so that was part of our game plan coming in, try to attack and get to the foul line and force the action.”

What do you think it was that allowed Gee to play so well tonight?
He finished the defensive end with rebounds, he’s just at the right spot on that wing. That bottom wing, when they shoot a lot of shots from the left side, which they did, that bottom wings gets a lot of stuff that comes off long and loose. That led to his offense, any time a guard can chase down a long and loose rebound like that he can get out in transition and get going.”

What was working the second half stretch?
We made the decision at half time to get back in it. I thought we were better when we set our defense to presses. Helped us with the tempo but it had Lance at the top of our zone. We had some guys positioned in our zone in the first half that were able to exploit that. So that’s why we dropped back for the most part. We used our safer press, and then we dropped back and we tried to make them score against our set defense. We were better in that situation where guys were in their normal rotations.

Gee McGhee, Sophomore, Guard
Gee what sort of emphasis did you put on rebounding this week and how it was your job to do?
We had been talking about getting back to our edge and toughness. The whole team watched film, and the whole team missed a lot of block outs because we watch the ball too much. It was more focus on boxing out and securing the ball and just bring it back to our possession. “

Gee describe how it led to your offense:
If I get the rebound, I can push the ball because I am a guard. I can also see my teammates so I just did what I had to do.”

Gee what are some of the things y’all did tonight y’all haven’t done in a couple of weeks?
Boxed out, and we drove a lot. We just sat down and focused on the task at hand. We haven’t been sharp mentally as we were tonight.”

To respond after back to back losses on that toughness level, what does it feel to be the redeemer?
“It’s a great win. We just want to continue to be successful. We are just going to keep doing what we are doing in practice going hard, watching film, and focusing a lot mentally.”

Z. Mason, Senior, Forward
Z explain how you were able to respond to their run they had at the end of the first half coming back out to the 2nd?
We just focused in on the task at hand and buckled down and got stops. At the end of the half they ended up scoring like 10 of the last 12 possessions, so when we were able to stop them it helped get our transition offense going. It helped Gee and Casey get out and attack the rim.”

Z did you realize the rebounding night Gee was having?
I did. He had almost all the defensive rebounds. He has been the key for us he is hitting boards, assists, and scoring. He is just bringing a lot to the table to help us win. He is a big key for our success tonight.”

Z on a night where fouls keep you on the bench a lot longer than you’d like is it nice to see other players doing well?
Yes it did. It’s frustrating enough having to sit out because of foul trouble, but when you got guys like Gee and Casey attacking the rim and making big plays, it keeps us going and keeps us in the flow. It’s just something we need a boost and it’s a credit to them.”

Was this game won tonight or won during practice?
“I say it was won in practice. Coach Wade changed up our format, and we have been going a lot harder than we have been and it showed tonight. We were a lot more crisp than we have been. We were focused and locked in on the small things. We were locked in defensively, and it definitely helped the past few days in practice have helped.”

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