Postgame Quotes vs Mercer

Chattanooga Head Coach John Shulman
Thoughts on the game
"Give Mercer credit. They are a good basketball team. They won 27 games last year and lost one player. So they have everybody returning, and we look like a young basketball team just trying to find itself. We played hard. We cut it to a 6-point game, and we're shooting like we're shooting and turning the ball over at silly times to a really good basketball team that just beat Florida State at Florida State. To tell you the truth, I don't know how we were down six. I would say our effort was very good. It's hard for me and I feel bad for the fans. All I am saying is that it's a process, and I want it, too. I am impatient, too. I know they have every right to be impatient, and I understand that. Our players are impatient, but we've played four straight really good teams. We're hanging in there, but playing just well enough to still be on the outside looking in. We just have to keep on working. I don't think being negative is a good thing right now. We just have to keep on busting it and working at it. Gee doesn't mean to miss three free throws in a row. That's just the place that we're in right now, but Mercer was up 37 on Furman earlier this year. They're a good basketball team. We just played a great basketball team, didn't do anything right and were only down by six points. I feel bad for our kids, fans and us, but we're battling. It's not fun, but it's a process. It is what it is."

Thoughts on the play of Alex Bran and Martynas Bareika
"Alex came in and gave us a great spark off the bench. Alex can really shoot the ball and he works his tail off in practice. I thought Martynas gave us a great spark. He had seven rebounds, played 24 minutes and played his tail-end off. We're going to get rewarded if we keep battling. I like our guys. I hate our record, but I love coaching this team. I like our kids because they are good kids. We have four freshmen out there logging a ton of minutes, now five with Alex Bran, and we have a lot that are inexperienced. We just have to hang in there and keep on battling. You never know what can happen."

Thoughts on Thoughts on filling holes on the floor
"I think Alex has earned himself some more playing time. He gave us a spark and he gives it his all every day in practice. I also thought Sam Watson played much better tonight, but you have to remember this. Mercer struggled a little early. Does anybody know why? Because Langston Hall was out. I am really hoping we are going to get back Dontay Hampton and Lance Stokes. Those are two great defenders, and Dontay is our best shooter. Like I said, we're not playing with a full deck. We're very young and inexperienced. We're going to keep on working and we're hoping for those two guys to get back. We're searching and we're working. Ronrico is playing a position right now that he's never played before, but the kids keep working."

Gee McGhee, guard, freshman
Thoughts on the game
"We came in with a different mindset on defense, and we executed our defensive stops. We had a couple of minor mishaps, but we'll clean it up. Alex Bran came off the bench and gave us a great spark and hopefully he continues to do that."

Thoughts on what needs corrected
"I have to do the little things. We have to talk, switch men and better our communication. I actually think we played a good game, but I don't think we finished it. We started well but we didn't finish."

On how he was able to get an open look at the basket
"I saw that they knew our plays, and it was hard because they kept yelling out our plays. I was just trying to think of something to do. I went to the bench afterwards and was talking to Dontay about them knowing our offense and asked him what I should do because I wanted to be on the floor. He just told me to tight-curl it and I'd find somebody open. I started doing that and they stopped following me so they could try to get through the screens. That's how I opened my shots."

Z. Mason, forward, junior
Thoughts on the game
"We just needed a spark. Alex Bran delivered for us and got us going. We were able to cut it down to single digits, but we just weren't able to top that. We just have to continue to fight. It hurts that we came up short in that situation."

What Alex Bran was able to do for the team
"He really got our team back into the game. He got the bench involved and really got us focused in. We were all frustrated because we weren't making shots, but he gave us the spark we needed when we were down. Hopefully he can continue to give us that push."

Thoughts on what needs corrected
"They were really playing us pretty tough. We have to cut out our simple mistakes because those have really been hurting us. If we can cut that out, we can put ourselves into some better positions."

Mercer Head Coach Bob Hoffman
On moving the ball and finding open looks
"We really have no single guy who is unbelievable. We have different players who have their own strengths. We try to move the ball and get the defense moving fast, and I thought that's what really helped us. If you stay on one side of the floor, their defense is outstanding. We did that a couple of times because their rotations are really good. When we started moving it and got some screens, it really helped us to get the extra pass and make shots. I should have probably run the clock near the end, but that is a credit to Chattanooga and their athleticism. We have to be better in those situations, and we've talked about it, but I am thankful we were able to finish and get it done on the road."

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