Postgame Quotes vs. Wofford - Jan. 11, 2014

Head Coach Will Wade
Thoughts on the game
“I am excited to get the win.  I thought we played really well for a vast majority of the second half.  We got a little loose in the last three minutes of the game.  They did a very good job of attacking us and taking us off the bounce.  There are some things we have to clean up late-game, but I am just proud of our guys.  Wofford is a tough team and I thought we matched them in toughness and physicality. That is hard to do against them.  I am proud of our guys answering the call.  I am happy with the win.  It is much better to teach after you win.  We are going to take a couple of days off, get some much needed rest and get back at it at the first of the week.”

On the team’s toughness
“That is our fourth game in seven days, and I haven’t talked about that because I didn’t want to make any excuses for our guys.  That’s a tough spot the conference puts you in, and that’s really hard to do, and it’s hard to gut on out like that with your fourth game in seven days.  Our guys found a way.  It wasn’t pretty – it never is with us – and it’s not going to be this year.  It’s who we are and we are developing a good identity and good mentality with that.  I am really happy for our guys to respond that way.  We had a long road trip to start the week, and to play with that amount of energy, physicality and toughness on your fourth game in a week says a lot about our guys and our progress.”

Thoughts on rebounding
“We gave up too many rebounds on their end, but I thought we did a good job of going to the glass.  There were a couple we could have gotten that we got our hands on.  That’s a product of our effort.  Our guys go every time.  It’s something we’re held accountable for and they do that to their credit.  That’s part of it and part of our identity.”

On playing against Wofford’s league-leading defense
“We only shot eight threes tonight.  When you play against a pack-line team like that – a team that gaps it up defensively like that – by nature they want you to sit out there and shoot a lot of threes.  We took good threes for the most part. We were two-of-eight, or whatever we were, 25 percent, but we attacked the paint.  It’s tough finishing in there.  You have to be a tough finisher.  There wasn’t one that was an easy layup.  They have a body coming every time and they are very good at what they do defensively.  They are extremely physical with what they do defensively, but our guys finished through contact and got some and-ones.”

Thoughts on Casey Jones
“He is great.  He gets in the paint and he is tough.  One thing that can really help him is that he can explode.  When those guys come in to square him up, he can explode over them and get a shot off.  He has great lift, athleticism and bounce.  He can explode up there and get a shot off.  I think two critical parts to the game was where both Casey and Rico hit shots on the eighth and ninth fouls.  They both hit the one-and-ones.  I thought that was critical to keeping out lead at where it was and keeping them at bay for a while.”

On Greg Pryor’s performance
“Pryor was really good.  I told the team afterwards – I actually met with Pryor yesterday because I thought he was down.  I tried to simplify everything for him.  He was trying to do too much and so hard that everything was going wrong.  He was great tonight, and not just on the charge.  The pace of our offense was really good when he was in.  He was driving it in there, and he did a good job of covering the over-under on defense.  He had a much better presence about him.  I think he took a big step forward tonight.  Obviously we trust him.  We had him out there at the end of the game.  He put his body on the line and took a big charge for the team.  I am really proud of him and how he responded.  He had been in a little bit of a lull and hopefully this will jumpstart him and get him going.”



Wofford Head Coach Mike Young

Thoughts on the game
“Hats off to the Mocs.  That was a good college basketball game between two pretty good teams going at it and two teams getting better.  I have been at Wofford for 25 years.  I like to think that if I went anywhere else I’d like to walk in with a Rico White, Z Mason and a Casey Jones.  Those three kids were really good for Chattanooga. At the end of the day that was a good college basketball game and they got the better of us tonight.”

On the last five minutes of the game
“I wouldn’t do anything different.  Of course Wofford people said it was a block, but I never saw it. But you know Gee, who is a really good player, misses both free throws and we got Skinner matched up on Mason - who didn’t touch it.  We tried to go to Garcia and tried to get it to Cochran - who has a head of steam - who runs right by Z. Mason is not going to foul.  I saw some contact up top from 24 but I never saw the kid who came out of there with a charge.  I wouldn’t change any of that.”

Feelings on Casey Jones’ play
“Just a tough-nose guy who is not going to accept a box out and will fight for 23 points. That is tough to see in the analysis, but watching him on tape, I thought he was good. He is just a tough, long-armed guy who will fight.  I like those guys.  He is a year older.  He has a new start and he has great gifts in running, jumping and improving well for Will Wade.  He is a great player.”

 

Casey Jones, sophomore, guard
On the difference between the first and second half

“I just think Greg and Rico did better in the second half of getting me out quick.  Coach emphasized in the locker room we have to get possessions and handle the ball well in the first, but in the second get the pace going and get it out quick to start play.”

Thoughts on the team’s momentum
“This is only my second year here and even in high school I was losing, so it feels good.  I am ecstatic.”

On seeing Greg Pryor take the charge at the end of the game
“I couldn’t control myself. Greg’s play was a huge play and the best play I’ve seen since I’ve been in Chattanooga.  It was a huge play.”


Z Mason, senior, forward
On gaining momentum in the second half

“It was a low scoring first half.  So in the second, Coach Wade really wanted us to pick it up and push the pace.  Especially for guys like Casey and Gee to get it going and start driving and attacking the rim early in order for us to get easy buckets and fouls in the transition.

Thoughts on Wofford’s toughness
“They were very physical.  It was a tight game and we knew they would play us tough.  They are a well-coached team and we knew there would be bodies on bodies all night.  Give credit to them.  They played hard as a group and a unit.”

On playing four games in a week
“I am happy to get some time off.  Going into this game I prepared extra in the fact of getting my body back and getting recovered from the Thursday game.  It was a quick turnaround so it feels good to get these wins.  Trainer Todd Bullard and Coach Greg Goldin do a great job with recovery and getting our bodies back for turnaround games.”

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