College of Charleston at Chattanooga
Chattanooga, Tenn. - McKenzie Arena
Jan. 15, 2011
Chattanooga Head Coach John Shulman
On the game:
"I thought the atmosphere was very good. I appreciate the students and our fans coming out. You had the two so-called top teams, record wise, playing. To withstand the start that we had, I was very enthused at the half. That start was a joke. We had one day to prepare for the College of Charleston and they dissected us like it was dummy offense out there. So to withstand that start, we showed great poise, composure and toughness. I think we won the game at that moment right there. Last year's team would have probably been down 22 points, and I am shocked I am sitting here talking about getting a win after how they shot the ball early. I am really proud of our kids. I would have been really been proud of our kids had we got beat. Not as proud, but I would have been proud. I thought we stood their early borage of shots."
On what the team has accomplished to this point:
"We really, at this moment, haven't done anything, but I think that we wiped out the doubt that we were good or not. We've beaten some teams, and we've beat them close and tight. We hadn't played Furman, Wofford or Charleston, but we wiped away doubt that we were good or not. I think we believe now that we're good, but we haven't done anything. Our backs are against the wall and we have a chip on our shoulder. As long as that's true, we have a chance to keep on getting better."
On Charleston's offensive showing:
"Every time I think of Charleston, I think of being in Charlotte, N.C., and them making every shot. Well it happened again. They are unbelievable offensively. Everybody watched Charleston beat Tennessee like that. They're impossible to guard when that shoot it like that, but most people are down either 18 or 20 points, and we hung in there. I thought DeAntre Jefferson was a huge factor in the first half, and Omar Wattad continues to drive me crazy and be Omar."
On containing Charleston's offense:
"I told the team that we had to keep Charleston under 69 points. If we keep them under 69 points, we have a chance to win, but the whole time I was sitting there, my fingers and toes were crossed saying, ‘We can't keep them under 69 points.' The only way we could have kept them under 69 points would have been to walk the ball up the court and hold it. Our kids don't want to play like that, though, and I don't want to play like that. If we have to play like that in a tournament, that's fine, but wasn't a tournament game. We knew good and well it was going to be very difficult to stop them. We had to make a couple of shots."
On Omar Wattad's continued improvement:
"I have really worked a lot with Omar Wattad on his shot. Omar is a good player, and he's a confident player. That's what I saw from Omar when I watched 88 Tennessee Travlers' games over the summer. I was just rooting against him, and he made every shot. That's why Georgetown signed him. I am not shocked. The only thing I am shocked about is how bad he is defensively. I am not shocked at him scoring the ball, I was expecting him to score the ball, but I am still not real thrilled with him defensively. I wish I were sitting up here with the Southern Conference's logos behind me and we were talking about selection Sunday, but that's not the case. We're excited and we're happy, but we have two huge games this week."
On appreciating the first half of the game:
"As a coach, I could not appreciate the first half. I could as a fan, but it wasn't a whole lot of fun as a coach because you can't get control of it. It was just out of control and it reminded me a little bit of the Tennessee game. Emotions were just so high and you've got good players out there just going crazy. I thought in the second half it all kind of slowed down, and it needed to slow down."
Junior Omar Wattad
On the back and forth play in the first half:
"It was crazy. Both teams just put on an offensive show. Everybody hitting tough shots. It was fun. They are an immensely talented team and well coached, but so are we. The first half was fun and it was a show."
On winning a shootout:
"We played every possession just like we always do. We tried to stop them and then tried to score. We scored a lot. They scored a lot. I guess it is not our MO to win shootouts, but it is our MO in winning the close games. We looked up at each other up three with three minutes left and said, ‘He this is what we do.' That is what I told the guys in the huddle and we did it again.
On shooting the ball well lately:
"I am just playing the way that I have always played. In my mind, I think that every shot is falling. I always have. When it is falling, it is falling. I have great teammates that find me and a great coaching staff. That is really what it is all about, Chattanooga beating Charleston today."
On coach wanting more from you defensively:
"He always tells me when he watched me at Georgetown that I was the defensive stopper. He is ready for me to be the defensive stopper. He is expecting a lot out of me defensively and I am going to keep doing my best for him."
On how big the win was after playing three games in five days:
"It is really big. When you have three games in five days, it is a blur and you come out 3-0 after that. You are happy. We are happy. We are 7-0 and 11 away from where we want to be."
Junior Ricky Taylor
On the next game:
"We have to go into Wofford with momentum. It was a great win tonight, but we are still not satisfied. Now we have to focus on Wofford and have to have a strategy to play Wofford. We just playing hard in the SoCon. We still have a hard task in our hands and the job not completed yet."
On the common themes in the huddles:
"It is just keep defending. Goudelock is a phenomenal player and he just told me and the rest of the team to do the best that we could. Just keep defending and rebounding. If we can defend and rebound, then we will have a chance to win the game."
On the win:
"This is a regular win to us because College of Charleston is not the only team in the SoCon. We still have Wofford to compete against and the other teams. This is a big win, but we still have to stay committed to the program and focus on what we have to do the rest of the season. We just have to remain thirsty and hungry for the rest of the season."
On fan support and quick start to the game:
"It was a lot of fun. We appreciate the fan for coming out. They are the best fans in the Southern Conference. I enjoyed myself. It was a close game. I believe that we love close games as long as we try to win. It was a great atmosphere tonight."
On why the team likes close games:
"I believe our intensity picks up defensively and offensively. We tend to think harder and it is just another fun time to play basketball when the game is close."
On the game:
"That was an entertaining basketball game. It was on TV and it says a lot about our conference. Chattanooga is for real. They're as good as anybody in the conference. With the tournament being here in Chattanooga, they're going to be a major force come tournament time. Omar Wattad has added a lot to their team. They have good perimeter play and good post play. It was a heck of a game. The first 10 minutes, we looked like the Boston Celtics. We couldn't miss a shot. I was hoping to continue for 40 minutes, but it was a great Southern Conference game and I am proud of our players. We kind of bent a little bit right before the half, but we came back the second half and actually took the lead by one point. John Shulman did a great back-door play. John is a great coach and he runs a very good system. It was a heck of a game, and I am very proud of our guys. We still have some things to learn, but we showed a lot of courage and a lot of guts. It was a great atmosphere and it was a tough SoCon game."
On the Mocs as a team:
"This conference has so many great players. There were a lot of good players on that court and Chattanooga got the best of us. They really did, but it was a great game and I am really proud of our team. Chattanooga made some really great shots. We went to the zone, and that helped us, but John Shulman is an excellent coach and it's good to see Chattanooga back and strong. Any team that comes in McKenzie Arena better be ready to play."