Postgame Quotes - Mocs vs. Elon - Feb. 9, 2012

Chattanooga Basketball Postgame Quotes
Elon at Chattanooga
The McKenzie Arena - Chattanooga, Tenn.
Thursday, February 9, 2012

Chattanooga Head Coach John Shulman
Opening statement
"It is nice to see our guys smile. It's nice to see our kids smile, and they've worked too hard and been through too much not to experience some success. When you've been where we are, it's hard to get out of it. We battled and battled and I thought Jahmal [Burroughs] got us out of it. He made hustle play after hustle play and he made a huge play on an offensive rebound that we probably didn't deserve. He got a huge play. It's nice, to tell you the truth, it's just nice to see our kids smile and all and enjoying and having a good feeling for a change."

"It's been exhausting, it's been rough. But adversity introduces you to yourself. Sometimes you like it sometimes you don't like it. But we've come back battling and I'm happy for them. Elon won three in a row and are first place in our league and I say that to our kids. I say they are in first place in our league and we're in last and they look at me like 'boy we blew it.' I told them that we haven't blown it. We're just starting again. There wasn't pandemonium in our locker room."

"They were happy, they were pleased. Hopefully we can build on this and keep on having some success. The shame of the matter is that we could have been having a lot of success. They missed a 12-footer. What if Davidson had missed a 12-footer, Georgia Southern had missed a 12-footer, [College of] Charleston had missed a 12-footer, Greensboro, Elon at their place? I'd be sitting her and we'd be different than we are. It is what it is and we're not looking back. We're looking forward."

On the play of the seniors in the second half
"I thought Omar [Wattad] carried us a little offensively, but I thought Jahmal gave us that spark we had to have. I thought he was...you figure out why you've been missing him. We haven't had Jahmal Burroughs, if ya'll haven't known. We still don't have Z Mason. I think we're a different basketball team when we have all of our players. We can't whine and cry about it. It is what it is. But I think Jahmal brought us something that we've been missing because he's been over there in street clothes. I was really happy for him. I'm just happy for our kids.

"Ricky [Taylor] made a big 3 in front of our bench, gave us some breathing room. Those seniors are supposed to. We talked about it earlier today. We had a very, very interesting meeting at 2 o'clock today. We talked about having regrets, not having regrets. We talked about being a little mad. I've been very positive and that's great, but sometime or another, you've got to get mad. If the guy in the cafeteria keeps taking your lunch money every day, you can't keep giving him your lunch money. You have to stand up sometime. I thought tonight we stood up to it. I thought we played mad and angry in the second half. Our kids played determined in the second half. That game could have gone either way so I'm not going to sit there and say we're the greatest. But all those losses, could have gone the other way too."

On the use of subs in the game
"We took Keegan [Bell], Omar and Drazen [Zlovaric] out at a certain time in the second half and those young kids gave us a spark. There ain't no doubt they gave us a spark so we've got to continue doing that and letting those other guys finish a game. Keegan played 34 minutes and that's probably the least he's played and it's February. Guys get worn out. I liked our minutes a lot actually.

On the use of different defenses
"I like having the biggest, baddest dudes on my team. Here's what we're going to do. We'll let you know before the game what we're going to do and now you're going to have to whip me. I'm not smart enough to be tricky. That's {former UTC head coach Jeff] Lebo. I'm not smart enough to be tricky, I'm a worker. When we don't have the biggest and baddest, well now we're going to have to be a little tricky. I got my notes right here: Change D's. What we're going to have to do until we get our biggest and baddest back, we're going to have to play a little zone, a little of this, a little of that and keep people off balance. We guarded ball screens like 3 or 4 different ways. We never doubled the post tonight and we played a 1-3-1, a 2-3, a ¾ court diamond, we played a half diamond, we played a bunch. Just trying to keep them off balance. They're really good offensively.

Elon Head Coach Matt Matheny
"Credit Chattanooga for the victory. They won the game. Our kids played with energy. Our kids played, particularly in the first half, with a confidence that is growing. We were in for a 40 minute battle and in the end Chattanooga won. It's a tough loss for us, as all losses, particularly conference losses, are. I still like the growth of our team and the maturation of our team. We have a long way to go but I'm encouraged by the direction that we are headed."

On the play of Jahmal Burroughs:
"Burroughs was a huge factor tonight. They've gone through some tough games recently but it's because they've been banged up. You get Burroughs back in the lineup and they're a different team. He was a huge factor tonight."

On Drazen Zlovaric's dunk to start the game:
"They played with an edge. It started on the first isolation play and he finished it. It was a huge start for them."

Senior Ricky Taylor
On how winning again feels:
"It feels good. What a relief. Now we have to start getting on a roll. I'm proud of this basketball team. We played with passion tonight and a lot of energy. We got the win and got the job done. I'm just really proud of the way we played tonight."

On playing angry:
"We definitely played angry tonight. First of all Drazen, you have to give him a lot of credit for setting the tone with the dunk he had on the first play of the game. Once he did that, I got going and Omar got going. We have to overcome our adversity and we did that well tonight. We just have to keep taking steps forward."

On the 9-0 run in the 2nd half:
"We gained some momentum there. We made some hustle plays and we rebounded the ball well. Everything started going our way. It definitely benefited us tonight."

Senior Omar Wattad
On the play of the seniors:

"The seniors stepped it up but I think everybody stepped it up. I don't think enough can be said about the way Jahmal played tonight. I really don't. So many loose balls he picked up and I don't think people realize the selfless plays he makes. When he gets an offensive rebound and people are collapsing, he pops it right now. When I made the pass to Ricky over my shoulder, Jahmal set the screen on his man and I knew he was going to do that as I skipped it. Stuff like that goes unnoticed in basketball. I can't say enough about the types of plays he made for us today. The seniors stepped up but everybody stepped up. It was a good game."

On what Coach Shulman's team meeting changed:
"The team meeting was good. Not anything that changed. I feel like communication is key on the court but I think at the end of the day you have to keep fighting. It takes a man to fight through adversity. When you're losing you can either feel sorry for yourself or you can get up, put your clothes on and go to work. That's what we did today."

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