Postgame Quotes vs. App State - Mar. 1, 2014

Game No. 31 | Chattanooga vs. Appalachian State | McKenzie Arena | March 1, 2014

Thoughts on the game:

“It was a good win. I thought we guarded well in the second half and played well. They did a good job on Casey, we challenged him at half time to go to the offensive glass; he did that in spades. He had six offensive rebounds in the second half so it’s a good team win. We talked about two things coming into the game; we wanted to honor Z Mason and send him out the right way, I think we certainly did that and he played his normal self with 24 and 13. And we wanted to go get the two seed. We accomplished both of those. We really haven’t talked about seeding much at all during the season. We talk about playing in four-minute stretches and then looking up after nine of them (36 minutes) to see where we are. We felt we played 15 one-game seasons, and we felt we should look up and see where we were. We had the opportunity to get the two seed and that’s the best we could do. We went after it and got it done. I’m proud of our guys, proud of the effort. We scrapped and clawed and played very hard, and I’m proud of them. Now we have a week off to get ready for next Saturday to get ready to go in Asheville.”

How many turkeys (3 straight defensive stops did you have in the second half?
Quite a few. I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but I know we got at least three or four. We did a nice job rebounding…they’re a physical team, a good rebounding team. We did a nice job. It’s one thing to miss, it’s another to rebound that miss and I thought our guys did a good job of cleaning up the misses and grabbing them with two hands.”

Talk about the defense:
One thing that helps us is they don’t shoot it great, so we were able to sag in and do some different things. We played our match-up tonight which was pretty good. We fouled too much, but other than that we played well, and we rebounded misses which is what you have to do.”

On Andrew Houts scoring tonight:
It’s good for him to score. We wanted to get him some points on the season and get him in the books. He works really hard in practice, does a good job preparing us on the scout team, so it’s nice to see him rewarded.”

About how the defense handled Tommy Spagnolo:
“We did a good job; the early jumper was a good shot. On the dunk he got a behind us in the press, we lost him behind us in the press. We didn’t do a good job early in the game of setting our defense, we had to get back and set our defense. We did a better job as the game went along of setting our defense. He was definitely a focal point for us coming into the game because he has been playing so well, and we knew without Jay Canty playing or Mike Neal playing, they were going to go to Spagnolo a lot and we wanted to make sure that we did a good job. They did a nice job of taking advantage of some mis-matches on him. We got some guys caught on him that we didn’t want caught on him, and they did a nice job of that and overall I think did a pretty good job. It’s a matter of putting a body on him and not letting him cut freely and have space.”

Thoughts on Z’s last game at McKenzie
He’s had a great season for us, hopefully he’ll be rewarded by the league. We will see how that goes.  He’s been tremendous. You hate to lose a good player, a good ambassador for the university. He just laid it on the line and has done a really nice job for our team this season. I’m proud of Z. He’s worked really hard this season, he worked really hard and he deserves everything that he gets and he was extremely active tonight and really good. You always want to send your seniors out on a high note.”

How much fun was tonight for you getting the standing ovation and watching other guys get points?
It was good. The support we have from our fans and our students is great. Watching guys finish the game off is most exciting and use winning. It makes it fun cheering guys who don’t get to play much. Watching guys like Alex and Andrew is just the cherry on top of a win.”

How surprising is the season that the Mocs have had?
Considering that we were picked seventh, I guess for a lot of people it was very surprising. We knew when we put the work in, we would set ourselves up to be in this position. So it’s not a shock to us because we worked hard and got the two seed. It paid off.”

What sort of benefits come with getting the 2nd season?
Getting rest that first day is definitely good. It’s tough to win four games back-to-back makes it tough. It definitely feels good to get that bye something I haven’t had since I been here. It will help us a lot to get that rest.”

How would you describe the defense tonight?
“We were good. We were aggressive on defense. We held them to like four field goals in the second half I think. Gives us credit to being locked in to the details, paying attention to the scout before the game and being ready to play. It makes it fun being in an atmosphere like that and going out with a win.”

You held them to 14 points in the 2nd half… how much of that was getting offensive rebounds and keeping the ball out of their hands?
“It’s deflating for sure to a defense to give up offensive rebounds and continuing to give possessions. It helped us a lot and for our defense. We held them to one shot on defense and got the rebound and pushed into our transition offense. That’s something we were able to do and helped us get the W.”

How much fun was tonight especially in the second half with guys like Andrew and guys who don’t see a lot of minutes?
“It’s great, they are working just as hard as we are in practice, lifting and conditioning. Any time they are out there it’s just a great time. It’s just good to see them get acknowledgement for the hard work that they do.”

What was key to holding them to 14 points in the second half?
We knew that they are a good offensive rebounding team and if we limit them to one shot we got a good chance. I think we did a great job of that and contesting the shot then getting the rebound.”

Thoughts on your season this year coming off the surgery and how you think you did:
I think I did ok. I just wanted to be there with my team. I knew they were working hard this summer, and I wanted to work hard as well on my rehab and get back with them.”

How much fun was tonight at senior night and subbing Z out to that great ovation?
“That’s great. We came in together and any time you can win period, it’s a good night. Knowing it’s one of your brother’s last home game; you want to send him out in style.”

What were some highlights in your mind that stick out from the season?
All of Z’s blocks. Every block he has you know it’s a Z block. You can hear it and you can tell when it lands in the 15th row.”

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