Post Game Quotes

March 14, 2014

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Head Coach Donnie Tyndall
Opening Statement...
"First of all I want to start by saying this, how much respect I have for Coach Floyd and their program, that team is as tough and as physical as any team we've played all year long, their extremely well coached. The environment tonight, give the UTEP fans a ton of credit because, we've played at Louisville, we've played at North Dakota State, and we haven't played at a tougher environment than this one tonight. With all that being said I think my guys showed a ton of resiliency when things didn't go our way, we drove the ball we had key timely rebounds, we didn't settle for jump shots for the most parts, except one time (Mike Craig), but for the most part we got the ball to the paint and we made plays at the rim which is so important against a quality team."

On playing against UTEP, and whether the environment played an impact...
"The crowd was amazing and first of all you're playing against a really talented well coached team and when your playing against the crowd, again give the fans credit. We've played in some tough environments all year, which by the way I feel helped prepare us for tonight, but with that being said I think I have 13 really tough kids in our locker room that found a way to make a play or two when things weren't going their way. Great environment, I hope the UTEP fans will come back and support us."

On Michael Craig's performance and sitting out early and how he is mentally after his injury...
"Well you can tell when he was fresh he was arguably the best player on the floor, his conditioning probably still not where it was before the ankle injury, with that being said Mike was an all conference player when he's fresh and healthy. He made a lot of good things happen, he's a very good rebounder, he kept balls alive on second and third shot opportunities. He scored some balls around the rim, he's a good pass where he kicked it out for timely three's to our primitive players. As good as Bingaya has been the past three weeks, he is still a freshman trying to find his way in his first conference tournament game and I thought that Mike played like a fifth year senior does with toughness and composure."

On Southern Miss winning it's first game at the Conference team's home surface...
"I just don't want it to be the only game we win, were already going to start focusing on tomorrow, no matter who we play we know it will be a great opponent. In my two years at Southern Miss I have had a lot of really good players that have done a lot of first over the last two years, I'm not surprised with this being our first win, obviously it was a hard fought game and a very difficult challenging game to win. I've got tough kids we get things accomplished."

On team making clutch shots against UTEP...
"That's our team, you probably haven't seen us play very much this season, but we did the same thing at North Dakota State earlier in the year. Really about the only game we haven't played is that one week at UAB, credit to those teams they had a lot to do with that, and the one game at Louisville. Other than that I think this is our 13th win on the road, our 10th true road game, which is top-15th in America in both categories, so that's what our team does. They don't get sped up, they have great composure and toughness and we have an upperclassmen team and that's what you would expect them to do."

Aaron Brown
How does your game approach change when playing on the road, and how the fans affect yourperformance... "Just definitely being on the road it starts in practice, the way coach prepares us, we work and grind everyday in practice. He prepares us for opportunities like the last four minutes, and just winning segment by segment. We have a few fans out there that travel with us, so it probably feels like a home game to us because we have a lot of people with us too."

Michael Craig
How does your game approach change when playing on the road, and how the fans affect their performance... "Yes coach does a very good job at preparing us and teaching us how to execute, as a team we execute really well."

On his ankle injury earlier in the season and being able to play...
"It shows hard work pays off, I never quit you know, I kept grinding, I never gave up."

Head Coach Tim Floyd
Opening Statement...
"The first couple of possessions, they went right to the block on us and we were able to finish down low. The first time they missed they would secure it, give it back and go knock one down. Biggest story of the night was the offensive rebound, we had seven with 36 shots and secure 20 back. They were able to get the ball to the block and go finish and score and they were able to get the ball off the offensive board. The inability to go play on the open floor, because we were taking the ball out of the net all night long and couldn't get the ball off the defensive glass. The offensive numbers registered well, they were three for 18 from the three-point line. The biggest difference of the game was the glass, They did a very fine job. They are a very physical team. Very aggressive and they play well together. I thought they drove the ball much better than we did tonight. We just didn't do a good enough job as they did tonight."

On his standpoint of potentially playing last game of the season...
"I'm not going to view it as a season ending game. I'm sure we will play seven-on-seven at some point. I am proud of our guys and their effort. We have had a couple of seasons, we had the early season, the season from December and the post-season even if it didn't end the way that we wanted it to end. I'm proud of the way we hung together and proud of how we formed some kind of an identity and how we made a dent in the second half. I'm proud of all these kids and I think they did a fabulous job. Like anything else, you want to continue to play but we will have the season wrap up story when we finish playing I don't know when that will be."

Can you talk about the second half. Any time you guys would block, it seemed that Southern Miss had a response...
"It's all kind of a blur but I remember long three Brookes comes off in a two-point game and they secure it. I remember a corner three like clock, they miss they go back they rebound it, they live to fight another day and there is a day where it becomes disheartening. The start of the second half we had two rebound finishes, they got the ball off the board. We had two non-finishes at the rim they got the ball off the board; Brown took it right to the rim. We call timeout, we get a guy back out, they have a volley where they go back and they hit us. We tried to send a message that this game is about rebounding to get guys out to get them back in. We took a one-point lead, but just didn't finish the game. We definitely wanted to be a team of shooting. We played against a team that just guarded us a little better."

On the disappointment of the loss at home, after playing so well late in the season...
"No one likes loosing, we have a great basketball team. We have a tremendous basketball community, who has seen great basketball. We wanted to try and okay four days, I'm not anymore disappointed than our players are, I know they wanted to play as well. We just happened to play against a team that had multiple ball handlers, who were able to create plays who just did a great job."

Cedrick Lang
Talk about the identity and the chemistry that you guys built out there on the court and how you carry that to next season...
"All the guys are really close, we fight every night with each other out there on the court together and as a family. We are just going to keep working this offseason. It's really a horrible thing, that it could be over but hopefully we can go play somewhere. We are going to come together and get better in this off-season and keep working."

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