March 16, 2013
Box Score |
AP Photos |
Head Coach Donnie Tyndall
"First of all I want to congratulate Memphis. They have an outstanding team. Josh [Pastner] has done a fantastic job to go through conference play undefeated like he did. We need to tip our hats to them, they're an exceptional team and I think that they will make a serious run in the NCAA tournament. It was a hard
fought game. Our guys fought very, very hard, as did Memphis. We had our chances. Missed some critical free throws. But the bottom line is that it was a one or two-play game and they made one or two more plays than we did. We're heartbroken right now, and I don't want to become a lobbyist, but the bottom line is that that was a borderline Final Four type team we just lost to and we need to be in the NCAA tournament. We deserve to be in and I feel that if we get in we can win a game or two."
On the defense holding Memphis at bay during regulation...
"I mean no offense by this, I have talented players and great kids, but Memphis is more talented than us. And probably better coached than us. It is what it is, but we can't play a high possession game with them. We tried twice and they scored 89 on us twice, which had been a season high for them. We felt like we had to play a little more conservative, we felt like we had to be more "protect the paint" oriented even though we know how great of shooters they are, in particular, Chris Crawford. So we didn't press at all because we didn't want to give them any opportunities on the open floor and we packed our zone in much more today than we had most of the season. We hoped they would miss some shots and they did. But Crawford made a couple late that were just huge for them. That's what great players do and he is certainly great."
Head Coach Josh Pastner
"Southern Miss is an extremely good basketball team that deserves to be in the NCAA tournament. There are some power six conferences around us that Southern Miss could finish in the top three in. Secondly, that was a great win for our team. I kept telling our guys that this was the best thing that could happen to us. I could see that our guys were a little dejected after (Neil) Watson hit that shot to send it in to the first overtime. I got the guys in the huddle and told them how great this was for us. This overtime is going to help us for next week. We didn't have to play another five minutes. We got to play another five minutes. The guys perked up and went in to overtime much more positive. The guys hit some shots and made some really big plays. This is a player's game. We drew some stuff up to make shots. It doesn't work if we don't make shots, but we made the shots. All of the credit goes to the players because they are the ones that make plays."
On playing into overtime...
"We didn't shoot as well in regulation as I thought that we needed to. That is a credit to Southern Miss. They made some good adjustments while we were in our zone offense. Bottom line, Southern Miss is just a good team. Southern Miss would have beaten most of the teams in the country the day we beat Southern Miss at
On leaving Conference USA...
"I love the league. I love the people in the league. There is great leadership in this league. The league has been great for us, and we've been great for this league. There are a lot of very good teams in this league that don't get the recognition that they deserve. This is a very underappreciated league. This is a good basketball league. Experts will agree that this is a great league. We will definitely miss this league. The people involved with this league are great, and we will miss them."
On Southern Miss's points in the paint...
"We talked about it, and I told our guys that we had to eliminate the three point shot. I was okay with us giving up points in the paint, but we had to keep them from hitting threes. That was the game plan, but maybe not to that degree. I'm okay with it though. We did a good job guarding the three for the most part. This is a great three point shooting team."
On Chris's low scoring total in regulation...
"I was really rushing my shot at the beginning of the game. I just wasn't in a rhythm. I just kept shooting. My coaches had a lot of confidence in me and told me to just keeping shooting. I finally found a rhythm. Once a couple shots went in, I started to really grow confident, and it turned into a nice morning."
On the team's attitude going into overtime...
"We just wanted to stay together as a team and keep a positive attitude. We never really got down as a team. We always communicated and made big time plays. We have a lot of big time players on the team that can make big time shots."
On the team's attitude going into overtime...
"We understood that the game wasn't over. We've been in tough situations before. We just had to weather the storm. They were hitting shots, but we were hitting shots also. We were going back and forth. We knew after the first overtime that we had to put them away, because we couldn't keep going back and forth. We
picked it up on defense and kept getting shots, and we pulled away."
On winning the tournament...
"It is great for our seniors. It is great for our program. It is just great to leave the conference on this note. It is really hard to go undefeated in this conference. I am just really thankful that we've gotten the opportunity to play together."