Coach Neal Post Game Quotes
New Mexico vs Nevada
February 15, 2014
"It is good to be 10-2. I thought our guys did an excellent job bouncing back from a tough loss. Not a heartbreaking loss, but not one that our guys like losing. I want to win them all too, but I understand you can't. I thought my big guys were as dominant as I've ever seen them. Twenty-four and 29 points, 12-of-12 from the line, they're pretty dang good. Kendall didn't really get in the flow because the bigs were just dominating, but that's just part of it. We're happy we got 24 bench points, but not happy that we allowed nine three-pointers in the second half. All in all, anytime your team as 27 assists and eight turnovers you have to be happy. Anytime your team is 19-for-21 from the line you have to be happy. Anytime my team shoots 40 percent from the three, I'm pretty happy. We need to get some rest. If we can play like we did in the first half of Boise and how we did in the first half tonight, well that's the team I've envisioned."
Was there something that you guys did differently that maybe allowed Kirk and Bairstow to do so well tonight?
"I just thought they've played well. Alex Kirk is a local kid and he's very coachable. I talked to him about getting his body on people instead of using his arms. He did a great job tonight. They didn't trap us tonight so we were able to do pretty much whatever we wanted in the paint."
Defensively, you guys did really well in the first half. What was different between the first and second half?
"We played a lot more zone in the first half. I have to give their team a lot of credit. Burton is one of the best players in the league. What you can't do with their team is let them get out in transition. In the second half, we let them get out in transition and we missed some early shots. It allowed Burton to get going. He got to the line and got to the rim."
On having Tony Snell back
"It's just good for our guys. He got to address the team yesterday and spend the day with them. It is uplifting for our guys because he's family and means a lot to our program. What he did here as a player and how well he is doing in the pros, it just gives our guys some hope that it can be done."
On Deonte Burton only getting one point in the first half
"I just think we were scoring at a high clip and they couldn't get in transition."
Junior C Alex Kirk
On his and Cam's dynamic:
"I think they kind of pressured the guards more, it felt like they kind of pressured them more and it wasn't like they had that weak side clogging up the middle. When that weak side is in there you can't really throw those high-low passes. And I think we both got at least two to each other. A turn-around jump hook or a turn-around foul, that's tough stuff."
On trapping compared to Boise:
"Boise's trap was weird, we just kept kind of trying to force it down to Cam a lot in the second half of Boise. They didn't really trap me I wasn't really in the opportunity down there but it was a weird trap where they really wanted you to throw that long pass and that's a tough pass. The coaches can say to throw that pass but it’s a tough pass to throw to that corner where Cam was."
On after Wednesday's loss and coming out with more determination:
"I think we had the same start at Boise, we didn't have the same lead, we didn't score the same amount of points in the first half, but I think we came out and we played at Boise and gave them the first punch and they creeped back in it towards the end of the half. But I think we kind of thought in the second half that we were settled with this. It's just something we have to keep working on, having better second halves."
On his three-pointer tonight:
"That was definitely big. I think half the crowd said don't shoot it. But I was open, I faked a pass and was left open and I shot it. I'm not sure what coach’s reaction was but it went in so hopefully it was good."
On winning after Boise:
"It's tough, I think as you mature as a player, you go one game at a time. Yeah we lost to UNLV yeah we lost to Boise but we played Nevada tonight. And that was our mindset going into it, I know that was mine and I felt like I played good first half in Boise and I wanted to continue that tonight. Do what I can and we ended up getting a win."
Senior C Cameron Bairstow
On being surprised on not trapping:
"Absolutely, I thought that was their whole game plan. And I was surprised when they first didn't do it. I kind of went up today so I don't really understand their thoughts on that. But that was their game plan and unfortunately it didn't really pay off."
On first 6-8 possessions:
"It was one of those things where you just kept going early and just kept going with it I guess."
On Tony Snell back:
"It was really good, we saw him at practice yesterday so I shot with him, he's just a great guy so it's really great being around him."
On the importance of coming back after the loss to Boise State:
"It's always important to come back with a win. Unfortunately we didn't make it happen in Boise but it's a long conference and we still have more games to play. And the key win is stay one game behind San Diego State and get some confidence moving forward."