Nov. 16, 2010
NEW MEXICO PLAYER QUOTES
UNM vs. Arizona State
Nov. 16, 2010
"I thought tonight was a tremendous team effort and a tremendous win for our young team. They're growing up quick and that's what need to have them do. I thought A.J. and Dairese, our upperclassmen, did a lot of good things in the second half. But our underclassmen gave us great energy tonight. You hope they'll guard this way early in the season, but we are really showing our ability to defend, and that's going to be critical for us in our maturation.
We'll continue to mature as a basketball team, and I'm really pleased with what we did tonight. We took really good shots tonight and we had a higher percentage so I'm happy with that.
On the boost the UNM bench gave the team in the first half: We have a lot of new guys and we're still trying to find the right combinations, but I think the guys had a good night tonight. I though Cam (Cameron Bairstow) and Alex (Kirk) had good nights. Cam was really good in the first half and I though Alex was terrific in the second half, but they played five guards most of the night, so it was a difficult game to get our bigs involved.
I hope that's how we can continue to grow, if one unit is not doing it you sub one or two and your energy picks up, and that's what happened tonight. Once we went to the bench Tony (Snell) gave us energy, Chad gave us energy, Jamaal gave us tremendous energy and that's what you want to have.
What was your biggest thrill tonight?
Williams - "The hoop (to make it 43-34) was big. They showed a lot of attention to Dairese so that helped. I'm just a freshman, but I've got to hit the open jumper."
How does it feel to have three guards control the ball?
Gary - " It definitely is nice, good to have the speed out there. It helps in our advantage."
How important is this game (for March) by beating a Pac-10 team?
Gary - "It is very important, beating teams like that. It helps you out, but we're taking it one game at a time."
Was the game frustrating for you early?
Gary - "It was very frustrating. The refs see what they want to see. Go to back and watch film and examine how I played."
Do you feel like you are where you want to be?
Gary - "Not at all, we have so much room to improve. We can pinpoint situations where we can get better."
Arizona State head coach Herb Sendek
On Arizona State opening its season in The Pit
I think you have to start by giving New Mexico credit. They were really aggressive and I thought they took it to us in a lot of ways.
We had one guy who played really well today. I thought Trent (Lockett) was really good. He was aggressive, he attacked the basket and did a lot of really good things for us. Our older guys didn't have their best game. It's a heck of a place to start a career for a new guy.
On getting a set rotation with newcomers considering The Pit atmosphere...
It wasn't that difficult. We had to do some things with Ruslan (Pateev) getting in foul trouble early. Other than that, we were just trying to find some guys that would step up and play well together.
On the early six point lead and then struggling...what happened?
We didn't shoot very well, we missed free throws and we turned the ball over 13 times that led to 22 points. For us, our deflections were low. I thought we missed some opportunities to draw the charge. That being said, I thought we had a couple of sequences in the second half that if we make better plays and make some conversions, we give ourselves a chance. We didn't do that. It (the lead) just went right back up in a blink.
On still learning to play together (newcomers)...
That's going to be us for a while. We have to focus on the things that we can do right now and hold ourselves to those standards. It's early in the year right now, not just for us, but for everyone. Obviously, early on we need our veteran players to play their best and we need the other guys to play their roles.
I don't know how many games we'll be in a position to win when you put everybody together like that and only have one guy that stands out. Our defense would have to be pretty good, which obviously tonight, it wasn't great.
We have not shot free throws well. Through the early part of this year, I know it's the first game, but that has to improve for our team.
What will you take from this experience...opening up the season in The Pit
It was a great experience for us. We have a really tough schedule ahead of us with a group that has to get better every step of the way. If we want to learn from it, the opportunity will be there. We'll look at the tape and give our guys some feedback and take it from there.