Dec. 18, 2011
UNM vs. Oklahoma State
Coach Steve Alford
"It was a really good effort on our part. It was very similar to the USC game, not in the style of play, but in a game where we lead most of the game and then a team makes a really good run and takes the lead. I think we have to do what's really difficult in college basketball and that's regain your composure and do enough things to get the lead back. We've had two games in a row now - USC and OSU - where that's taken place. So, I'm very pleased with the resolve our team has. I thought we did some good things. We didn't shoot the ball well to start the second half, and we didn't defend well to start the second half, and that's a bad combination. I thought the last 10 minutes of each half, we did both things really well: we shot it well and we defended well, and I think that ended up being the difference in the game."
On what the team did after OSU took the lead:
"It wasn't really an adjustment. About the 10 minute mark of the second half we put (Hugh) Greenwood on (Keiton) Page just to give Kendall (Williams) a bit of a blow. He's a hard cover. Not only can he shoot it, he's got great movement to him. He does a very good job. I think he wore down: he missed some free throws tonight he usually doesn't miss, so hopefully we wore him down a little bit as well with how we wanted to make him guard at the other end. That was really the only defensive adjustment we made. I thought A.J. Hardeman was really good defensively on (Le'Bryan) Nash. I thought he did a really good job, and that was a hard match up. (Jean-Paul) Olukemi, when they had him in, we had Demetrius Walker, which is a hard match up, and I thought 'Walk' did a really good job the last 10 minutes on him."
On his rebounding:
"When your shot's not falling, you find something else productive to do, and I guess my category to excel in was rebounding. I know my teammates are more than capable of hitting shots and knocking down crucial baskets, so as long as I get the ball to them, things work."
On how good the team can be:
"The sky is the limit for us. We're getting better each game and we're progressing and we're doing the small things we work on during practice. This week, we're going back to the drawing board and see what we did right and see what we did wrong and try to fix that. I think we could be a real dangerous team."
On what Keiton Page did to spark an OSU second half run:
"A good shooter like that, he's going to find his spots, especially in transition. I think that's where he found he was going to really get some open shots. I thought we did a good job on him like we did on Le'Bryan (Nash) really putting a body on him and being physical and chasing him off a lot of screens, but we missed some shots, had some bad possessions that allowed them to break out and get some open transition shots."
On how hard it is to regain the lead:
"It's hard, but I think it shows the resiliency of our team and builds a lot of character. You don't want to put yourself in that situation, but we did, and we got yelled at about it. We manned up and were able to do the things that got us the lead in the first place."