#6 Miami 59, GW 50
#6 Miami 59, GW 50
HEAD COACH Maurice Joseph
On what playing close with a top team says about their team:
"Well, it says that there's room for improvement obviously. I'm certainly not a moral victory guy, but I kind of take positives from every single situation -- wins, losses, you name it. We obviously shot the ball poorly, but I like our team's grit and our toughness and I've said that before. We've got to continue to figure out how to put 40 minutes of basketball together and not have one of these starts, because watching film as a coach, you're honest with yourself. Like, `Hey, we're going to have a rough night against this team." For whatever reason, whether they're too big or they shoot well, whatever it is, I felt great about this game in terms of what we could do from a scheme and scouting report -- X's and O's and all that kind of stuff. I felt great. I felt great coming into the game. I felt confident and then you go 5-for-27 in the first half and miss a bunch of open shots, so that's how it's going to be sometimes. But, our guys are starting to realize their potential if we start games the way we talk about starting -- full of energy, bouncing off the walls, being sharp offensively and passing up good shots for great shots which we're beginning to do. We're going to watch the film, we're going to build from this and we've got to get ready to hunker down and play UNH now. We've got to keep progressing and keep getting better and keep having our inexperienced guys understand what it takes to win, especially against high caliber teams like this."
On what he said during half time to his team:
"I mean, believe it or not, it wasn't a Ra Ra deal. I am a Ra Ra guy and I've had some Ra Ra halftimes, but my whole thing was, `Guys, we're playing fine.' I thought we got wide open shots. We knew where we could get shots and we were getting the shots that we thought we could get, we just missed a bunch. Pat Steeves -- he's great around the rim, he just misses two bunnies and then picks up his second foul. [Arnaldo] Toro is great at that pick-and-pop, slot area three or top of the key area -- he's great at that shot and he air balls two of them. Jair Bolden is one of my best free throw shooters and he air balls a free throw. It was just a weird shooting night overall. You're going to have those, and when you have those you've got to guard. You've got to have one and done possessions. You've got to do all the other things that help you win games and for the most part, we did that in the second half. It was just too deep of a hole in the first half with the nine turnovers and the 5-for-27 shooting. We outrebounded them, which I'm ecstatic about because they're big, long and athletic so I thought we challenged our guys to battle them on the glass and we did that. We had 17 offensive rebounds against a really good, athletic team, so there's a bunch of great things to take away. I was very disappointed about the outcome, but you can't expect to shoot the way we did and win any game really, much less against a team like Miami.
On the defensive plan and how he thought that it went:
"Well, they get them up, right? They get them up and they score a bunch of points and they're fast. The plan was to really slow them down and our goal was to shoot more than they did, honestly -- to get more field goal attempts and we did that, even though it was a slim margin. We didn't want them to have a bunch of attempts because the game was going too fast. We didn't want to make it a track meet. We knew we weren't going to win in a track meet against this team. We wanted to hunker down and slow them down and make them methodical as opposed to going fast and going downhill and I thought we did that for the most part because we outshot them. They just made more shots and shot better than we did."
On if this game made Miami seem like one of the better teams in the nation:
"They're certainly up there. They're talented. They're as talented as Florida State and Xavier. They're definitely talented. In terms of other teams in the nation, I don't know. They're good. I think they're going to be good and they're going to continue to get better. They have some good, experienced guys too, playing valuable minutes for them -- Lonnie Walker and Chris Lykes. Bruce Brown's obviously a heck of a player, but he's young too. He's a sophomore and I think [Dewan] Huell's a sophomore maybe? I'm not sure about that, but they're a younger and experienced team, albeit very athletic and talented and they're going to continue to get better. I credit our guys for making them score 20 points under they're average and that's slowing them down. I thought our guys, especially in the second half, did a great job with the scout so I'm ecstatic about that. We've just go to make sure we lock in on some things a little better in the first half to start games."
Arnaldo Toro - On how they were able to come back from the point deficit in the first half:
"I think our energy. We started that first half a little bit slow, so we were able to pick that up and we mainly focused on defense first and then our shots had to fall."
TORO - On the challenge going up against the Miami defense when the shots weren't following:
"We were getting great shots. It was one of those days that it wasn't falling."
Yuta Watanabe - On how they were able to stop the 3-point shots in the second half:
"Well, in the first half a couple times we lost the shooters. In the second half, we talked so that we made sure where the shooter is. Mostly, we played zone so it's hard to know where the shooter is, but I think in the second half we did a better job communicating with each other and knowing where the shooter is."
WATANABE - On the positives that can be taken away from this game:
"In the second half, I thought we did a good job most of the time. They are obviously one of the best teams in the nation and they are one of the best defensive teams."
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