March 19, 2014
Box Score |
Ohio 64, Cleveland State 62
CIT First Round
March 19, 2014
Jim Christian - Head Coach
On the departure of Jon Smith:
"Jon is not violating any team policy or university policy. He made a decision by himself; he didn't talk to any of us, to decide not to play anymore. We just wish him well."
On overcoming adversity:
"This is what I love about this team, and this is what I think people should appreciate. We're playing at UNC-Asheville and Ricardo Johnson breaks his leg. We go down 20. A lot of teams would roll over, but we found a way to win the game. We're playing at Toledo and Stevie [Taylor] gets hurt. We find out on the way up to Buffalo, he's not going to play in the game. Teams would have rolled over and had an excuse. We win the game."
"We played the worst game we probably played all year at home against Kent State, here, on Senior Day. Mo [Maurice Ndour] can't play at the game at Bowling Green - we win the game. Then, obviously we find out about Jon's situation, and we win the game. It doesn't make a difference. We have a lot of belief in our basketball team. We need every single one of them. I have confidence in every single one of them."
On the resiliency of his team:
We keep competing. Because these guys get these opportunities, the team grows. Antonio Campbell grew as a player today. Treg Setty has been growing as a player. This is why these tournaments are so important. We're not only representing our league which is probably the most important thing, but we're also giving our players a chance to grow."
"For all the things they had to overcome, there's a lot of times this team could have rolled over. This is, without question, the most resilient group of guys I've ever coached. The injuries are ridiculous. Everytime somebody goes down, someone else steps up because our program has got a lot of pride. I thought tonight we were playing a program [Cleveland State] that has a lot of pride in their program. Those kids have a lot of pride. I knew they would come to play hard."
"These games are program pride games. That's what they are. How much pride do you have in your program? How much pride do you have in Ohio basketball being successful? It doesn't make a difference what tournament it is. Who cares? Maybe on the national scope it doesn't look as big, but to me, we're trying to get better. We've got things we want to accomplish."
Antonio Campbell - Freshman Forward
On being guarded by someone bigger than him:
"That guy was big. It was tough. People used to do that to me in high school to throw me off my game and things like that. They would come in and try to bump me around. I'm pretty used to that."
On how he approached today's game:
"I approached the game like I was ready to play. Coach told us before the game, me and Wadly [Mompremier], to be ready to play. `You're going to play a lot of minutes.' I took that to heart and came out and played good."
On making the clutch free throws down the stretch:
"I actually felt a little pressure on me at the free throw line. I know it's time to sink them in and win the game. So, that's what I did."
Stevie Taylor - Junior Guard
On his injury:
"I've been feeling better the last couple of days. I've been getting a lot of treatment, but I'm trying to play for the seniors. I'm not just going to sit on the sidelines and just phone it in. Me and Coach had a talk today about starting to lead the way for next year, too. I need to start that right now."
On playing in the CIT as opposed to the NCAA Tournament:
"It's not the same, but at the same time it's basketball. We're all basketball players. I want to keep playing. I don't want to put the ball up. I want to get another game in with [Nick] Kellogg, again. It's basketball, and I love to play basketball."