Nov. 9, 2007
Box Score |
Ohio Head Coach Tim O'Shea
On the overall game:
I thought it was a really good win for us, considering the opponent. It doesn't feel like November 9th, that's for sure. I think for anybody in the building it felt more like the middle of January. That was a significant game for us because you're talking about a team that's picked to win the Western Athletic Conference, and likely to do it. I thought it was a great way to start our season.
On the team with Leon Williams playing just 17 minutes:
Jerome always plays bigger than his height, did a great job rebounding the ball, and playing strong. Justin Orr really stepped up in his first game.
Key to the game:
It was the last couple minutes of the first half. They had the ball and we were down four. I had been camping Leon on the bench with three fouls. Washington and Freeman gave us a huge lift. Washington played well defensively and Freeman hit that huge three going into halftime to put us up three. That really positioned us to win the game in the second half.
On the freshmen:
Right now, it looks like I'm redshirting Pearson and Zack Nagtzaam. Freeman is going to stay ready to play, if something were to happen. If you look at Washington and Freeman, they are going to be outstanding players. Freeman is just one of those hard-nosed Indiana kids who is fundamentally sound and mentally tough. He has a really bright future here. Washington, his athletic ability speaks for itself. He has got to get more skill, but athletically he brings so much energy defensively, rebounding-wise.
On adding Mike Allen:
It's a good sign because we're going to add Mike Allen to the mix. I think with a combination of Bert Whittington and Mike Allen, we should have excellent point guard play.
On Bert Whittington:
He should be very confident right now in how well he's played in these early games. He's handled the ball well against a team that is known for its special defense. I think for a kid playing his first Division I game with no backup and really kind of out there on his own, I think he's played terrific. Hopefully he gained a lot of confidence from there.
On the win:
It's a real big win. They were getting Top 25 votes, and we have nine new people. It's a big win. We could have brought in a team that wasn't that good, but we brought in a very good team, picked to win the WAC. It just shows where we're at right now.
On the 10 point lead:
The first thing that came to my mind was last year. They're a real explosive team, they went down to three points in two minutes. We were up 19 last year and it was tied-up at the 12 minute mark... The people who were on the team last year dug deep, and we weren't going to let it happen this year, especially at home. I was nervous, honestly.
On the team's three-pointers:
They're bigger than us, we were going to have to hit threes. We got hot for a stretch and we went up by ten, but hitting those threes in the second half really carried us.
On the win:
It was a huge win for the fans too. Just to go out there and play hard, and show everyone what we're capable of with all these new guys.
On the fouls:
It seemed like they were calling a lot of fouls. KVK got in foul trouble and Leon got in foul trouble. I had two fouls in the first half, so we kind of played in survival mode a little bit. I had to pick those guys up on the side lines. Unfortunately they didn't get the minutes like they wanted to, but I think we did a good job. There might be times during the season where it's like that... where both of those guys have foul trouble in the first half and we still have to be able to play.
On his three-pointers:
I had to do that because me and Leon are a 1-2 punch. When he goes down, the weight of his scoring goes on my shoulders. I feel like I needed to step up and just bring a little more, and go a little harder. That's what our team needed at that point.
I've been working on my stroke all summer long. I feel comfortable out there shooting. All the work I put in in the summertime and springtime is paying off.
On the team:
I think we have a pretty good team. We still have to clean up a lot of things, but it's only November. Come December and January, we should have everything lined up and ready to go, but I like where we are right now.
On the crowd:
Trying to get the crowd involved, that's like another defender out there while you're playing. It gives you an adrenaline rush, it gives everyone an adrenaline rush.
On his first college game:
It was a real good experience, especially the first game coming in against a real good team. Just getting in there... seeing what it's going to be like. I'm used to playing against the same guys in practice, but you're playing against a whole different level of competition when you're actually out in a real game.
I was nervous before the game, but once I got in there and hit my first three I settled down a little bit. It was definitely a big thing for me, just coming in and contributing any way I could. After I settled down a little bit I think I played more on my game.
On his three:
The shot right before half, we were kind of playing catch-up a little bit in the first half after a couple of guys went down with foul trouble. Just to have that momentum swing toward us and give us that 3-point lead, I think it was a big play.
On the crowd:
Just having all the students here and showing their support with their noise, I think it really got inside New Mexico State's head, and definitely helped us and gave us a little boost.
On his performance:
I just felt comfortable, and tried to go out there and play my game. I just wanted to let the game come to me, instead of me just going out there and taking shots.
New Mexico State Head Coach Marvin Menzies
I like the Ohio team. They've got a lot of balance. They've got shooters and I think they'll be a pretty good. They were tough and did a really good job. The reason I said that is because Williams was out, playing just 17 minutes. We should have dominated the boards, but we just weren't aggressive.
If you lose to a good team, it definitely is not as piercing. This is a good squad, a very good squad. I think there's a reason they're favored to do so well in the MAC.