WVU – Akron Postgame Quotes

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    Bob Huggins:

    Opening Statement
    I thought we did some good things, and I thought we did some bad things. I’ve said all along, I think we can shoot the ball, and I think
    we can score the ball. At times, we go too fast. We go faster than we are capable of going. At times, guys want to show everybody
    what they can’t do. When we slow down, catching the ball, we dropped the ball two or three times. (We) really dropped it twice at the
    end because we tried to make the next play before we made the play we needed to make. (Sophomore forward) Derek (Culver) was the
    best rebounder in the league a year ago. He needs to be the best rebounder in the league again. (Freshman forward) Oscar (Tshiebwe)
    made his reputation rebounding the ball. I think he needs to rebound the ball. My dad said one time, actually it was my next door
    neighbor. He was 6-3 and probably 215-220 pounds, big ole’ strong guy. We were scrimmaging before the season started. He shot
    every ball. I kept looking over at my dad like, ‘What are we doing over here?’ He shot every single ball. My dad never said a word to
    him. He came over at the end of the quarter and said, ‘Bud, you know you shot every ball?’ He said, ‘Coach, I was open.’ He said, ‘Bud,
    there’s a reason. They wanted you to be. You suck.’ He said, ‘Here’s what we’re going to do, bud. You rebound, try to guard, if you get
    it, throw it to Bob (Huggins). If you do anything else, you’re never playing again.’ So, I’m not quite at that point yet, but we need to not
    do what we can’t do. It’s about us, it’s not about me. You get (those) guys. I understand I probably did it a little bit, too. You know,
    guys talking. They didn’t get to play as much as they wanted to or they got taken out. Well, I got taken out for making one mistake.
    You were taken out because you did what I told you not to do when I put you in. We’re going to go through some growing pains, but I
    think we all realized that. That’s a good team. Akron’s a good team. Then, they shot it really, really well. I thought they shot it
    extremely well, and they rebounded it well. But we can’t out rebound somebody by one and expect that we are going to win many
    games. We have to dominate the glass, and we should. We should particularly when we have Derek and Oscar and (sophomore
    forward) Emmitt (Matthews Jr.) in. That’s a pretty good front line, that’s a pretty big front line. A pretty athletic front line, they should
    rebound it.

    On early foul trouble for freshman forward Oscar Tshiebwe
    I don’t know. You’d really have to ask him. The thing about it is, I think you learn as you continue to grow, and I’ve (beaten)
    (sophomore forward) Derek (Culver) over the head with it constantly. You can’t take plays off. When you take plays off, you get taken
    advantage of. Then you end up in a situation where you get a foul that you shouldn’t have gotten. You know, my dad used to say all
    the time, ‘How many fouls do you get?’ At first, I said five. He said, ‘No, you don’t. You get four. After the fifth one, they take you out.’
    So, you really only have four fouls. You don’t have five. That’s a misnomer that you get five fouls. You get four. You can’t waste them
    because you took a play off or you took a couple plays off. You can’t do things that you’re not very good at doing. If you want to do
    those things, get in the gym. If you want to shoot the ball, get in the gym and shoot 1,000 shots a day. JC (Jevon Carter) did. I’d let him
    shoot it. If you miss them in practice, there’s a really good chance you’re going to miss them in the game. So do what you do. At
    Villanova, we were down. I think we’d only scored 15 or 16 points in the first half. They thought I was going to lose my mind at
    halftime. I came in and I said, ‘Do you know what our problem is guys? We’re pretty good when we do what we do. We’re not very
    good when we get out of character. So, go out in the second half, and we just do what we do. Do what made you the player that you
    are, and stay away from the things that make you the player that you are right now. Then, we’ll be fine.’ We go on, and win the game,
    but that’s a hard thing. Everybody wants to prove that they can do things that they can’t do. Everybody wants to prove that they’re a
    jump shooter. Well, they’re not jump shooters, and we have to get better. Derek goes way too fast in the post sometimes. Somehow,
    we have to find consistency of how you’re allowed to play in the post. That wasn’t very consistent.

    On quality minutes from senior forward Logan Routt and senior guard Chase Harler
    Some people would say that, but I would say this, it can be distorted very easily. You’re not talking about what one guy did in 15
    minutes, you’re talking about what five guys did. I don’t know how you pull one of them out of there and you single out what he did in
    those minutes as opposed to what the other guys did. Or, on the flip side, if you go out there with four guys who suck and you’re pretty
    good, you’re not going to look very good in a plus and minus deal now.

    On senior guard Chase Harler’s attitude and effort
    He’s been great. He’s hung in there. He’s had the opportunity to be on some very good teams, but he’s unfortunately had the
    opportunity to be on a bad team. He’s hung in there and really worked at it. He spent a lot of time in the gym this summer. He knows
    what he’s doing and plays hard. He plays hard. He made a big drive to the basket (tonight) that I think, in years past, he wouldn’t have
    done. His confidence is good right now.

    Akron coach John Groce
    Opening Statement
    This is my daughter, Kate. She said she wanted to come to the press conference, and she runs our house, so she gets what she wants.
    Her brothers don’t, but she does. (It was) obviously a really physical game. It’s hard, probably for either team, to get in any type of
    rhythm when there are 50 fouls. I think it was 71 free throws attempted between the two teams. (It is) hard to get in a rhythm for
    either team. We’re going to have to take a look at it because we’ve been, pretty consistently at Akron and throughout our career, one
    of the best teams in the country at defending without fouling. I’m a little bit disappointed in that today. We’ll look at the film and see
    what we need to clean up there. Obviously, it’s difficult to win when you give up 94 points to anybody, but give them credit. I thought
    the one thing that really stood out with them is they had guys that made some tough shots. (In the) first half, they made a lot of mid-
    range 2-pointers and pull-ups. Whether it was (West Virginia freshman guard Miles) McBride or (West Virginia sophomore guard
    Brandon) Knapper or other guys chiming in in that department, I was really impressed with their ability to make those shots. They made
    a few more of those in the second half, so give them credit. They stepped up and made some plays. I was pleased with our guys’
    rebounding. I know you guys are used to seeing it, (those who) follow the Mountaineers. You know, Huggs’ teams, dating back to
    Walsh and Akron and Cincinnati and now, West Virginia. He’s always been terrific on the glass, as you know. In fact, I think they’re the
    only Division I team in the last five years to be ranked in the top 10 in the country in offensive rebounding percentage. If you would
    have told me before the game that we were going to get 26 out of 35 (rebounds) back, I would’ve taken it. I thought our guys really
    battled on the backboard, and I was probably the most pleased with that.

    On his strategy to deal with West Virginia’s size
    Obviously, it was kind of a tale of two different teams there. You have them with their size, and then we put four perimeter players out
    there that can dribble, pass and shoot and handle the ball. So something has to give. I thought our guys tried to battle their size well.
    (We had to) fight their duck-ins in particular and their post touches, but there’s no question that (West Virginia sophomore forward
    Derek) Culver, (West Virginia freshman forward) Oscar (Tshiebwe) and (West Virginia senior forward Logan) Routt are a load down
    there. There are not many teams that have three guys of that size with that type of physicality that can rebound the way that they do
    and come at you in waves like that. I was really impressed with their size, their guard play and their depth. I think they have a chance
    to be really good.

    On tight officiating in tonight’s game
    I think it’s a great point. I think typically, especially with all the rule changes heading into the year, and obviously those guys are tuned
    into what the coordinator, J.D. Collins, (is doing). Those guys do a good job of talking to the officials heading into the year about what
    changes need to be made and how they want consistency in the game officiated. I would say probably so. If (I) were them, I would see
    where their antennas would be up for sure. I don’t know if statistics would indicate that, but my gut is telling me – coaching now for 25
    years – probably a little bit earlier in the year to give the players a chance to adjust and the officials a chance to adjust. I think you’ll see
    that number, in my opinion, probably start to go down some as the year proceeds.


    Need to watch the replay, but here are some initial thoughts.

    Derek wasn’t as forceful on the glass as he needs to be.  Threw up some quick shots that he should have made.  This boy has put  his time in at the FT line.  8-8 is outstanding for a big.

    Miles played much more that I thought he would.  Was that because Huggs wanted to see how he could run the Point?  This kid sure can dribble.,, dribble… and dribble… Question is, can he pass?  Run the set to get it to the open man?   4asst vs 3TO’s needs to get better.  Liked his D.

    Haley and Matthews pick up where they left off.  Starting lineup with those guys at 2-3 with 2 bigs is a HUGE lineup.

    Taz is a ball of fire on the court.  Hustle every play.  Doesn’t yet know where to be all the time.  Again, surprised he played 23 mins.  Huggs was prolly trying get him time to feel comfortable.  He looked awkward on some shots …. imo they were too quick.

    Harler, like Matthews and Haley, picked up where he left off.  Liked his hustle, looked more comfortable shooting.  Diving for balls and directing guys on the court.

    Oscar still doesn’t know where he is on the floor.  Early foul trouble was a problem.  But 5 reb in 12 mins is a good thing. Shooting too quickly underneath.  Game will slow down as he gets more time on the floor.

    Brandon came out very slow.  Missed 3, foul in his first minute.  Settled down and hit 2 quick jumpers the another foul.  Looked like he was just trying too hard and over playing.  2nd half Knapper in around 11 min mark and settled down.

    McCabe is the PG and leader.  Sat most of the game to get McBride as much time as we could.

    Routt only played 7 mins, had a couple good plays and was out of place a couple times.  Needs to step it up.

    McNeil played sparingly, only 5 mins. Surprised that Huggs didn’t have him in more.  4-4 from the foul line.

    Overall, this team COULD have blown the game wide open a couple times but tried to run too fast and turned the ball over too much trying to shoot too fast in the set.  38.5% from 3 is pretty good, but we took too many fast shots from outside.  Didn’t pass well.  Dribbled too much.  Didn’t command the glass even though we had the size and strength.

    This team can be good, but if we play this way against B12 teams we will have problems.

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