UTA Head Coach Scott Cross
"That was one of the best all-around team performances, by far. Our guys were locked in defensively. Louisiana was a team that really scared me. I think they had the second-best offense in the Sun Belt coming into the game. They really spread the floor. They can drive. They have a couple guys that can really shoot the basketball. Bryce Washington is an animal and in the first half he was absolutely destroying us, but our guys kept plugging away defensively and kept trying to pack the paint. It's been four or five games where we haven't shot the ball well. Jalen, Hervey, Drew Charles are in the gym all the time and I knew it was a matter of time if we played defense, eventually the bottom was going to come out."
"In the first half, the shot selection wasn't good. We missed 17 and I feel like 10 of those were bad shots. If we just continued to take good shots, it was going to be easy for us to score the way our guys were shooting the basketball. In the second half, we did have better shot selection, but what it came down to was defensively, our guys got stops so we could play with speed in transition. When you play with speed, that's the hardest thing to guard in basketball. If they're scoring all the time and getting offensive rebounds, you can't really play in transition and it's hard to score against a half-court defensive team."
"18 offensive rebounds is way too many, but credit goes to Bryce Washington. He's relentless. I know we got switched up defensively with point guards on them at times, but he's just too bug and strong and long to keep him off the glass. Second half, I felt like we did a little bit better job on the boards. To out-rebound a team like that is definitely a credit for our guys."
"Erick Neal is so good in the open court. He's going to be the fastest point guard that we play against all year long, so for him to utilize it, we have to run to flatten out the defense. Our wings have to run to the corners, our five-man has to run to the rim, then it just spaces everything out. He can play with speed and when he gets in the paint, the defense collapses. Now he's able to kick out for shots and when our guys are hitting shots, he's probably going to have double-figure assists because he is a pass-first point guard."
"You'd like for everybody to score and be apart of it. I felt like every player that played contributed in some form or fashion. Scott is in there working just like the rest of the guys all day and probably, at times, he has to do some of the dirtier work, meaning playing defense when we're working on offense. It's not easy to be a guy that doesn't get a whole lot of playing time, so you want to reward them. I think our guys understand, based on their reactions on the bench, that he needs to be rewarded for all of his hard work."
"That was probably my favorite play, when DJ Bryant dove on the floor and got that loose ball. Faith Pope is always an energy guy as well. We need those guys. That's how I want us to hang our hat and to be our identity that we're going to be the hardest, toughest playing team and that begins with grabbing loose balls, defensive rebounding and those guys definitely embody that."
UTA Freshman Scott Muirhead
"It felt great. It was one of the best feelings. I've never felt something like that, but I'm glad I have teammates that want me to score and get excited for me. It was a lot of fun. I'm thankful to have teammates that are unselfish."
UTA Senior Jalen Jones
"I'm feeling good. I'm in a good rhythm. I've been in the gym working on shots and my game, so I'm really confident right now. Coach Buncik shoots with me. I go in there by myself at nights sometimes. I try to stay consistent."
UTA Junior Kevin Hervey
"My knee felt good and my body feels great. I've been trying to take care of myself for the most part."
"That's what we put our emphasis on, trying to get stops. We have thing thing called a kill, which is three stops in a row. So they got five offensive rebounds, but we still got the stops. It energized us that they had that many chances and still didn't score."
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