February 25, 2008

Quotes - Santa Clara vs. San Francisco

Recap |  Final Stats

Kerry Keating, on game: "I was concerned about Vince Polakovic and their ability to shoot the ball out of the double teams. We had to double team Dior Lowhorn because he demands that kind of attention, but our guys really did a good job on the defensive end and they took on the task of being aggressive, which gave us a chance to execute in the offense. I am a little disappointed about all the offensive rebounds USF got, but that is a product of the second half and them (USF) trying to fight back against the missed shots. We were getting a little bit lazy and playing the score instead of playing the game. Fortunately for us we recovered and evened it up (with 30 total rebounds each). The guys shot the ball well and did well on defense. Dior had 22 points, but he had to earn it. That is what you want to do with a good player. He is going to get his 20 (points) no matter what, but you have to make him work for it."

Keating, on the importance of the win: "It is important for us to maintain our position in the middle of the pack in order to get a first round bye in the conference tournament. So now it will give us a chance to clinch that on Saturday with a win; so we have to ride on the momentum of being positive and playing well, and go up and give our best effort at Portland to make sure we get ourselves that first round bye to give us the best chance to do well at the tournament. It is not going to be easy obviously, but it helps us out to play one less game."

Keating, on the senior's performances: "I am actually very proud of the seniors, especially the fact the Okey Mbanugo and Josh Higgins took the initiative to come out, play hard and aggressive, and not having any dropped balls or holding fouls. They came out strong, and came out with energy and emotion. They took the intensity and emotion that is senior night, and used that to our advantage."

Keating, on Josh Higgins three-pointer: "We actually set up a play because Josh can actually shoot the ball very well. He did not pass the test to shoot threes in game situations, but since it was senior night we gave him the benefit of the doubt and had a couple plays set up for him. The one he shot was not the actual play because Brody jumped the play and instead of passing it to Higgins he passed it to Gunderson, but I knew he was going to get it tonight. We actually walked through the three-point play six times today before he got the shot. He never got a chance to get to it, but Higgins can shoot the ball. If we are going to win three games in three days at the tournament, we are going to need to have someone else step up who maybe has not played as many minutes, like Higgins. This gives him a little more confidence and me more confidence that he can step up for us."

Brody Angley, on having his high school's current basketball team (Enterprise High School) in the crowd for Senior Night: "It brings back memories from home. I grew up in a great community in Redding, but I have also built a home here at Santa Clara. It is great when both of my homes come together."

Angley, on Senior Night with his family: "It was awesome to have everyone there. I know it meant a lot to my mother, sisters and my nephew. When they are happy I am happy and tonight was a great night." Angley, on team's start: "We came out with a lot of energy, especially Mitch (Henke) and Josh (Higgins). We definitely did not want to lose on Senior Night."

Angley, on Higgins' three-pointer: "I think that he is one of the best big man shooters in SCU history. I knew he would knock it down if he got open."

Josh Higgins, on the three-point play: "It is something that we practice all the time and I probably make one or two everyday in practice. I know I don't look like I can shoot threes but I grew up shooting in the driveway and I always try to step it out a little bit. I shoot all the time in practice. They put in a few plays for me, but the one I shot was just an out-of-bounds play. I knew my guy wasn't going to come out there and guard me so I would be open. It is senior night I have to go out with a bang."

Mitch Henke, on coming back after the tough loss to San Diego: "We played a good game; the coaches got us ready and prepared for the game and we started with a new lineup that we are not used to. We started with two - fives to start. For us it all starts with defense. If we get stops right away then it translates to us getting easier shots on offense; it all works off our defense. When we stop people we are hard to beat. It is hard that this is our last home game, but we can play like this anytime when we set our minds to it, especially when we play defense and take care of the ball on offense. We did a good job of converting our shots when we got them. When we don't let turnovers hurt us and we play good defense, we are pretty hard to beat."

Henke, on senior night and final game at home: "It feels great; it definitely was a great way to go out. I think the team played great, especially the seniors. I don't think I could see any better ending to the season at home."

Henke, looking ahead to the last two games on the road: "We need to get rested and healthy, because we have a few guys that are a little banged up. We just need to get focused and get ready because they are going to be two tough teams on the road on our Northwest trip. As long as we prepare and set our minds to it we can't be stopped."