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November 8, 2012

LSSU postgame: Keno Davis

Central Michigan head coach Keno Davis addressed the media after his team's 86-76 win over Lake Superior State on Wednesday night.

Opening Statement

"I think I will start off by giving credit to LSSU. Especially early in the year when you don't have film on a team or scout them, you really don't know the quality of an opponent that you are playing other than knowing if they are very well coached. I was very impressed by them. They played very hard and looked like they were in midseason form. Having been at that level, I think they can have a very successful year."

"As far as we are concerned, I thought the effort was there. We are the putting the half court and full court game together and we see things that we need to work on. The more things that you see as a coach that you have to work on, the better you can be and the higher expectations you have. I think there are a lot of things that we can improve on the court this week as we prepare for this nonconference season."

On the crowd

"That's one thing that the coaching staff and administrators have focused on. We might be a little bit away of being successful on the court as we need to be, but we can't wait for that success on the court to get the crowds to come and for our students to be involved. I think it was an unbelievable showing by our students tonight. Both baselines were almost full and now when we start the regular season, it can get even better. As our students continue to see us play, it can get exciting. As they get more organized and involved, it could be one of the toughest places to play in the MAC. It's going to be important to us to win those close games, so we can have a home court advantage."

On if he heard the crowd chanting his name at the end

"No, I didn't, but I try to tune out as much as I can. As a coach, you never feel like it's over, especially when we struggled to make free throws down the stretch. I like the fact that after the game the players went over to the student section and thanked them. The students have to understand that just showing up and enjoying the game and being a part of the atmosphere means a lot to me and to the student athletics that word hard. So to have them come out and represent us really means a lot to our players and it's well deserved."

On how efficient the offense was

"I thought we played extremely hard. Efficiency isn't really a word I would use for the first game. It was our first chance to play against someone other than ourselves. Some of the things they did defensively frustrated us. I give them credit; they had a really good game-plan coming in. They were able to hang in there until the last few minutes, but I thought our guys adjusted well. In the first game, you are not trying to do too much. You're just focusing on some of the basic things and trying to go as deep into the bench as you can. That might change as you get further into the season and sometimes the bench shortens."

On the freshmen

"They have impressed me every day; that a group this young can come to practice with a positive attitude each and every day. I've seen them have so much success in practice and you saw that reflected tonight. There is room for improvement but there is also great effort. With the exception of John Simons, this was a class that was assembled after April. It was guys that were under-recruited and undervalued, but we felt like they could fit in here."

On shutting down LSSU from three-point range in the second half

"Well I think a little bit of it was fatigue by them. I also give our guys credit because we knew that they had a couple guys that could knock down a lot of threes and we knew that we had to have a hand up on their shots. That's something we work on in practice and want to improve on each day. I came into the locker room and they were all talking about things they can do better. I like the fact that they were in I there talking and not pointing fingers at each other and saying what we can do better offensively and defensively and they were figuring out good matchups. I think it shows that we have guys that not only work hard, but we also have guys with high basketball IQ. I think that can help us win some close games."

On if the team is ready for Iowa

"No we're not ready for Iowa. We are far from it, but it will be a good experience for us. We will go in without any expectations from anyone thinking we can go in and win that game, but we are a pretty confident group. We will go in and play as hard as we did tonight. We will have to execute a little bit better and we are going to have to see if we can do that."

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