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February 16, 2013

CMU-Toledo postgame: Keno Davis

Opening Statement

"I will start off by giving Toledo credit. I think you look at a solid team that they have assembled and you recognize why they were picked to win the division. They don't have weaknesses and have a good, experienced group and yet they have a lot guys who are coming back next season. I give them credit. I thought we played extremely hard and you know the defense, especially on the perimeter, was very good for us. Although we got outrebounded by seven, when you look at how poorly we shot from the outside, to stay within seven on the boards was probably a win for us. We have to use this week to try to regroup and understand that the last five to six games is a new season for us. We have an opportunity right now that we haven't had all season long and that's a chance to rest and put some new things in. Our freshmen need it, but so do our seniors. We need that week to try to regroup and see if when can improve and make a run late in the season."

On Toledo's second half surge

"I told the players after the game that we shot it well inside and from the line. We are playing hard defensively and doing the best we can with rebounding, but you can't suddenly think that you've got to win the game from the three-point line. We had to get the ball to the basket, get to the free throw line and score inside. We did that, but we just fell in love with that three-point shot. Although some of those were late when we were trying to make a run, it was still way too many for not shooting well from the perimeter. You have to go through as a young team, but hopefully not more than once. You have to learn what you have to do in those situations. We had a nine-point game and we shot 6-of-31 from the three-point line. I don't think you have to go much further than that."

On if Toledo did anything differently in the second half

"Not that I saw. They are solid, so there are not too many weaknesses there. We didn't get that many open looks. I thought they made Kyle Randall work extremely hard and they did a nice job of keeping him to 21 points. I really mean that because he had to work. He was tired after the game because every time he touched the ball after the first few minute, he just wasn't getting open looks. It was few and far between for him the rest of the game."

On Nathan Boothe being a mismatch

"Anybody who is big isn't a good matchup for us. Not only are we not big, we are also young. In the future, guys like John Simons and Blake Hibbitts will be real solid for us defensively as they get stronger, older and tougher for going through this season. There is good coaching in this league and teams have been able to attack us where we are not as big."

On Rian Person

"I think it shows how special of a player he is when he gets his average at 18 points, but doesn't shoot that well. Part of the reason that Kyle Randall has become such a great scorer this year is because he gets to the free throw line. Pearson got there 14 times. When you are getting double figures at the free throw line alone, you can have an off-night shooting from the field and still be one of the top scorers in the league."

On if players have accepted their roles on the team

"I think what they have understood is that we are going to play the guy that is producing, either in practice or in gamed. Even if you only get a few minutes, you have to make something happen. That has gotten us really good competition and makes us better, both in practices and in games. If we get that kind of work for the last two weeks, I really feel like we will be playing our best basketball in March. Although that seems pretty simple to say, a lot of coaches and a lot teams don't do it. They peak too early and aren't playing as well later in the year. I think we will have as good as a chance as anybody."

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