Keno DavisOpening Statement
I'm proud of our team's effort. I'm not sure how good of a ballclub we are or how good we can become, but I think in year one when you have so much transition with so many true freshmen in our rotation, it's a good thing that we don't know our ceiling. A lot of publicity has gone to Kyle Randall as being a leader for this team and rightfully so, but I think you can look at this roster and make a case for four or five guys being our best player tonight. As those guys continue to develop, we can be a tough out as the second half of the conference season rolls around.
Because of how many guards and three-point shooters we have, along with the lack of true post players, I thought coming into the season that if we had an off-night from three-point range, that we would have a tough night. This isn't the first night that we haven't shot well and have found a way to win. To shoot 20 percent from three-point range and 60 percent from the free throw line is quite a number to overcome and still win by double digits. Our guys have a hard working mentality and they deserve the credit.
On the team feeding off Mbaigoto's energy
The energy that he brings is obviously something we need. You can see him tonight making blocks and some of the big rebounds that he is going against guys that are taller and bigger than he is. He is playing out of position, but he won't complain about it because he knows that's what the team needs. He can be a matchup problem for other teams because of his quickness. We needed him tonight and some of his defensive plays were critical.
On the atmosphere
We had a nice meeting with the students the other night. The ones that wanted to take a leadership role could. I thought our student support has been really good all year. We want them to be organized; we want them to be louder and to keep building in that direction. We had our team out here the other night to lead in some cheers and it was a fun night for our players and the students that came out.
On Zach Saylor
He has been out for almost two months so we can use him because of his size, but I think what you saw was a guy whose timing isn't there yet. It is similar to how he came back from his injuries this summer and was rushing it a little. You have to adapt to the speed of the game, but we got his feet wet and it was nice to have a bigger body down there to change the pace a bit.
On Fowler having just one turnover
It's just not tonight. Against Eastern Michigan, I think he had nine points and only one turnover against an aggressive and long team. We needed to add two point guards this season, so we were able to bring in Kyle and Chris. I rarely have to take him out because of decision-making and he has a good sense of what he had to do. He is third in the conference in assists, so he it's not like he only makes safe plays either.
On trying to create momentum in this stretch of home games
I think when you are picked twelve in the league, you are trying to scratch out every victory you can get. There is no pressure on us. We are going to come out and see how hard we can work. If we lose, we are going to be disappointed, but we will be more disappointed if we don't outwork the other team. Everybody gets into the conference tournament and we are building toward that. Everyone has a chance in March so it's better for us to string three wins in a row then, instead of looking at three or four games now. I'm looking at three or four games in March. Right now, we're just focusing on how good of a team and building toward the end of the season.
Kyle RandallOn the atmosphere
It was a great atmosphere tonight. They have been coming out more and more. It definitely has given us an extra boost of confidence; we want to play well not just for us, but for the students and the fans as well, because that's where the support comes from. The more people that come out, the better we feel we can play and the more we want to win for them.
On the impact the freshmen have made
I'm very proud of them. You know it's very rare that freshmen get minutes like this. They have definitely showed great maturity and growth through the entire season. They are all willing to learn and to do what they can to help this team win.
On what you guys did defensively in the second half
We came out with a little more intensity and energy. I think they missed some shots that they made in the first half. I mean we had the same gamelan the whole night with putting up shots, boxing out and aggressively rebounding.
Stick to ChippewaCountry for the latest in CMU athletics and recruiting