Following the Chippewas loss to rival Western Michigan, CMU head coach Keno Davis and select players were made available to the media. Look below for quotes following the game
Freshman forward Blake Hibbitts
On his first experience in the Western rivalry
"It was a great crowd, a lot of energy tonight. I've heard a lot about the rivalry and knew it was going to be a hard fought game and it was really physical, we just came out on the short end of it."
On if he thinks the team is wearing down
"No I don't think so. I think we kind of hit a dry spell, I mean we are working hard in practice everyday and we are more focused now then we have every been, I believe we are going to come back stronger every game."
On if the size match up had a huge impact on the game
"I mean anytime you give up that many points in paint it's going to be hard to win, so yeah it did."
On what this team needs to do to snap this two game losing streak
"We didn't shot well tonight. We are capable of shooting better from the three point line than what we showed tonight. Our defense obviously needs to get better as we can't give up that many points and open looks… but we will be fine."
On if it was shot selection or shots not falling tonight
"I thought we had a lot of good shots tonight. They just didn't seem to fall."
On if his shooting confidence has grown through the season
"Yeah, I'm just kind of used to the whole atmosphere of playing Division 1 basketball, and being a freshmen a lot of these guys have three or four years experience on me. But I don't really feel like a freshmen anymore, and I feel I have enough experience to have confidence in my shot."
CMU head coach Keno Davis
"I think I will start off by congratulating Western Michigan. We knew we were in for a tough one after watching film on them, as you didn't see any weakness. You saw a team that is experienced, talented and worked extremely hard. We knew we were going to work hard, but at the end of the game you just look back and tip your hat to the type of team they have right now and the success they are going to have. Yet we understand that we need to keep improving and we might improve more than any team in the conference because of our youth. This is a learning experience for us and we try to take things from this game that will help us in the future."
On how it felt that every time you guys went on a run WMU seemed to answer back
"Yeah that's how it felt to me. We don't have much room for error this year in that Kyle Randall has been so great for us and if he has an off night we struggle a little bit. If we shoot poorly from three, it will be tough for us to win. If the game gets physical or we get an injury, it's tough for us to come back and fight through that, but we do our best and get after it and make no excuses. I felt like tonight we were making a run and getting back in there, but they made enough tough shots. It seems like when you don't have much room for error those shots tend to go in on you, but we are only going to get better from this and I look forward to getting back on the practice court."
On if the length and physicality of Western Michigan concerned him
"It was everything that concerned me. It was the length, strength, experience, guard play and shooting ability. You saw them able to have a lead and not relax, which you can't say that about a lot of teams. There was a lot that worried me, but the thing I wasn't worried about coming off the Northern Illinois game, was that we would be ready to play and to play hard. This is the first time for our guys to be in an environment like this. An environment that we would like to see in all our home games this season. I think we were trying so hard that the offensive game execution wasn't there but I think we will be better off next time when we are in this situation."
On the crowd
"I think a crowd like this probably means about three or four more wins on an average year. So yeah it gives you a great opportunity. It can be intimidating to the other team and the officials, so it can mean a lot of things. So that's why we have been working with the administration hand in hand so we are making sure that we are getting support, and not just when we start winning, so we can have the best home court advantage. We don't want to look back on a year and say if we won a couple more games and had a better home court advantage maybe we would have made the tournament or maybe a postseason team. It's not going unnoticed, the crowd support we had tonight. We want to continue to build on this."
On the missed shots. Is it more shot selection or the team just missing shots
"Probably a question I could better answer after watching the film. I think a little bit of both. I thought we had quite few shots that were just really good open looks that didn't go down for us. The first half they were 4-8 from the 3-point line and we were 2-11. That was the difference in the game because it was a seven-point game and they hit 3's and we didn't hit 3's. That's kind of what we are built on. We have guards that are three point shooters at every spot, so when you get out shot at the three point line, it's going to be an uphill battle. "
On his trams defensive pressure forcing 18 turnovers and 12 steals
"Yeah I mean I think our pressure defense is building. I think in a year or two we could be a really good pressure defense team. We could force a lot of turnovers. Every night you look over and the other team has 17 or more turnovers but we are not there yet. In the last couple of games we had to use more pressure as we were down. If you are down like that and you just drop back you are pretty much just letting the game run out. So we knew we had to get some steals and knock down some shots. I thought we did a good job of getting steals and we had two or three in our hands but somehow lost and some we didn't make the shots at the end of it. If you make a couple of those that's how you get rid of the double-digit deficit.
On if he see's some of the younger guys wearing down
"Maybe. I think it's a long season and when you think about starting in the summer to our summer trip and then we put so many things on them as freshmen. We have been going for a long time and so we are trying as a staff to limit how long we go in practice with running. Tomorrow will be a day off so we make sure their legs are fresh to go and mentally we have to make sure they don't get to down on this game. There are a lot of games left. Our players have a lot of basketball in them and a great chance to improve, so we have to keep reminding them that we have another game and the players will be resilient. They will get over this before the coaches will guarantee."
On if there is a player that he wants to step up when Kyle Randall isn't making his shots
"Probably not. When Kyle isn't going to be shooting as well on a particular night, I don't think there is a player that we are going to look to and say we need you to take six or seven more shots. I don't think we have anyone in that range yet but that we can spread it out and we are looking for guys that will make a play. When you look at Kyle Randall through the year, for the most part there is a rare exception where he doesn't make the right play, and tonight the shot didn't go in for him but he was getting the open look and making the right play. He feels pressure that he is being relied on for scoring, but it's my job not to put pressure on him and say if you miss it don't worry about it. The other guys aren't ready to take those shots and he has been through it being a senior, and really being the only guy on the team that has had a lot of experience with the ball in his hands and a lot of experience on the court.
On how he thought the white shoes looked like tonight
"Probably not a real good look but I love the idea of raising cancer awareness in our world as it touches all of us. Its something that we all should not just make it a one day thing as we should make more of an assertive effort from all of us day to day to promote awareness but being able to solve the problem."
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