Chris Walker is 8-8 in his first year as head coach of the Red Raiders.
January 19, 2013
Tech head coach Chris Walker
"I definitely want to give a lot of credit to Coach (Ford) and their effort today. I thought they played great. There were some times when we had a chance to really make a game out if it and they executed very well. We tried to change defenses a little bit and they adjusted, and sometimes that hurt us. There was a lid of the basket for us today. We couldn't make a shot. We got every single type of action that we wanted, and bottom line is we didn't make a shot. It was just one of those games you've got to live with. With an inexperienced team and an immature team, we've gone through a stretch of four games where we've played probably the two best teams in the league last week with Kansas and Baylor. Now we're playing two games on the road in Oklahoma with two probable NCAA Tournament teams. So we've played four NCAA Tournament teams in the last two weeks. It's pretty tough where we are as a program. I'd like to have a better showing. Good thing is we get to play these guys again in Lubbock and hopefully we have a better showing. Phil Forte played great. I know going in, it was going to be tough and he was going to get it going because he hadn't gotten going in conference play yet. He's a really good player. Marcus Smart, we kind of leveled him off and Markel Brown picked him up. There were just too many players to stop. I know people have made a big deal about their injuries. The thing about when you have a lot of injuries with a lot of good players is that you have no chemistry issues. You can only stop those guys so many times. We needed to have some offensive firepower on our side to try and neutralize some of their runs, but it's just hard to do that. We just need to move forward and prepare for next week. Our agenda is, we're 1-4 (league) and 8-8 (overall) and we've got three out of our next four at home, now we have to do what these teams have done to us. We have to go home and play better and it's all about moving on to the next game."
On building confidence
"It's challenging, but that's what they're here for. We're in a rebuilding process. We have to keep our attitude in the right perspective. The perception and reality is very important. It doesn't matter if you know how badly we got beat today or how badly we got beat last Tuesday when we played against Baylor. The bottom line is we have the opportunity to come back and play again on Wednesday and that's the most important thing you have to teach a young team. One day as time goes on, we'll get the chance to do what we need to do and we won't need to take these lumps. But for now this is where we are and this is our journey and we have to take it."
On Oklahoma State
"They have a lot of talent and they have guys who can make plays and Travis (Ford) does a good job at coaching them and they run good stuff, but at the end of the day it's who's taking the shot, and that's what it comes down to. They have three or four guys I believe that will be playing in the NBA one day. That's very important at this level, to have those players if you want to be successful. But what is comes down to is Oklahoma State plays hard and they play a certain type of style and they have shot makers and guys that are playmakers."
On limiting Le'Bryan Nash
"You don't want him near the basket, that's the number one thing, and you want to give him the chance to shoot threes and see if he can make them. Some of their bigs who don't shoot on the perimeter, you have the chance to clog the lane up a little bit. The number one thing is getting back in transition because he can score in transition. I don't know if it was a function of what we did so much, I think their other guys had good games where he didn't really have to try and take over the game. He was smart and kept it where it was and didn't try and force things. Then they went to Phil (Forte) who made shots and they went to Markel (Brown). I don't know if it was what we were doing. I think he was just really good about letting those guys have it today."
On OSU's defense
"I thought it was pretty good. It was solid. It's hard to score on them in the post. Phil (Jurick) inside is really big and (Michael) Cobbins as a shot blocker and (Kamari) Murphy is athletic inside as well, then you can being in (Le'Bryan) Nash as a four-spot who can be a match-up problem and can drive the ball and make shots. They play pretty good defense. Again, not to disrespect Oklahoma State, but offensively we got every type of action that we wanted, we just couldn't put the ball in the basket."
OSU head coach Travis Ford
"I was very proud of how we carried some things over from practice this week. That's what you want to see as a basketball coach, or any coach. Things you get to work on in practice for a week, you hope you go out and execute it. What we worked on more than anything this week was our mentality, our identity, who we are, how we approach the game and how hard we're gonna play. I thought we executed. We worked on aggressive rebounding, blocking out, making contact and just pushing people back. And then we worked on our offense, our execution. I thought we did all three of those things very well tonight. But, as I told our team, that is who we need to be every night. That's the challenge with a young basketball team. Being that focused and playing with that sense of urgency in every game."
On Marcus Smart not getting as many minutes as normal
"We're getting good minutes from other guys when he's not in there -- Kirby Gardner; I though Phil Forte played really well today, hitting some shots; and Christian Sager got in there and gave us some good minutes. I'm glad he got to rest a little bit, really. In the second half, I wanted him to play a little bit -- I wanted him to get into a flow. But also, I was telling the coaches that maybe I should just get him out and rest him for Monday. I wanted him to get into a flow a little bit, but I don't worry a whole lot about Marcus Smart, other than keeping him out of foul trouble. It's good to see that we were able to play and execute, even without him in there."
On Markel Brown's performance
"I was shocked when I looked at the stat sheet and saw he didn't have a rebound. I would have been upset if we hadn't rebounded so well. In his defense, he is usually on the other team's best perimeter player, so he gets caught chasing him around when the shot goes up, so he's not getting in there. But, we need him. With his minutes, he should find four or five rebounds, and on a good night, seven to nine. But, we can't complain too much about our rebounding today. But, 21 points, six assists, no turnovers and a blocked shot. Not a bad night. We'll take it."
On Phil Jurick's performance
"I thought he did a terrific job. I thought he was more active today on both ends of the court. I thought he did some good things for us. I challenged both he and Michael Cobbins to play with a little nastiness -- let your presence be known. The only mistake you can make is not playing hard and not playing physical. Anything else, I don't care. If you don't do that, that's the mistake I'm worried about."
On the short turnaround before Monday's game at Baylor
"I haven't watched Baylor play yet this year. I've seen a few clips. Obviously, I have Coach (Chris) Ferguson, and he has Baylor broken down, scouted and ready to go. As soon as we're done, I'm going to start on them tonight, because we have to be ready to go tomorrow at noon for our team. We'll approach this game like we did the games in Puerto Rico where we had less than 24 hours to prepare for teams. Our guys will understand the scouting report and be ready to go."
OSU freshman guard Phil Forte
On practice last week
"It paid off today. We just took the week to work hard and focus on getting back to the fundamentals that we started the season off with. We had gotten away from a few things, so we just had to get back to focusing on the little things that made us successful and I think we did that and I think it showed tonight."
On what team worked on in practice
"(Just the) little things on defense that we had gotten away from. Our mentality wasn't nearly as aggressive on defense, we had gotten away from that, so we have to get back to that mentality of playing physical and aggressive and trying to share the ball, which was something we did well at the beginning of the year, and we had gotten away from that for a few games. So just trying to get back to that and back to the basics."
On the trip to Baylor
"We'll take off tomorrow, have a practice before, then head to Waco. We have to forget about this one because we'll have our hands full with Baylor and it'll be a tough road game and we'll have to find a way to win. So everyone has to be committed and focused going into that game."
On increased emphasis of rebounding
"It's something that coach emphasized this week. Rebounding and rebounding out of the area, whether it's the guards, bigs, just everyone coming together and blocking their man out and getting the loose balls. That's something we took a lot of pride in practice and it carried over in the game."
OSU junior guard Markel Brown
On his performance
"My teammates helped get me in a position to make good plays. Defense leading to offense for me and just getting in a rhythm out there with these guys."
On key to consistency with teammates
"Good, timely shots; my teammates helped me find shots, the plays Coach (Ford) ran, (the) defense getting the ball in transition and finding me in the open court, things like that."
On defensive success
"We put a lot of pressure on the ball. We got back to the basics of what we did that made us successful in the beginning of the season. One of those things was putting pressure on the ball and not letting them get easy looks. We just tried to not give them open shots and not let them feed the post easy and just man up and rebound."
On early success from three-point range
"It got the team sparked up and it gave us a little gap and a little lead for us to work on and it led us down the way."
On early dunk in the second half
"It felt great. It's been a (while) since I've gotten one of those, and it was good to spark the team and get the team back flowing, and I'm looking forward to making more plays like that to get the team playing the way we played tonight."
On the team's performance
"This is definitely a game we needed. Coming off of three losses out of four games, we needed this game to get back in our rhythm to get back to playing the way we played in the beginning of the season. We needed this game going on the road against a good Baylor team, a big rebounding team and we needed it to help us get our offense flowing again. It should help us going into Monday."
On last year's loss to Baylor
"We left that game behind, that was a terrible game we played down there. It's time for us to go down there, respond and play the way we are capable of playing and put the pressure on them to make plays and come out with a victory."