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Billy Gillispie led Texas Tech to its first Big 12 win of the season.

Feb. 11, 2012

Texas Tech Head Coach Billy Gillispie

Opening Statement
“Obviously a great win for us and I think our guys deserve to win. They battled. They’ve been battling the whole time, haven’t always executed very well but they battled hard in practice and played good enough defense the other night at Kansas State to win on the road against a very good team, just turned the ball over too much. They built on that game the next day at practice, and had the right approach. You think about things not going your way for a while, its been a while since we won a game. You hang in there like you do, and you keep fighting like they have. No matter how many mistakes, they keep on fighting, and it says a lot about the character of our players, so I’m very proud of them.”

On Turnovers
“I think that we pass and caught it better. We turned it over a world record amount yesterday in practice, which for us, the world record amounts are pretty hard to obtain for this year, but they made their minds up they weren’t going to turn it over and I told them I didn’t care if they turn it over just defend rebound if they turn it over, just play and get another stop. So, it just turned out tonight that we didn’t turn it over. That’s a real good formula for winning, not fouling too much and defending and rebounding. That’s what we’ve been trying to do all year long because we have some guys that made some shots, and made some plays tonight, but as far as the turnovers, what we need to do every time is we got 58 shots and I think on Tuesday we might of got 30-something shots because of the lack of turnovers tonight. That’s what we need to do as our best chance to move forward.”

On Robert Lewandowski
“I didn’t realize he was one for eleven or I probably would have taken him out. When you talk about ‘Lew’, he’s one of the best young people I’ve ever been around. He’s a lone senior on our team and for him to try to change to the way I want him to play, that’s best for our team and its got to be hard for a senior, the way its gone so far. He keeps on battling and battling and battling. Its always great to see good things happen to young people who do continue to battle and he just missed some shots, and I didn’t realize he was one for eleven, but he played better defense tonight and he rebounded better tonight and got on a roll tonight and got those seven out of eight. He was feeling pretty good about it after the win as he should have been.”

On family bond of the team
“Their chemistry has never been questioned. The only thing you could question about our guys—on the court, in the community, in the classroom—is just we haven’t won enough. A lot of teams could sit up here and make excuses because we’re young and we’re new and all that kind of stuff, but we haven’t and we wont. It’s a very close group that really does care about one another. The three guys that normally play, that didn’t play tonight, they’re as happy as anyone in that locker room and that says a lot about them. I always say I’m very proud of them and I’m just as proud of them as ever, but its a lot better to be proud when we win and that’s what we always want to try to do. The other thing is, we had a couple things like ‘Bean’ turned his ankle the first play, basically the first five minutes of K-State. They said there’s no way he’s going to be able to play. He spent every single second he had from Tuesday night until today, when he wasn’t in class or in study hall, he’s in there trying to get ready to play, and that shows his commitment. He wanted to play and he probably played his best game as a collegian. These guys are really close. I’m not saying that because we won. The only thing we haven’t been doing is executing and winning games. The other thing is whenever you have 9,386 people here tonight after we have had the results that we have, it shows you that they really do appreciate… I’m an emotional guy because I really do appreciate commitment. And I really do appreciate loyalty, and I think that’s what makes you the best. And for our fans to be as loyal and committed as they have, when our results have been anything like any of us want. And I can feel them enjoying that game just as much as any one of the players or coaches. They were pulling so hard for us and they have been. I’ve never been anywhere where people would have that much care for the team when we’ve had the results we’ve had. I don’t think there’s anywhere in the country or anywhere in the world, when you’ve had the results that we’ve had and turned the ball over as much as we have, and come here tonight and help us win the game. I don’t think there’s a place in the country that would do that at this point. So they should be committed as well, it just really means a lot. Because every single fan in there pulling for us. That shows you what kind of fan support we have. Its going to be some kind of special deal when we start winning them all and we’re going to try to win again on Tuesday against a team that was picked ninth in the country at the beginning of the season. Their season hasn’t gone as well as they wanted, they’re in desperation mode, and we’ve got to fight like crazy on Tuesday and get everyone in here pulling for us just like we had tonight. The fans should be commended because there is no where in the country that fans would come and pull for us with the results like we’ve had.”

“That’s what we’re trying to do. It doesn’t have to be the prettiest thing; we’re not a work of art. The tougher it is, the more we will be successful. They’ve started and it takes a while. They’ve really taken on a physical toughness for the most part. That’s what you have to be in the Big 12. They’re committed to each other, to our team and getting better every single day. I told them February is the one that determines how you will be looked at upon the season. We’re going to fight to the end. We’re going to fight every day in practice.”

On Luke Adams
“He did great. He did it without taking a bunch of shots. He’s a hard player. He had two of the turnovers. Luke’s a tough and smart player.”

On Substituting
“Those guys were playing so well together I wasn’t going to sub them out. They asked to come out a couple times and I looked the other way acted like I didn’t see them.”

Texas Tech Senior Robert Lewandowski

On how it felt to get the win
“First of all, just thanks be to God, man. He saw fit to get us the win tonight, and I just praise be to Him for everything. That win, it’s kind of surreal, man. It’s real nice. It was the shortest post-game speech coach has given us, and it was the happiest one he gave. He’s definitely proud of us, and we’re all proud of each other. It’s been a long time coming. But, you know like coach said, it’s not last. It may be the first, but it’s not the last.”

On second half difference
“It’s all confidence, and it comes down to hitting shots. I think once one falls, it makes it all easier. I still wasn’t perfect, there were still some shots…I mean, if I hit all the shots I should have hit, I would have ended up with a lot more than I did. But at the same time, a win’s a win, and I’m going to take it, and just learn from it, and move on. A little better shot selection on my part. Just keep getting in the gym and working on it, and it will work out. You just knock one in and it makes it a lot easier afterwards.”

On success of taking more open jumpers
“Give Oklahoma the credit. They’re a great team and stuff, but we were able to find some weaknesses in the pick-and-roll game, and we exploited it, and it worked out really well to our advantage. Another thing, I know it’s off-topic, but thanks to the fans. You guys have stuck with us forever. And we couldn’t have done it today without the fans. That could have been a 10 point or a 5 point win, or even a loss, but turn it into a double-digit win with the fans on our side. It was great to hear ‘Raider Power’. Any other fan base would have turned their back on us, but we live in a great town, great sports town, and we love all the fans. So thank you very much.”

On lead at half giving confidence
“Definitely. We haven’t had a lead in the half in a long time, especially at home. At home, you know, Under Armour puts it great, “We must protect this house.” We haven’t done a very good job of that, but you have to start somewhere, and tonight, we started.”

Lew at one point was 1-11, then was 7-8.
“I’m glad no one told me that, because I probably would have stopped shooting. Like I said, there was a lot of shots that I should have made, and if I had made them, and the game would have been even more wide open. But it’s just, keep going at it. My teammates have great faith in me, in the things I can do on the court, and they give it to me where I can score, so thanks to them for getting it to me where I can score.  I’m glad I could help the team get a win.”

On 7-man flow
“In practice, we constantly have a constant rotation of players, we know how to play with each other, but usually, it’s because someone turns it over, or someone makes a bad defensive play or we get pulled out. But tonight it’s one of those things where everyone was just clicking. We’ll see if we can do it again. That’s going to be our main focus, just controlling the ball, and making sure we take care of the ball. But if we can continue to do that…The guys on the bench were just as part of the win, too, as much as anyone else. They were cheering for us, they got us going. IN the huddle sometimes, when things were slowing down a little bit. So it wasn’t a seven man game, it was very much a 12, 15 man game.”

On momentum to A&M game
“It’s been a while since we won, especially a big win like this. The biggest thing I think we need to do is celebrate, just kind of relax and just kind of enjoy the moment, and savor the taste of it. But tomorrow in practice is the next big step. It’s not on Tuesday, but the next big step starts tomorrow in practice. If we come out still kind of complacent because of this win, then that’s going to make the road to Tuesday a lot harder. So we need to come out and get our minds right, and practice like we played tonight. Just go hard and take care of the ball. It will be all right. It just starts tomorrow. “

Texas Tech Sophomore Javarez “Bean” Willis

On win
“It’s always been played up, like it’s supposed to be. [Coach Gillispie] gives the scouting report, and he tells us exactly what it takes to win. He tells us if we don’t turn the ball over, and I haven’t been hitting shots lately. So in film, he got on me and told me “The reason why you’re not hitting shots is because you’ve been taking bad shots.” So I decided to change that today, and took all good shots, and stayed under control. It’s just amazing how if you do what he says, it works. We had seven turnovers. I think that was the difference in the game.”

On intensity
“It all started from Kansas State, even though we lost. We had 22 turnovers, eleven buckets, but for the most, I think we lost by 16. It was close at the end, got it down to 10. There were a couple of plays that we made, but we had 22 turnovers. I think it started from that game. We played hard, in my opinion, for 40 minutes in that game as well. I think we just played stupid.”

On turnovers
“It affects your defense. That’s the type of team…when we turn the ball over a lot, we stop guarding. So it’s a lot of motivation tonight. I’ mean we’ve been sticking with it. Everyday. Trying to go hard as we possibly can. I kind of figured the win was going to come soon. Just happy it came tonight. I just feel like it’s good it happened tonight. I just feel like we’re going to get the next one, and the next one, and the next one. “

On 7-man flow
“All I can say is we played good. I don’t think it was no particular reason why… The only reason why I think we had a 7man rotation was because seven players were playing great. I guess Coach Gillispie didn’t want to change that, or whatever, but it all worked out for the best. “

“Was it Thursday or Friday, coach said “I don’t care how many turnovers y’all get, just stop them 101 times.” I went in the game, I really felt like, hey, let’s stop them 101 times, and when I turned it over, I wasn’t going to really worry about it, just try to get it back on defense. “

On ankle
I just think playing for Coach Gillispie just…he really…he called me and told me “you just turned your ankle. You should have been back the next day.” SO I just felt like the team needed me. I did treatment as much as I could, and I didn’t really worry about it. It was kind of hurting at the first, at the beginning in the first half, because we went and sat in the locker room, and I sat down on it, I just had to loosen up, but for the most, it’s a sacrifice. Whatever I have to do to make my team , to help my team win, that’s exactly what I’m going to do, so if I had worried about my ankle, then I couldn’t defend like I was supposed to.  So the biggest thing is, I just have it in my mind where if I get hurt for the team, then that’s good. I’m still going to go out and give 110%.”

On post-game team in locker room
“It was just a whole bunch of screaming, jumping, hollering…We were just excited about the win. We are a family, but it’s the most that I ever touched my team mates, as far as hugging them, I hugged my coach…It’s crazy. It just felt like a family bond in the inside of the locker room. It was crazy.”

Oklahoma Head Coach Lon Kruger

Opening statement
“Congratulations to Billy and his club I thought they worked hard and competed and beat us to loose balls and dictated all night long. We got pretty good energy to start the ball game and then when they even up there in the first half it seemed like, from that point on, they were the ones dictating, getting to loose balls and doing what they wanted to do. We didn’t have a lot going on either side of the ball.”

On overall energy
“That’s one thing we’ve had from… pretty consistent throughout. I thought, again, when they took the lead at halftime and came out in the second half and just playing with a three to seven point deficit there for a while and couldn’t get anything going. I thought right there at that point we were playing to not lose as opposed to being aggressive and our defense didn’t have much going on all night.”

On Tech’s Defense against Pledger
“They did a good job on getting up into his body, taking away the catch and shoot. Something that we will continue to work on is that people are going to play him that way and he’s got to be able to work off the dribble a little bit and create some looks.”

On Three-Pointer Struggle
“Pledger shot the ball, percentage-wise, pretty good on the year. Otherwise, we haven’t shot it very well on the year. I thought Billy’s group did a great job. They worked hard, were committed, and a good win for them.”

On Frustration of the game
“This is again from an energy standpoint and a competitive standpoint I didn’t feel like we brought it like we have. Even ball games that we haven’t won, we battle it pretty good. I thought when they took the lead tonight we just didn’t quite have the enthusiasm and energy that you have to have to come back on the road.”

On Tech’s potential layover
“Didn’t see any of that out of our guys. We had a couple good days of practice and preparation. Their enthusiasm was really good and they knew Tech is continuing to play really hard and had a lot of respect for that.”

On Robert Lewandowski
“They did a good job of giving him the ball. He had some open looks, got a couple jumpers and that got him going. Then when we started trapping a little bit, they started to give it to him down and low. He did a good job finishing opportunities and making shots.”




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