Postgame Quotes: McNeese State 80, Texas Tech 75

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Josh Gray had 15 points, three assists, three steals and no turnovers on Sunday.

December 16, 2012

Texas Tech Head Coach Chris Walker

Opening Statement
“First of all you have to take your hat off to McNeese State, I thought they played great. They came in on a four-game winning streak, they’ve got a couple of guys eligible that were key tonight. Eackles made three-of-three three’s, they were a team that was struggling making three’s and they made some shots. From our stand point obviously the most glaring thing is the free-throw shooting, that’s two games in a row where we missed 13 free throws and that’s just a countless number and it’s happened a couple of games now where layups here and there and slapping the ball out of our hand and just not being tough, 50-50 balls are just key, we got a guy trapped and he gets out of the trap and they make a layup, it’s just those things that what Texas Tech basketball represents or the idea or image we are trying to create those are things we’ve got to have and if we don’t get those things we are not playing very well and it has nothing to do with the break or having young guys, at the end of the day we are a Big 12 team and we have to have guys step to the line and make foul shots, taking charges was a big emphasis this game and I don’t think we had a guy take one, it’s just a matter of focusing and coming to play and it’s not about McNeese being from the Southland or Alabama being from the SEC the bottom line is that every game is different and they came in focused, not that we weren’t focused, I don’t know if we played so bad as well as they played really really good and when they had to make a play they made it and when we needed to make a play we didn’t and we just have to learn from it and we have to get ready, I told the guys in the locker room everybody win loses during the season, the bottom line is how you come back from this game, what is our attitude going to be tomorrow in practice because at the end of the day even if we win on Wednesday it doesn’t change what happened on Sunday and we have to continue to improve on that going forward.”

On the struggling from the three-point line
“We threw the ball inside a lot too and missed a lot of layups, it was just the course of the game. Obviously there were a couple of questionable ones that we would probably like to have back but at the end of the day just because of the flow of the game, again, I hate to point out one particular thing but if we made 10 more foul shots the flow of the game is different, now maybe you aren’t shooting as many three’s and they went zone and people tend to settle for three’s in a zone and once they start catching up we started to panic a little bit and then we started shooting three’s and what happens when you aren’t making free throws you settle for three’s and at the end of the day for me it doesn’t come down to offense it comes down to two or three key possessions that Texas Tech didn’t get a stop. If we’d gotten a stop we are having  a different conversation right now.”

On what he will do in practice to toughen Texas Tech up
“The bottom line I think we can work on rotation defense a little bit more and really sub guys create an attitude of if you don’t do it then you’re not going to play and that’s the bottom line. It’s not that they are not being taught it’s that when the game starts they are not following through or it’s not habit enough for them to get over there and take charges. They’re trying but trying isn’t good enough when you are trying to win championships we need guys to execute, it’s just like plays, your missing three’s and they say coach I’m trying, well maybe you don’t shoot as many three’s or maybe you get in the gym and shot a thousand tomorrow, we need guys that can make plays and that’s not just making plays on offense it’s also making plays on defense.”

Junior Jaye Crockett

On where that game got away from Texas Tech
“In any game you are going to have runs and I think that the time was just running out and they started getting runs at the right time and we couldn’t score buckets and they were just scoring on us.”

On the look he got at the end with about 12 seconds left to play
“I think it was great look, I should’ve knocked it down. I wish I would have.”

On the team missing 13 free throws
“You don’t really realize it until the coaches tell you after the game and let us know how many we missed and they just let us know you have to take that stuff seriously in practice because some people use that time as time to rest but we have to take it more serious.”

Freshman Josh Gray

On if it was frustrating to lose when Tech was in control most of the game
“It was very frustrating, we were playing good the first half and came out playing good the second half and then it got away from us towards the end of the second half, it was very disappointing.”

On his personal feelings towards the loss because he knows several players on McNeese State’s team
“I feel like I lost somebody in my family, that’s how bad I feel. I’m going to go back home and look at all those people but it’s alright it’s part of the game you win or you lose and I’m alright, but we have to get better as a team.”

McNeese State Head Coach Dave Simmons
“First of all it was huge win for a very young basketball team and I told the guys before that we’ve been over here before and only two guys that were on the team since last time we played Texas Tech and I feel like we last time we were over here we had some business undone. We didn’t win a game we had a chance to win, but we knew it was going to be tough, they’re tough, only team that’s been in here and really challenged them was Arizona and everybody else they’ve pretty much handled, but my hats off to our seniors who kept us in the ball game and fought hard and did a tremendous job. But I did say after the game that we are going to enjoy this but it’s a long season and we have to continue to improve but I did say this was second nature, it was a great win for us but it was second to what happened a couple of days ago in Connecticut and I told those guys to remember those young kids and that they get a chance to play and have fun but what those families are going through right now is a tremendous, you can’t say it and I’m a father and a grandfather but I feel for those people and I want those guys to know that there are two sides to athletics, there’s an adverse side and there’s a happy side and you can’t replace that but we are going to move on and continue to pray and help those people in any way we can with our prayers, but it was huge win for us no doubt, you can look at the Southland Conference’s record compared to playing in the Big 12 and we set our goal as we needed to win a game because we struggled to win a game on the road the previous last three games and we needed to win a game on the road for our conference race and obviously we have North Carolina next and we had two choices, it was North Carolina or Texas Tech, but it was a tremendous win for our guys and our staff has done a tremendous job and I just get the chance to get up here and speak about it.”




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