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James Dickey Press Conference

Comments from the Red Raider basketball coach.

Feb. 2, 1998

Opening Comments:

Cory was obviously sensational the second half yesterday. Someone asked me a question on the conference call this morning, had I ever seen Cory take over a game like that. I have but I'm not sure when we were down 11 points, have I seen him do that. It was a great performance. Some things that I certainly thought were key - Rayford Young's defense on Patrick Hunter, Stan's defense on Roddrick Miller. I thought those two areas were outstanding. We did some good things up front, didn't rebound on the defense boards as well as we would like to.

It was a good win for us. Hopefully, it will give us momentum going into Oklahoma. I think it would be a huge mistake to buy into what they are talking about in how beat up they are. Certainly Najera is a good player, but they've got several other good players. I fully expect Humphrey to be at full speed and play. They've got a great player in Corey Brewer.

We'll have to do a good job on them defensively. They got to the free throw line 41 times against A&M. That means they are pounding it inside, crashing the offensive glass and driving a lot. So, defense, boards, and containment on the perimeter will be big keys when we go in there on Wednesday night. And we need certainly to be ready for a knock down, drag out physical game.

On the zone defense against Baylor:

We played it one possession, that's how much I like it. We played it one time. I hate zones. We played it. We were out there on him and let Perkins drive in and shoot a little old shot. We didn't stay in it very long.

We tried to take away Skinner, but he still gets 23 points. But a lot of them we were in straight man defense. He's a good player. He got some offensive boards. He got to the free throw line, he got a dunk when the ball was going out of bounds, he got two baskets in transition.

I wasn't sure when Perkins was 4-for-6 how good our game plan was going to work. It got better as the game progressed. You take a chance. Going into the game (Perkins) is a 25 percent three-point shooter. He stepped up and hit some big shots for them. The big thing was who was going to step up and make those shots down the stretch. It's usually been Hunter, Miller and Skinner. We tried to take those guys away, especially after we got the lead.

On Cliff Owens: Cliff has really gotten better. His improvement may stick out more because we had so far to go on the front line. I think certainly Rayford and Stan have improved and Cory continues to improve. They may not have had so far to go as our front line. I really have been impressed with how Cliff has worked. The good thing about him is he is just going to get better and better.

On free throw shooting:

I'm not real happy with our free throw shooting. We have the game locked up and then we miss six consecutive free throws. We made it tough on ourselves. Finally, we got the right person to the line. Stanley hits four in a row. We made it a little closer than it should have been. We could have iced the game. You get an intentional foul and we get nothing out of that possession.

On the team's attitude being down 11 at Baylor: I thought our team displayed the best poise that we've displayed on the road in a situation where are we facing adversity. They felt very confident. The good thing about it our percentage was so high in the second half and theirs was not very good. It was a combination of two things. I thought our defense was good. We did a better job on the offensive end. Some of it was by our transition game. We got some easy baskets in transition. We had two plays I thought would have iced the game besides the free throws.

On beginning the second half of the Big 12 season: I think it's getting to a part of the season where you are, not maybe desperate, but it's highly important because we are at point where we need several victories to get where we want to be. I think our players realize the importance of all the victories at this point of the season. We are down to the...now starting the second half of the conference race. We dropped some games early. Every game is really important. I think they realize that. There is some sense of urgency among our team. Any time you win it builds confidence.

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