All quotes from head coach Tubby Smith.
“I’m really proud of how our kids competed tonight. We didn’t have our best game but a lot of it had to do with TCU. They came in ready to play, and I’m certainly impressed. I know that Trent Johnson’s teams play hard, physical and very aggressive. We had to match their intensity. I thought that early in the game – it wasn’t that we weren’t playing hard; they (TCU) were just hitting some shots. I’m just really proud of our guys. They’re believing in themselves – believing in the system and executing. A lot of guys logged a lot of minutes tonight. This was a different routine for us. We didn’t have that extra day off. I could tell our guys were a little fatigued, but we regrouped. There’s nothing easy in this league, and you’ve got to come ready to play every
night. We got outstanding play and scoring from Zach (Smith) and Aaron (Ross). I’m very pleased
with this win.”
On halftime adjustments:
“It was all business. We just needed to make the adjustments. Every time I go in at halftime, I tell them that the most insignificant score in all sports is the halftime score. They shouldn’t panic. We told them we’ve got to run them off the three’s and the other things we needed to do. We came out in the second half and changed our defense. We became a little more aggressive and played more denial-type defense to guard the three-point line, and it showed. In the second half, they only went 2-of-9 after making 7-of-11 in the first half. The kids are making the adjustments. They’re listening and executing the game plan that we’re making at halftime. We wanted to go inside because we thought that was a problem in the first half. They were just pounding us inside early. It helped getting them in foul trouble early and getting us on the line. You can see with Aaron (Ross) making 12-of-12, and Zach making 7-of-10 (at the free throw line) that we went inside to our post players. Those were the adjustments we made at halftime. It was business-like. The kids are becoming more serious-minded and more focused.”
On the keys to the team’s five-game winning streak:
“You have to have talent to compete in this league or at any level. We’ve got some talented players that are playing to their potential. We always talk about overachieving and playing harder and playing smarter. I think we have some players that are recognizing that if they don’t play harder and smarter than we aren’t going to win. We’ve stayed positive. That’s been the key all season long, even when we had some tough losses early in conference play. We just needed to catch a break and win some close games to give us that confidence. Our kids never lost faith. They never lost confidence. They kept working hard, and they got in the gym more. You just have to work harder, and I thought that’s what our kids have done.”