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January 26, 2014

Austin Etherington

Yogi Ferrell

Stanford Robinson


Q.  Austin, can you just kind of talk about the lift you gave off the bench and what your mindset was.
AUSTIN ETHERINGTON:  I know that my role is to come in and try to bring as much energy to the game.  You know, sometimes right after the start of the game, it's like a slow game at some point.  So I just come in and play my hardest and play with heart and try to feed some energy to these guys.  These guys had a great game.  So it looks like it worked.

Q.  This zone for you guys defensively, obviously, they did not make a lot of shots and you guys were able to out rebound by a lot.  What worked in the zone defensively?
YOGI FERRELL:  No, we just kind of try to slow them down really.  We wanted to slow down Rice, take away the paint.  Just kind of went zone and pack it in really.
We did great.  It was on the coaches really.  They made a great play call in the middle of the game to go two, and it kept working for us.  So we stuck with it.

Q.  Just to keep elaborating on that.  The zone is something you've grown into this year.  How much more comfortable are you now, and how much do you feel it's something that seems to work against a lot of different kinds of opponents?
YOGI FERRELL:  I feel like it's worked very great for us.  We're always in practice working on it.  Another thing that helps it is guys talking.  I know Noah, he's kind of like the anchor in two‑three.  He kind of sees everything.  Him,  Hanner, whoever's in the middle does a great job talking to us.  So we know they have our backs.

Q.  What was different for you offensively in the second half?  You had like 15 or so teeing up after halftime.
YOGI FERRELL:  Just picking my spots a little better.  I know I had a bunch of turnovers at the beginning of the game.  They kind of boxed me in a little bit.  They played great help side defense.  I just drive and pretty much kick and let them guys feed.

Q.  Stan, going with the drive, it seems they know you're going to drive.  Yet you're still able to do that.  Can you address that a little bit, what you're doing now and how much do you enjoy packing it in?
STAN ROBINSON:  Coach Seth, he talks about waiting for the ball reversal.  Usually I was able to just throw it off the dribble, but now he tells me like just keep swinging the ball around, and when you get it back, if the defense is rotating, then they're scrambling out there.  But get to the rim just as well as I do.
Getting to the rim is a fun thing to do.  It lifts me up, and I think it lifts my teammates up too.

Q.  Yogi, how do you see this team's patience develop as the year goes on?  Are you just driving to the basket or taking the three‑pointer?  You don't seem to be concentrating on that quite as much.
YOGI FERRELL:  Yeah.  We always want to play fast, though.  As soon as we get a rebound, we just want to push and kind of just play really.  We don't like when coaches call a set because that slows things down for us.
We just want to get out there and play, swing the ball, look for open shots.  So I feel like we've done a great job of being more patient, getting the ball outside to Noah when we need him to score for us and just playing our game really.  I think doing a great job of forming our identity.

Q.  Austin, you guys didn't allow second chance points or offensive rebounds.  How big was Noah in all that, and why do you think he was so effective in that part?
AUSTIN ETHERINGTON:  We concentrate a lot on blocking our man out.  When we hit a guy, we preach to go get the ball after you do it.  A lot of times you just have to not let your guy get it because you know Noah is going to get the rebound.  Look at him, he's averaging 12 rebounds a game or so.  It's just something we preach on defensively, not give up second chance points, and it seems to be working for us.

Q.  Besides winning, what are some of the things this team has to do moving forward to get in a position to be in the NCAA Tournament?
YOGI FERRELL:  You know, probably the main thing is cutting down on turnovers.  We want to get at least ten or less a game.  I felt like that will come with playing a lot of games really.  Us being young isn't a factor at all.  It just comes down to us being patient really.
We've got to have more of a defensive mindset.  We can't have miscommunications on defense like we did a few times in this game.
I think we get those two things down, we'll be okay.

Q.  Just to follow up, is this a better team now than it was earlier in the season, preconference schedule?
YOGI FERRELL:  Yeah, I definitely feel like that.  That's just coming from playing a bunch of games with each other.  I think a lot of us have a better sense of how each of us are going to play, where we're going to be out on the court.  We're definitely trusting each other a lot more, I feel like, than we did before.

Q.  Talk about Noah's ability to impact the game, despite taking the six shots and only four points.
STAN ROBINSON:  Everybody knows that he's our best offensive player right now.  He's unstoppable kind of in the paint.  So the teams are going to send in more than one player to guard him, it opens up everything for us.  He impacts the game a lot even if he only takes six shots.  Those six shots, they have to respect.
Every time he touches the ball, they have to respect him touching the ball.  So it kind of opens up everything for us.

Q.  Kind of following up a little bit on what you were talking about, just following up on that, do you feel like this team is also maybe learning to recognize a little bit better how games need to be won?  It felt like in the second half you guys recognized this was going to be a defensive game, shots weren't falling.  To be a little bit slower, a little bit more methodical, I guess, a little bit more deliberate, and not kind of let the game get out of control and just recognize you're going to have to win a little ugly, I suppose.
YOGI FERRELL:  Yeah, that comes from, especially previous games.  We've been in a couple of close games where we've been down one or two possessions.  Especially those games that we've lost, I feel like we've learned from that.  To not try and force things really and kind of play, play the clock out.
So we just got to go out there and give it our all.  Can't take plays off.  You know, just play as a team, play as a unit.

Q.  Stan, you played a season high 29 minutes today.  What is your role as you see it on this team?
STAN ROBINSON:  I honestly think my role is just to lock up, play defense.  That's what I see.  And that's what I like doing.  I take pride in guarding my man, and I feel like, when I bring energy on the court, the team, they follow along.  We all ride up on that defensive edge.  When we get that defensive edge, it's kind of hard for us to lose.

Q.  What does it mean to get this win after you guys lost up there?
AUSTIN ETHERINGTON:  This is a good confidence builder for us because we know that we're right there in the Big Ten.  There's a lot of guys, a lot of teams that have very similar records to us.  There's only two that are outright right now.
I think it just gives us confidence knowing we're right there, and win a few more games, and we'll be right in the mix.  I think that's a big confidence builder for us as a team to go and move forward on it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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