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EA SPORTS MAUI INVITATIONAL


November 24, 2014


Marcus Foster

Thomas Gipson

Bruce Weber


LAHAINA, HAWAII

Kansas State テや 88
Purdue テや 79


THE MODERATOR:テつ We welcome Coach Weber to the media room this morning for today's press conference.テつ We'll start the press conference with an opening statement from Coach, followed by questions for the player, and then we'll dismiss the player and take questions for the coach.テつ Coach Weber, if you would like to give us an opening statement on this morning's game?
COACH WEBER:テつ Well, it was a good hard‑fought win for us.テつ I thought when you make shots, we didn't make shots last Friday at Long Beach.テつ When you make shots you look better as a team, there is no doubt about that.テつ Marcus jumped up and made some big shots.テつ When they made a run at us, Marcus's three, Thomas Gipson back‑to‑back in the paint, scored buckets.テつ We give up 55 in the second half.
I thought the game was dictated right from the beginning we had a great sense of urgency.テつ We guard the heck out of him, our Wayne McClain play hard chart.テつ We were 36‑18.テつ We had doubled them at halftime.テつ Loose balls diving on the floor.テつ Marcus still on the floor, gets the timeout.テつ Just all those little things that we kind of set for the game.テつ We knew Coach Painter would get after them.テつ They came back, and Stephens obviously made a lot of improvement.テつ I recruited his dad and I know Kendall very well since he was a little kid.テつ He's playing at a high level.テつ And then Haas, you know, we saw him make some plays in some of the other games, but no way did we think he could do some of the things he did tonight.テつ He's big time.テつ He's going to be a handful.テつ I thought when we stopped their initial action, we guarded them pretty well.
Obviously, in the second half we didn't get many stops on the initial action, but we fought through it.テつ Made plays when it counted, and got enough rebounds down the stretch to get a win and move on.

Q.テつ How important was it to do those little things coming off the way you guys did?
MARCUS FOSTER:テつ It was definitely important.テつ I felt in Long Beach we didn't play as hard as we did tonight.テつ That's what our games are based off of.テつ We played hard, and everybody knocked down shots.テつ So we've just got to do the little things every day and make it hard for teams to score on us.

Q.テつ Marcus, you had quite a string of shots there when they cut it to about 11.テつ What was your mentality going into that when you saw them making things interesting?
MARCUS FOSTER:テつ We knew they were going to make a run, so it was all about just keeping our composure and keep battling.テつ We didn't want the lead to cut down too much where it would be a game where they can come back and take it away.テつ But they made a run and we just stuck in it and played hard and we ended up getting the W.

Q.テつ Marcus, you were called for a technical foul in the second half.テつ Just talk about what happened on that play there?
MARCUS FOSTER:テつ It was really me losing my composure.テつ As one of the leaders on this team, I can't let that happen again.

Q. テつWhat was working for you guys on the baseline?テつ You had a lot of success attacking Purdue.テつ Your offense attacking the baseline, was that a product of Hammons being out or something you saw in their defense?
MARCUS FOSTER:テつ It's just something we've got to do.テつ In any zone, you've got to move, work the baseline, either a big or a guard.テつ Our bigs were moving to the baseline, open spot, being able to hit shots.テつ Our guards were flashing to the corner and getting wide open shots.テつ So it's just something you've got to do against the zone.

Q.テつ Marcus, you hit the long three‑pointer, NBA three.テつ I guess you saw the shot clock was running down.テつ I was wondering about that.テつ Also the one you banked in, how did you feel on that one?
MARCUS FOSTER:テつ It was kind of exciting to hit that shot.テつ It was a big shot for us.テつ Sometimes you've just got to have some guts and just take that big shot.

Q.テつ Marcus, after the way you played at Long Beach, did you put a lot of pressure on yourself to come in and do more today?
MARCUS FOSTER:テつ I wouldn't say pressure.テつ It was just about bouncing back, honestly.テつ I felt I let my team down how I played.テつ And I had to bounce back.テつ You know, I've got to play like this every game.テつ I've got to bring energy for my team.テつ I can't be walking around.テつ But it's something we've got to do every game.

Q.テつ Marcus, you forced Purdue to turn the ball over 11 times in the first half and led directly to 17 points.テつ That obviously makes a big difference at the end of the game.テつ What do you feel you did well defensively today?
MARCUS FOSTER:テつ Really, it started with our point guards Nigel and Jevon.テつ It got after their point guards.テつ People just fed off their energy, and we just turned up our intensity.テつ We've got to play like that every game, honestly.テつ We just can't pick and choose when we want to play.

Q.テつ Thomas, you played two minutes in the first half, describe how it was to get those two early fouls and making those back‑to‑back baskets in the second half?
THOMAS GIPSON:テつ It was frustrating.テつ But I didn't let it get to me.テつ Just wanted to be there for my teammates in the first half.テつ But Stephen Hurt and Brandon Bolden and Nino Williams, they did a great job helping us out in the first half.テつ Then in the second half, I just wanted to contribute.テつ Those are tough plays.テつ I feel like I just stepped up as a leader.テつ But, I mean, it wasn't just only me.テつ It was everybody else.

Q.テつ Thomas, I guess just how satisfying was it to see the team play with the energy they did in the first half and then to make the plays needed when they made the run in the second half?
THOMAS GIPSON:テつ I mean, it's very satisfying.テつ We felt really good about ourselves.テつ We know what we can do now.テつ We know what we're capable of.テつ We've just got to watch it, and take it to the next game.テつ It's always been just a play like that, especially on the defensive end.テつ It just took, I guess, a big (indiscernible).
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you, Marcus, and Thomas.テつ We'll now take questions for Coach Weber.

Q.テつ Do you think the changes to the starting lineup did what you wanted to early?テつ And do you think this was Marcus's best game of the year?
COACH WEBER:テつ Oh, there is no doubt, especially for Marcus there is no doubt that it was his best game, not only shooting the ball well, but his energy.テつ I thought he did a great job.テつ He let his emotions on the technical.テつ I'm happy they played with emotions, but you've got to be smart about it.
It got a little physical there as we got the lead and there were some plays in there that our kids reacted to, but they reacted in a positive way and let them lose their poise, not us.テつ He made big shots.テつ You need your best players to play well, you know, and with Thomas not playing much, he came through and made big plays in the second half.テつ Obviously, Marcus did.テつ I thought Wesley was really good.テつ Just really versatile.テつ 10 points, three assists, two blocks, a steal, you know, just very good all around numbers.テつ Then the starting lineup, we need a sense of urgency, and I thought defensively we weren't very good early, and we did a better job with that, you know, as far as that goes.
Yet, Stephen heard still comes in and plays 16 minutes, 11 points, five rebounds.テつ A good team win, four or five guys, double figures, couple with nine, so good balance.

Q.テつ You guys did so well on the baseline especially in the first half with the back door cuts or jumpers.テつ How much of that was you liked that match‑up coming in?テつ How much was getting Hammons out of the game and sort of opening things up?
COACH WEBER:テつ I don't know.テつ We didn't have Gipson, Hammons out, Gipson's out, and Haas played better probably.テつ It was all about their zone.テつ They were really shading their shooters.テつ They came up high on it, and we missed them a couple times.テつ We run little baseline action, short corner, we call it.
If you've got Gipson posting up, it freezes the big guy, and then we were able to get some little touches inside Williams, Malek Harris, and then we even got some guard action on the baseline.
So you've got, I thought we still got to get better attacking the zone, but I thought for the most part when we were patient, we got pretty good looks.

Q.テつ Bruce, what kind of influence do you use that press in the first half?テつ How effective was it?テつ Did it get you guys going?
COACH WEBER:テつ Well, we have practice.テつ It's the 2‑2‑1.テつ We used it.テつ I think one or two possessions against Long Beach in the second half, but we had hoped to save it until this game to see if it would be a difference maker, and I think it was a difference maker.テつ Nigel, they almost just threw it to him twice in a row.
So those were big plays for him and our team.テつ And got us energized.テつ I think we fed off of that and got them a little shook until obviously up until halftime, and then they turned the tables on us.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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