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MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE MEN'S TOURNAMENT


March 11, 2015


Hugh Greenwood

Sam Logwood

Craig Neal


LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

Air Force テや 68
New Mexico - 61


THE MODERATOR:テつ We're joined by New Mexico.
Coach, some thoughts on today's game.
COACH NEAL:テつ I thought Air Force did a good job in the second half.テつ I thought they made crucial shots when they needed to make them.テつ Anytime you play a team like they are, you have 18 turnovers against a zone the whole game, you're not going to win, and you're not going to be able to win if you shoot 59% from the foul line.
All in all I thought our guys gave great effort.テつ I thought we had chances to win.テつ I think there were six possessions in the second half when we let them score with under six in the shot clock.テつ If you do that, you're not going to finish the game.
I thought our kids gave great effort.テつ Just sad that Hugh doesn't get to continue on, being the only player in the Mountain West history to have 9‑0 as a player.テつ Now he's 9‑1.
This tournament and our season won't define his legacy in our program.テつ I appreciate everything he's done for us.テつ Same with Deshawn.テつ It's sad Deshawn didn't get to play.テつ He missed Senior Night, then misses his senior Mountain West tournament.
Other than that you've got to give Air Force credit.テつ They made plays when they needed to make them, and we didn't.テつ My hats off to them.
I think this is the third, fourth time we lost in the first round.テつ Not a lot of fun.テつ We'll just try to keep improving.テつ Now we got to start getting ready for next year.
THE MODERATOR:テつ We'll now take questions for the student‑athletes.

Q.テつ Hugh, walked off the court for the first time in this tournament without a win.テつ I'm curious your thoughts as you were walking off.
HUGH GREENWOOD:テつ Just walking off, I wasn't really thinking about the loss.テつ I was more thinking about thanking the fans for an incredible four years.テつ Unfortunately this season didn't go the way we wanted it to.
But at the end of the day our fans have always been supportive, they've been supportive of me and my family.テつ I wanted to thank them.テつ That was my moment to thank them one last time.テつ Last time with a Lobo jersey on.テつ It's been an honor and a privilege.テつ What makes it is the fans, they're supporters through thick and thin.テつ I know they'll be back next year.

Q.テつ Specific to this game, they obviously had a game plan where they wanted you to attempt a lot of three‑pointers.テつ You did 25 of them.テつ Sam, were they taking away your drive?テつ Hugh, did you feel they were forcing your game to be played on the outside?
SAM LOGWOOD:テつ Well, personally I felt like they gave us open shots, so coach told us to shoot open shots.テつ We shot open shots.テつ That's what they gave us.テつ We just didn't make 'em.テつ That's unfortunate.
HUGH GREENWOOD:テつ Yeah, I thought we went inside early.テつ But probably not as much as we should have.テつ We missed some layups inside.テつ Then started collapsing a little bit more.
Like Sam said, we had open shots.テつ We had an open shot, wide open shot in the corner to put us down one.テつ That's the difference in the game, is making shots.テつ The foul line was the biggest thing.テつ If you shoot less than 60% from the foul line in a 7‑point game it makes a difference.テつ That's something guys have got to acknowledge moving on to next year, they've got to be able to make shots.

Q.テつ Sam, it's been one season for you, you came late in the summer.テつ What is the future for you in this program?テつ What can you take away from Deshawn and Hugh?
SAM LOGWOOD:テつ I've learned a lot this year from both of the seniors on and off the court.テつ They're both great players and great people.テつ Just moving on, we just got to continue to work hard, you know, and learn from our mistakes we made this year.
I believe the next couple years, we're going to have pretty good seasons.

Q.テつ Injuries piled up, especially with DD towards the end, losing him for the last few games.テつ How much did that affect your game plan, not having Deshawn?
HUGH GREENWOOD:テつ I don't necessarily think it was this game, it was the whole season.テつ When you lose Cullen, who's all‑conference the beginning of the year, Jordan is coming in expecting to be newcomer of the year and he's battled injuries all year, and then you lose DD, who was all‑conference as well.テつ Hasn't been just the last two games, it's been a progression over the season.テつ We last Sammy for three or four games.
It is difficult.テつ It is sports.テつ Fortunately we were able to make that adjustment against Wyoming and get a win.テつ Tonight we just couldn't get it done.テつ Like I said, injuries happen in sports.テつ Other guys have to step up.
I thought Sammy stepped up and did some things well tonight.テつ He's going to have an incredible career moving forward.
It's about who can stay healthy.テつ We've been healthy the last three years.テつ We've had an incredible run with health.テつ We have great trainers.テつ Bob has been great, Nate has been great over the years.テつ When it gets to this point in the year, you have to be fresh, have healthy bodies, and unfortunately we didn't have that.
SAM LOGWOOD:テつ I feel the same way as Hugh does.テつ We lost a lot of players, but we can't really put it on that.テつ Just something we got to look for to just keep moving forward and getting better.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you, men.
We'll continue with questions for Coach Neal.

Q.テつ At the academy February 4th, it was a game that I know afterwards you were a little frustrated that the team seemed to settle for the outside shot.テつ It seemed to be the exact same kind of scenario in the second half tonight.テつ Did you feel anything changed from what happened a month ago to what happened tonight in terms of how you performed?
COACH NEAL:テつ I think we made more shots today.テつ I think some guys made some shots.テつ But we've said all along that we were going to try to get guys open shots, and I think we had open shots.テつ I just didn't think we were able to convert like they did.テつ They made crucial shots when they needed to, and we didn't.
I think what happens also, when you throw the ball inside or you miss layups or easy shots or turn the ball over, your guards tend to not want to throw it in there as much.テつ That has nothing to do with anybody on our team.テつ That's basketball.テつ I've played it for a long time, been around it for a long time.
We went inside early, weren't able to convert on some things we were going to try to convert on.テつ Anytime you turn the ball over 18 times, like I said, against the zone, it's going to be a long, long night.

Q.テつ How big were those turnovers?
COACH NEAL:テつ Yeah, I just told them that our goal is to be under 12.テつ I think if we would have been under 12 tonight or somewhere close to it, 13, 14, we would have had a chance to win.テつ But those were crucial because they got easy shots.
Their offense is hard to guard, that's why we played a lot of zone.テつ It's not fun to guard.テつ When you zone them, besides the shots they make, they've never been a really good transition team.テつ When you turn the ball over, it gives them chances to get easy points.テつ I think that affected us.
They're very capable when you turn the ball over or you try to go for offensive rebounds, they're capable of getting out on you if you don't get guys back.

Q.テつ The easy answer is to stay healthy.テつ Looking back at this season, what might you change from a coaching standpoint, what might you learn from this season and change going forward?
COACH NEAL:テつ Well, I'll learn not to have nine new guys to start the season.
I learned a lot.テつ I learned a lot about myself.テつ I learned a lot about my program.テつ Know where we have to go.テつ At the end of the day I feel pretty good about what our staff did, how hard we worked.
I just think the ball didn't bounce our way.テつ This isn't trying to be cocky or arrogant, but there's not too many people in this tournament that have won this tournament, and I have.テつ You can go down the coaches in our league, see who has won it, who wasn't.テつ I'm one of those ones that has.テつ My goal is to try to come back and win it again.
I'm not satisfied where we finished.テつ But my kids gave great effort and I'm really proud of them.テつ We've established a winning culture there and hopefully we'll get it back to that next year.

Q.テつ You said this season won't define Hugh's legacy.テつ His record does speak for itself.テつ How do you as his coach define his legacy?
COACH NEAL:テつ That's hard.テつ We've had a lot of great players, a lot of great student‑athletes in eight years.テつ But I don't think we've had anybody that has touched our community and touched our campus or our program like him.
Not just that he wasn't a guy that was the leading scorer, he wasn't the guy that always wanted the ball, taking all the shots.テつ He just was a guy.テつ He was all about team.テつ It was never about me.テつ That's what I hope our younger guys learn:テつ It's not about me, it's about team.
What he did in our community, what he did for our university, I think it's second to none.テつ I have the utmost respect for him.テつ We got a great relationship.テつ He's really helped Cullen because he was Cullen's roommate the last two years.
He did so many things in our community and our university that he'll be hard to replace.テつ I don't think there will be anybody like him.
I think he's got a huge heart and he loves everything about Albuquerque, he loves everything about the university, he loves everything about wearing that Lobo jersey.テつ That's going to be hard to replace, and I don't think you'll ever do that.
I think he's going to be one of those guys that will stand time because of all‑around package, not the playing package, not the academic piece, not the community relations piece.テつ I just think all of it makes him unique.テつ He's a unique kid.テつ He loves life.テつ He wants to be around people.テつ That's going to be his legacy.

Q.テつ I thought pace was a big piece of the latter part of the second half.テつ There were eight possessions in a row where there were whistles that led to turnovers.テつ Did you sense frustration from your guys whistle after whistle after whistle second half?
COACH NEAL:テつ I don't know about that.テつ It was a weird whistle in the second half.テつ That's all I'll say about it.テつ I thought it was a weird whistle.
We're in a bonus 11 minutes, it was caught up in the next 45 seconds.テつ It was just a weird whistle.テつ There wasn't a continuity to the game.テつ There wasn't a flow to the game.テつ I think that took us a little bit out of things.テつ But you have to give them credit.テつ They made shots and we weren't able to get over the hump.
When we were up five, I thought we'd have a really good shot.テつ Then we came down and gave them free throw, free throw on dead clocks.テつ You can't do that.テつ You can't have six possessions when you're under 10 seconds and you let them score.
I told our guys, One thing we have to work on, one thing our teams have had in the past, is mental discipline.テつ Nine new guys, five new guys that played, I don't think our mental discipline was as strong as it's been in years past.

Q.テつ Obviously when you have a season like this, there's a lot of criticism, a lot of heat.テつ Knowing what you have coming back next year, how much better will this team be next year?
COACH NEAL:テつ Well, I don't know.テつ I hope they'll be better.テつ I think we got three good freshmen coming in.テつ I think I've got a couple guys that will learn.テつ I think they'll get into a roll.
I thought Obij really improved.テつ I thought late in the year he really improved.
I know we're going to work to be good.テつ We're going to do everything we can to be good.テつ That's what our program's about.
I know as soon as we get back and we start spring workouts, it will get back to where our program has been and we won't accept losing.テつ We'll try to get back to where we've been the last, you know, four or five years.
I don't know what's going to happen because we have a couple guys that never played in this league and I think this league is a lot better than everybody thinks it is.テつ Just because you've had success somewhere else doesn't mean it carries over to what happens in this league.
It's a great league.テつ Great venues.テつ Hard to win on the road.テつ Great coaches, great players.テつ Our guys are going to have to really buckle down to get better.テつ But I'm looking forward to it.テつ I'm disappointed in what happened today.テつ Not real happy about it.テつ But I'm looking forward to the future.

Q.テつ Does a season like this give you more motivation to improve for next season?
COACH NEAL:テつ Well, I think anytime as a coach you want to improve.テつ I can't sit up here and say that I saw this coming.テつ I mean, if you would have told me before the season that we'd have the injuries we'd have, the things that's went on with our guys, then maybe, maybe.
But you can't predict that.テつ I think you don't know what would have happened if we had everybody healthy.テつ But I'm excited to get some guys healthy and excited to get new guys in and try to help our other guys improve.
One thing our program has done, a lot of you have watched us over the years, we've really developed players.テつ This year was a little bit harder because we didn't have time to develop nine new guys or five new guys.テつ There's no excuses for our season, but we've done a good job developing, and we'll continue to see if we can do that.テつ I'm excited about that.

Q.テつ Hugh talked about putting the jersey on for the last time.テつ If invited, is this the end of the season or...
COACH NEAL:テつ I think we're just going to push the reset button (laughter).
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you very much, coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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