Nov. 11, 2011
South Carolina Head Coach Darrin Horn
I thought tonight was a total team effort. If you look not only at how the game went and flowed, but also take into account minutes and the box score, everybody came in and did what they can do to help us be successful. That’s going to be the key for this team all year long. We’re not the biggest or the fastest or the strongest or the most experienced, but I think if we play together we can keep getting better. Tonight was a good start in that direction. We had terrific balance throughout the stat sheet and really good play from both guys who played point guard. I thought that Anthony Gill was a good presence for us. Malik Cooke did a lot of good things. Obviously, our bench came in and sparked us. It’s not something that I’m shocked by, our practices have been really competitive, especially the last week or so. All the way down to Carlton Geathers who gave us six rebounds in 16 minutes, it’s all positive. Top to bottom, on the whole it was a good start. We’ve got a lot of work to do. We’re a long way from being good; I don’t think we should get too excited about this. It’s a good start and it’s good to see everybody contribute.
On the second unit…
I don’t know if it will be a second unit so to speak all year, or if we’ll play five and five like we did tonight. We really did tonight because I though the first group looked really winded for whatever reason. It was the first game, they were excited and they looked pretty winded. So we just went ahead and put all five guys in and I think it started on the defensive end. I think they created some turnovers and got some deflections and a couple easy baskets. It seemed to pick our energy up a little bit. We’re confident in all those guys, Brenton (Williams) included. We know that he can shoot and he’s athletic and can score the basketball. I think where he impacted the score was defensively. He got on the floor for that one loose ball which was terrific. I think it ended up being a jump ball if I remember correctly. It was just great effort and activity. That’s how we have to play to be successful. I think our second group was a good model of that tonight.
On Brenton Williams…
The thing that intrigued us about Brenton in the recruiting process was one, he’s freaky athletic, he’s a super athlete. Also, the fact that if you look at his numbers in his junior college season. I don’t want to misspeak, but because of something about when he enrolled he had to sit and he really only played a handful of games throughout the year. He came off the bench and he was incredibly efficient with how he scored and how he played. That intrigued us about him. For the most part we’ve seen that in practice. I think we saw that tonight. He took eight shots and scored 13 points. He didn’t take care of the ball, but he was active and had five steals. He got in there and grabbed two rebounds. So I think he’s capable of that. I don’t know if he’s going to be in double figures every night. But he’s athletically capable of coming in to help.
Western Carolina Head Coach Larry Hunter
On the game overall…
I think South Carolina’s length and size was definitely a factor. I thought they got into us in different segments of the game with their press and built themselves a little lead or had spurts off of their press. Certainly their offensive rebounding and their ability to control the paint area at both ends was a key factor in the game.