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Oct. 26, 2014

Recap | Final Stats

South Carolina Head Coach Frank Martin

Opening Statement
Real happy with our guys. I thought we played to the way we practiced. Guys were more mature, were stronger. Given the fact that we’ve practiced 13 times and in 13 practices we’ve only devoted three and a half to what we do defensively, it was good to see our guys playing through the disciplines that we teach. That’s what happens when you have experience on your team. You have guys that believe in the culture and they embrace it and they understand it. Then they go out and execute.

On defensive experience
It’s just experience, that’s all it is. It’s guys understanding the things that we’ve been preaching that we didn’t do as well in the past. It’s the guy on the basketball not getting beat off the dribble and isolating the big with a guard coming at him, it’s that guy fighting to stay inside the ball and now the big, its easier for him to corral the ball and put himself to block a shot. I thought we protected the rim; I think there were a couple plays where we probably fouled and it was play-on but thats the game. It’s a little different than what we’ve had in exhibition games the last couple years where it’s kind of the parting of the Red Sea and just watching layups. We’re in a better place as a team and it’s because we’ve got experience and like I tried to say the last couple weeks, I kind of understand those guys and they understand us and they understand what it takes to win a game and they don’t take it for granted.

Senior Guard Ty Johnson
On how it felt being back on the court
It felt great. Sitting out for half a season and being able to be out there with my brothers and playing for my coaches and coaching staff, it felt great. It was a great opportunity for us as a team to grow and we got a chance to play. Overall, I think it was a great job for us. We’ve got to thank the crowd too for coming out. This is just a stepping-stone for us. We’re going to come in tomorrow and watch film and do whatever Frank wants us to do and just get better.

Benedict Head Coach Fred Watson
Opening Statement
It was just too much length to overcome, too much athleticism. The intensity of the game – we just weren’t used to that speed and athleticism and size. So it made it really difficult on us to get into our stuff, get into our sets. So, we’ve just got to get better. It’s early in the year, we were only in a week of practice, so we’ve just got to get better at some things. But they were just too big, too long, too athletic for us tonight.

On the atmosphere of the game
Our community was really excited, we came out – our numbers showed today. We were excited about the game, it was a big deal for us. The crowd was great for us, we just didn’t play well, didn’t do a lot with the talent that South Carolina has. They are a much-improved team, it’s not the same old Carolina teams, this team is going to win a lot of games. But I am satisfied with our turnout from our fans. We appreciate the support.

On what is different about this year’s South Carolina team…
Well, they’ve got better talent, definitely. The big kids inside really came along, they are going to be a force. [Laimonas] Chatkevicius, I mean, he is going to do some good things out there. And then the perimeter play, with [Tyrone] Johnson being healthy, he’s just challenging. And with Sindarius Thornwell, we definitely don’t have an answer for him. And then collectively, they’ve just been breaking us down all day. The length – throwing it over the top – there’s really nothing we would be able to do against it. But they are a much-improved team. Defensively, the size and athleticism is one thing, but the intensity that they play with, I mean, it’s relentless. They don’t ever let up.