Dec. 21, 2014
South Carolina Head Coach Frank Martin
We had a chance to keep [Coker] under 30.0 percent [shooting]. I told the guys after the game that I’ve never been around a team that’s held four straight opponents to under 30.0 percent from the field. We had them at 28.0 percent and we got them back to 30.0 percent. Unfortunately, we couldn’t hold them and we didn’t defend them down the stretch and they made some baskets. When you’re not sharp the first thing that goes is your offense, because offense is all timing and discipline. And usually when your offense goes the next thing that goes is your defense because defense is more being in the right place and playing with unbelievable toughness, enthusiasm and energy. And when you play bad offense, you tend to lose that steam a little bit and then your defense suffers. The one thing we didn’t do today is we didn’t let our defense suffer. Rebounding wasn’t great, but it was ok. But I thought our defense at least maintained some of the things that we need to do to be successful. Eventually we played better offense to create some separation.
On picking things up in the second half
We obviously didn’t play very well offensively to start the game. We had turnovers, bad cuts, lazy cuts and bad passes. I think we had eight turnovers in the first seven minutes of the game. What never suffered was our defense. At least we were able to stay consistent and not lose steam. We weren’t great defensively, but we didn’t just break down and eventually we had some guys play the game the right way. That led to some baskets and we were able to create some separation.
Senior Guard Tyrone Johnson
On the resolve of the team during halftime
Coach told us to pick it up and not take our foot off the pedal. We were letting Coker get on a roll and giving them confidence. We weren’t playing the right way. Coach told us that good teams play the right way every possession, every day, every minute. Coach always tells us that if you want to play in postseason, or whoever you are playing, if you want to be a good team you have to play every possession. You can’t take days off and you can’t take plays off. He basically told us to come out and play like we’ve been playing and if we want to win to do the right things.
Sophomore Forward Demetrius Henry
On the height advantage against Coker
We pretty much always start inside out, especially when we can draw our guards in. And today we were just going around the basket and we just stuck with it.
Coker Head Coach Dan Schmotzer
On what this game means for his team
I’ve got more respect than ever for Frank Martin and the Gamecocks. Frank is very genuine and he doesn’t know how much he has done for our school. I even got him a Christmas present today. Just to be able to schedule us at this part of the season means so much to our school. I can’t thank him enough for allowing us to do that.
On South Carolina’s defense
When I look at South Carolina basketball, I see something that is real. I see something that hasn’t happened here in a long time. We looked at tape against Oklahoma State, Clemson, and Marshall, and that pressure that he puts on you is tough. They held Clemson to 15 points in the second half and they sustain [that pressure]. If they keep that up and they score a little bit, Coach Martin is going to be very happy by the end of the season.