Nov. 16, 2015
Head Coach Frank Martin
That was a good win for us. I was concerned with these first two games. Both teams won more games than us last year and they both returned their guards, and anytime you have upperclassmen guards, and players like the young man Obi [Emegano], a conference player of the year, it’s a heck of a challenge early in the year. Yesterday’s practice was the first time all year we just weren’t very good. I’m not going to sit here and pass blame on who wasn’t good, but I think it was a good learning lesson for us. That’s why we were out of character the first half of the game. We settled for off the dribble jump shots, which is exactly what we said not to do. Get the ball inside, that’s all we talked about after our game on Saturday and yesterday in practice, and it happens sometimes. We settled for jump shots which then they got older shooter guys who know and they come at you. But then we settled down, and did the opposite. The good thing was the passing, and we really got the ball inside, Michael [Carrera} kind of got the momentum going, and Laimonas [Chatkevicius] obviously became a huge presence around the rim, and Mindaugas [Kacinas], can’t say enough about him, we get so many possessions in a game because of his relentless desire on the offensive rebound. Two good solid wins for our team.
On Laimonas Chatkevicius’ career night
He’s worked real hard on his conditioning, which allows him to stay in the game, and he’s worked real hard with Scott Greenawalt in the weight room to improve his balance and his bottom half strength to hold his ground in there. To remember where he was as a freshman, allergic to contact, and to see him battling, because [Albert] Owens is a good player, and see him battle with a low post guy, it’s fun. He’s got to rebound better for us, he’s got to protect the rim a little better for us. I think everyone in the state of South Carolina heard me when I asked him why he got out of the way. But he commits three fouls reaching over people’s backs, on post entries, which is an automatic foul. He’s got a chance to get up to the rim and he gets out of the way. Those are some things with him that we have to help continue to get better at, but he’s been awesome. I’ve been hard on him and I’m real proud of him that he stayed the course, and played as well as he has the first two games of the year.
Junior Guard Duane Notice
On change from first half to second half
We have a bad habit of once we have a team down we let up. So the message at halftime was just to go out there and play harder, and keep pressing down. I think we did a good job of doing that and we were able to sustain our lead.
Senior Forward Laimonas Chatkevicius
On his career high night
I felt good all day, I had a pretty good practice yesterday the whole team actually did, but it’s all about the team. They just gave me the ball, I was there to work with it, but they gave me the ball and looked for me, it was a solid team effort.
Oral Roberts Head Coach Scott Sutton
Going into the game we knew defensive board play was the most important key to the game and we just did a horrible job. Give them credit, they just whooped us. Coach Martin’s teams have always been tough and they take pride in their toughness. We told our guys the last few days you better match their intensity and you better match their toughness. The last part of the first half and pretty much the whole second half we just did an awful job. We’re not going to beat that team giving up 19 offensive rebounds and 25 second-chance points. Our first shot defense was pretty good. They shoot 39 percent as a team and they probably get 10 second-chance buckets. Our first shot defense was good enough, it was just our inability to keep them off the glass. They killed us in our post defense. Number 14 [Laimonas Chatkevicius], I don’t know how to pronounce his name, but he just kicked us. Also 25 [Mindaugas Kacinas], another guy I can’t pronounce his name, he gets six offensive rebounds. You’re not going to beat good teams doing that.
On defensive performance
We lost [Duane] Notice a few times, the one guy that can really beat you from the perimeter and we did a poor job. We lost him, we didn’t get through screens, and we allowed the ball to get into the paint regardless of whether we were playing zone or man. We let them catch it way too deep. I don’t know if our big guys got tired but it killed us having [Brandon] Conley get in foul trouble. He’s our most experienced big man, he’s our best rebounder, and he was a non-factor just because he got in foul trouble early and really never got into the flow of the game.