NEWS & UPDATES

2017 PUERTO RICO TIP-OFF post-game quotes, Illinois State 84, Tulsa 68

ILLINOIS STATE Coach Dan Muller – “First of all, thank you to ESPN and Myrtle Beach, they’ve done an unbelievable job.

“We came out with a great mindset. We took our loss very and I thought we’d come out ready to play but when you have a guy go off like Keyshawn Evans did it gives you a chance to get a big lead but I really like how we competed and responded from our second game. We practiced hard, we went hard because we just did not compete, we did play hard enough, we did not have enough fight in us. We got down and had a bunch of guys get quiet. It’s all about growing and having this group understand when you have adversity you’ve got to keep playing. It was all about the fight and the mindset and you could see it in their faces.

“Milik (Yarbrough) played much better but Keyshawn was just special tonight. Not that other guys weren’t good but he kind of carried us. It’s OK if he keeps doing this.

“I’m unbelievable happy with my team right now. In a lot of respects, we didn’t compete as hard as I wanted those two games but for this inexperienced of a team, four games on the road – we got to Florida, come back home, to South Carolina and play this quality of opponents – I don’t go into things knowing what to expect but we’re a little further along than I thought we’d be right now. Hopefully we can carry it over.”

TULSA Coach Frank Haith – “Very disappointed today. I thought our guys didn’t compete. We spotted those guys 15 points at the beginning of the game. Our energy wasn’t what it needed to be and they played harder, played tougher, and that’s on me. I didn’t do a good job of preparing these guys for what was ahead of them and we’re going to fix.

“The zone bothered in terms of we took some tough shots, we forced some balls but when people play you zone, we’ve got to get the zone moving a little bit and I don’t think we did. I give them credit but we didn’t do a great job of attacking it the way we needed to attack it. It all started on the defensive end. We didn’t get enough stops to play in transition, to flow offensively. They shot the ball 57 percent and that’s what hurt us most, our inability to stop them. We didn’t execute well and didn’t defend with the intensity we needed on that end of the court. We’re going to figure it out. We’re going to find a way to get guys to play defensively the way we want them to play.”

Tulsa Guard Sterling Taplin – “We weren’t guarding the ball and we didn’t finish plays, either. They got offensive rebounds on us and that was one of our focal points coming in, to not let them get offensive rebounds, us boxing out. The intensity definitely wasn’t there in the first half and that’s one of the main things we need to focus on going into the season.”