OISE STATE Coach Leon Rice – “I was really proud of our guys and the fact that that’s what good teams do, they kind of hang in there, find a way to get it done when things aren’t going right and things went about as wrong as you can have it go. Credit UTEP, they have a good team.
“For Chandler, things were going as bad for him in his mind and he really flipped the page and regrouped for the end of that game and that’s part of why we won it but all these guys did a great job. His head’s in the game, he just wants to so bad. These kids have worked so long in the offseason and things are going good and the ball’s going in and everything’s going great. They want it to be perfect and they don’t understand that it’s competition and it’s not going to be perfect.
There are some nights when the ball just bounces bad for you. Being a competitive animal and being able to fight through it is what we want our guys to be able to do.”
(On defending the inbound plays): “I told the guys this is crazy but this silly little thing will win us two or three games this year. Sure enough, tonight it helps us.”
Boise State Guard Chandler Hutchison – “I get so excited about being in this position, playing in a tournament like this against real good quality teams. Sometimes I get a little antsy and it can get the best of me. But I feel like the shots I missed this game I’ve been making. That’s the tough thing about it. But it’s also something that allowed me to keep level-headed there at the end, realizing that I haven’t really forced much, they were just shots that didn’t go in. In that position where we got the rebound I just wanted to shoot a shot I’ve been shooting the whole game, dribbling the length of the floor and trying to lay the ball in. Every day we do it. It’s not too complicated, really, anyone could have done it. Just wanted to get out there get the defense on their heels and make the play.”
Boise State Guard Marcus Dickinson – “Wow, what a game. In the first half we couldn’t hit any shots and that hurt us but we had to rely on our defense and we had a lot of people step up defensively. Malek Harwell came in the game early and really stepped up. We did a good job defensively when our offense was going for us.”
(On the second half): “We weren’t really attacking, we were being hesitant. They had a big man in the lane, nobody really wanted to drive because everybody was scared to get in foul trouble.”
(On defending the inbound plays in the final 30 seconds): “We have a play called ‘Face’ when we just don’t let them catch the ball. We work on that every day in practice in situations and that came in handy at the end of the game.”
UTEP Coach Tim Floyd – “It’s obviously a very tough, painful loss. We had our opportunities and didn’t handle game situations well late. I’ll take responsibility for us not getting the ball inbounded safely. That’s something we should be able to do but it’s something that happened. All we had to was get it inbounded, although you’ve got to make the free throws as well. I was proud of our defensive effort. It was just special in the second half. We got down by a considerable margin in the first half and guarded well and guarded for long periods of possessions. We got some nice play from Tirus Smith off the bench when Matt Willms needed a blow. Isiah Osborne helped us in the second half as well. We have to make better decisions in terms of trying to get ourselves to the foul line. There’s a reason why they didn’t have many fouls with under a minute to go and had to foul quickly four times because we didn’t get the ball to the rim enough. It’s early in the season and we will get better on those things.
UTEP Center Matt Willms – “We game-planned hard for this game, we had some hard practice leading up to this game. We gave everything we’ e got. We had a few mess-ups, a few problems down the stretch. That’s basketball. We have a game tomorrow so we have to get ready for it.”