MBI Quotes – Saint Louis 79, Wyoming 69

Saint Louis Coach Travis Ford – “Good win for our basketball team. Really good win this time of year against an extremely talented offensive team, a very physical team as you saw. We had to win this game in a different way than we have been and sometimes you just got to find out different ways. But I thought the first half we didn’t play our style of basketball, kind of got away from it for whatever reason. It was tough to get in a rhythm for us because they kept scoring on us in the first half. We made a few adjustments at halftime and got back to playing the way we want to play and I loved our scrappiness. I really, really loved how gritty and scrappy we were. They were very athletic and very strong inside and the only way we were able to compete was because we had 15 steals tonight, which is an incredible number and we needed every one of them. To me, that’s probably the biggest stat there was because when we got out-rebounded by 14 or whatever it was we got out-rebounded. Some of these numbers would normally say we weren’t successful when you look at rebounding, Gibson Jimerson doesn’t score, different things like that, usually that doesn’t spell success. We lost ourselves in the game. Really proud of the second half effort and that’s how we need to play.” (On the second half adjustments) – “I wasn’t happy at halftime, as you can imagine. It wasn’t about the score, it was about how we were playing. It just wasn’t what we want to take pride in, the approach wasn’t there. To be able to take them from 47% to 25%, 26%, and hold them to 1-for-11 from three and have 15 steals, that’s the reason for success. Obviously, we made a bunch of shots in the second half, shooting 58% and 71% from the three, that helps. But good things happen when your back is against the wall and you just kind of lose yourself in the game and not worry about anything else.” (On playing without Guard Sincere Parker) – It’s what you need to have success in sports in general, doesn’t matter what it is. In sports in general, when you got a guy that’s leading you in scoring, is the guy that can just go get you a bucket when things aren’t going well, and he led us in scoring and rebounding, and you’re in a tight game and all of a sudden he gets hurt, now who’s gonna step up? That’s the question. Now we can see what we’re made of. You look what [Guard] Kellen Thames did. We don’t win without that stretch. We probably won’t win the game without Kellen Thames’ stretch. [Forward] Tim Dalger got us off to a great start…That’s what you need to have to succeed when you’re a team that’s still trying to figure itself out and we’re just trying to get better every day. We’re obviously not a complete package by no stretch of the imagination right now, shouldn’t be with all the new players, but just got to figure out different ways to win sometimes.”

Saint Louis Forward Tim Dalger – (On his confidence with the team) “Just staying patient, being prepared. Continue to try to find my groove, find my niche and find my role in this team. That comes with the offense and defense. Coach, gave me the opportunity to start tonight which is just a testament to me getting comfortable as well because whatever is asked of me, I’m just willing to do so that’s all it was.” (On hitting threes) “I know I’m capable. I know the people on this team and this staff believe in me to do so. It wasn’t really anything just shooting them when I’m open.” (On playing without Sincere Parker) – “It’s just a testament to our experience. This is a very experienced group. Sincere had an amazing game, he shot well from the field, he did what he did today. We’re a very experienced group so we just had to keep everybody together, keeping everybody locked in. It’s great to have adversity like this, it’s good for the team, but thank God we won. We’ll take that and it’s going to help us down the line.”

Saint Louis Guard Kellen Thames – “I just know that coach trusts me and he gave me the opportunity to go out and the shots were just falling tonight. I know my teammates were looking for me and I was able to capitalize on those opportunities for us to win tonight.” (On dealing with cramps) “We’re working on that right now. Tonight and in the first couple of games this season I’ve been fine. I’ve found a routine. I’m just going to stick with that and everything will be fine throughout the rest of the season.”

Wyoming Coach Jeff Linder – “First of all, just proud of our guys’ effort coming into kind of like our first away game, even though it was a neutral game. Our team felt for the first time an experience playing a good A-10 team with a really good coach. We hadn’t felt that yet. I knew there was gonna be a little bit of an adjustment to that. Obviously, we didn’t handle the pressure like I thought we could have, even though if you go back and watch I don’t think it was necessarily from anything that they did crazy. I think it was just a matter of us just getting a little bit sped up. That’s going to happen early with such a new team. We’ll learn from it. It’s hard to win when you turn it over 19 times. The fact that we got 22 offensive rebounds, it gave us a chance to be in the game. But it’s hard to win when you just give it away 19 times and so we’ll learn from it. We got to flush away pretty quick because we got a quick turnaround with College of Charleston.” (On the positives from the game) “ I thought there were actually a lot of positives from the game. I thought the effort was good. For the most part, our concentration and our intensity defensively was pretty good. They’re a hard team to guard. Four guards, they space you out. [Saint Louis G Gibson] Jimerson causes all kinds of problems, even though he didn’t necessarily have a great game from a scoring standpoint, he hasn’t had a game like that in a long time. But I thought we did a really good job of game planning for him, knowing that a lot of the things that they do go through him and so for us to execute that game plan, that says a lot about a young team. We got a young team with some new guys that are just trying to figure themselves out and. There are a lot of things that you can coach up. It’s hard to coach effort if you don’t have effort, and luckily we didn’t have to worry about that tonight because I thought our effort was fantastic.” (On if being sped up goes hand-in-hand with having a young team) “Yeah, it goes hand-in-hand and it’s hard to simulate that in practice. Being that we’re not a team that kind of plays that way, that gets up with the athleticism and speed, but it’s also something that we knew that we were going to face and feel. I’ve talked about it. I told them that I knew it was coming, maybe some of the young guys didn’t know what was coming, but it’s going to be one of those deals where we’ll go back, we’ll watch it and we’ll learn from it. Obviously, we hadn’t turned the ball over like that in a long time, but it happened and we’ll learn from it and get better.”