MBI Quotes – Wyoming 78, Furman 71

Wyoming Coach Jeff Linder – “The biggest thing is we’re really thankful to have the opportunity to come down here and play. To be a part of an ESPN Event is a big deal for the program. To have the exposure on TV for our program, you can’t ask for anything better. The hospitality of the entire event, it was a first class operation. Coming into this deal, we didn’t quite know what we had. Obviously, our schedule the way we had it set up, felt like we needed to try and gain some confidence early knowing we were coming in here with a pretty much brand new team. How would we respond?… You have to evolve. Akuel [Kot] and Sam [Griffin], those guys are really good players. Sam, he really likes this gym. I should have kept the ball in his hands the entire time. I think he’s scored, in four games in this gym, like 120 points. I knew those guys had the ability to score but for us to really become a good offensive team, we have to have the ability to share the ball. We have to have the ability to know that if you get off the ball, the ball is gonna come back to you. I thought in the last couple of games we did a really good job of getting the ball to move, which you really see in terms of our three-point shooting when you go 12-for-25…. I’m just really proud of the effort, proud of our guys. Just a really good group of kids that show up everyday, allow us to coach them and play really hard.” (On Brendan Wenzel) “Wenzel, his ability to guard, held the guy from Saint Louis [Gibson Jimerson] to zero points. That hasn’t happened since 2020. He did a really good job against College of Charleston. Today, [Furman Guard] Marcus Foster is a hard guard. He’s a big body that has the ability to create contact and get to the foul line. I thought Wenzel’s effort was tremendous.”

Furman Coach Bob Richey – “Obviously, disappointing day. You got to give them [Wyoming] a lot of credit. I thought they came out and they definitely played with more energy early, their ball was going in and ours wasn’t. 10:30 in the morning that’s usually the case and we talked about that a lot as a team. The more energetic, more spirited team is gonna win the game. They led for the majority of the first. Early into the second half, we were able to turn it and I thought we were able to capture that energy. It definitely wasn’t necessarily through shooting, we didn’t shoot the ball well all day but we started defending a little bit better. We got down by 17 and gave ourselves a shot. Unfortunately, when you’re coming down from 17, your margin for error is really, really small. They beat us from the perimeter by 12 on nine less attempts. It’s something we got to figure out early in the season. Typically, we win the arc and for whatever reason these first couple of games we have not been able to do that. Proud of our guys’ effort. I was disappointed in our focus. I was disappointed in our attention to detail, specifically on the defensive end. It gives us a lot to focus in on. Proud of the way Cooper Bowser performed. Proud of the way Carter Whitt played in this tournament. Obviously we know how good JP [Pegues] and Marcus [Foster] are. We had to depend too much on them offensively today. Typically for us to be really good, we got three, four or five guys in double figures. We got some things to figure out. Congrats to Wyoming. It gives us a lot to look at and get better at.” (On Marcus Foster becoming the all-time leading scorer over three days in the Myrtle Beach Invitational) “His commitment to his work ethic in the offseason was tremendous. To work the way he did and to come out and play the way he’s been playing. Investment equals return, I’m a big believer in that. You don’t always know when you’re going to get the return… To see what he was doing last year to this year. If you went first five games last versus first five games this year he’s got to be one of the most improved players in the country. I don’t think that’s really debatable… That’s just a credit to his work ethic and the time that he’s putting in. In the midst of going 1-2 and not really being excited about the outcome, I’m really excited about his growth and I’m really proud of him.”

Furman Guard Marcus Foster – (On what the team can take away from this tournament) “I feel like our effort has definitely gotten better. I feel like we’ve definitely shown some improvement on the glass and this was a big rebounding game and it looks like we won the glass, so that was a huge first step in that aspect. It seems like we still have a lot to grow on the defensive end.” (On becoming the all-time leading scorer over three days in the Myrtle Beach Invitational) – “It’s a cool moment, but I value winning more than  my own points. I’m more of a team player. I definitely have some improvements… I still got a lot to work on, even though I did score the ball well in this tournament, I still got a lot of improvements to make.”