Myrtle Beach Invitational, Third-place game – Murray State 77, Tulsa 60

Murray State Coach Steve Prohm – “Nothing like winning a 10:30 a.m. game, especially when you go to 2-1, now the guys can be with their families until we head back tomorrow. Any time we can get invited to an ESPN tournament, a multi-team evet like this and then show well, I think as we continue to grow our program moving to Missouri Valley (Conference), being a part of these tournaments is great. Really happy for our players to respond today after the UMass game was huge. We had some really good performances and we’re starting to scratch the surface of figuring out who we are and what we can be really be at the end of the day. There’s a lot of positive things we saw and there’s still a lot that we need to grow and build on. We’ve got to understand humility, it works both ways, you’ve got to learn from failure and success. Our shot selection early in the game wasn’t terrific. We tried to establish our inside game after that. I thought that was really important. We played hard all three games for the most part down here and that’s what we really wanted to do. Fortunately it came into two wins. We thought we had an advantage (inside) and we talked about it yesterday and we did a good job in that area. I’ve been real pleased with JaCobi (Wood). Point guard play and your 5-man are probably the most looked-at position on the floor both offensively and defensively. The way we want to play, we want an elite point guard in our program. I love him and (Moore Jr.) but Jacobi took a big step down here in a lot of ways.”

Murray State guard JaCobi Wood – “All three games were very complete for us but this game we all just bonded together and shared the ball. We rebounded the ball really well. DJ (Burns), Jamari (Smith) did too, Kenny (White Jr.), all the guys. We knew Tulsa is a smaller team, they’re kind of like us but we’ve guys like DJ and Jamari who are bigger than they really are. We just attacked the glass and shared the ball. I feel like I’m playing really well but I give that to the guys, though, they’ve been hitting shots. We’re just trying to get better day, that’s our goal. We’ve six or seven guys who can score 10 on any given night so whoever’s night it is, we live that. Tonight was Jamari’s night and Kenny’s night as well. We’re not a selfish team at all, we’re OK with giving the other guy the ball.” (On recovering from the buzzer-beat loss in the semifinals): “Man, I was asleep and I woke up and I was like ‘We really lost.’ I couldn’t believe it. We had a great game, we just couldn’t finish it off. We just looked at it as a great game by the team but it definitely hurt.” (On his tournament-record 11 assists): “My mom told me when I was out on the court, ‘You got a tournament record.’ I hear her voice over everybody’s.”

Tulsa Coach Eric Konkol – “A challenging game for us and certainly a disappointing loss. We knew we were going to have to play with toughness and togetherness to compete with a very good Murray State team. Credit to Coach Prohm andhis staff and players. They played extremely hard. It was not a game where either team got it going from 3 like we may have thought but their interior play and their ability to get on the glass, they made some tougher plays throughout the game and we just weren’t able to withstand it and get it back in the second half. We’ve had some games where we were able to get back in it. We just never got into a great stretch where we stopped them and then got good baskets on the other end. I felt we had some looks but I told our team that sometimes the basket gets bigger when you have a culmination of a number of plays on both ends. We were pressing, we were rushing, we were trying to get back in the game and it just never got going for us. We look at every opportunity as one to learn from. What we’re searching for now is greater consistency. This is a first-class tournament. I’ve been a part of many of these but my first time here in Myrtle Beach and the people have been outstanding. We played three really good teams and that can only make us better.”