PUERTO RICO TIP-OFF post-game quotes, South Carolina 79, Western Michigan 66

SOUTH CAROLINA Coach Frank Martin – “First and foremost, hat’s off to everyone here at Coastal Carolina for making this event as good as it’s been, especially given the fact everything happened so quickly at such a late date.

“Teams that play like Western Michigan does, Wes (Myers) can hurt them because Wes is real good off the dribble, real good at attacking the paint. I’m still trying to figure him out as a player. I’ve coached him for five games now. I know he’s real comfortable with just give me the ball, get a ball screen and let’s go. Unfortunately, that’s not how I coach and he’s trying to learn what I want from him but I also know when it’s late in the clock, he’s pretty good in that action. Because of the way they play, my mindset going into the game was we need to space them and drive them and not be so consumed with trying to run certain offenses we normally run.”

(On holding Western Michigan without a basket for 8 minutes in one stretch): “I don’t think we guarded harder, I just think Justin (Minaya) is way beyond his years mature-wise so he was able to do the best job of keeping No. 10 (Thomas Wilder) in front of him. I wasn’t happy with the offensive adjustments that I tried to put into place. I was real happy with the defensive adjustments our guys executed today. … What helped also during that streak was we made shots so we got the lead so we were able to go some zone, which was part of my thought process going into the game that if we got the lead to keep them out of the paint.”

South Carolina Forward Chris Silva – “Early they had more energy than we had and it took a little bit of time to respond. We could have done a better job executing. They played hard. In practice we did a lot work on our rebounding and when we came into the game we just tried to get the energy and do what we did in practice and in the second half we competed with a lot of energy.”

South Carolina Guard Wesley Myers – “We played them already once so we had to make adjustments and Coach did a great job. We went out and played hard. Even though we were down in the beginning we just fought back. I’m still at a point where I’m trying to figure out where my role is and where I fit in. It was a good day I guess.

WESTERN MICHIGAN Coach Steve Hawkins – “We came out with a lot of energy. We had a great start to the game, the guys were ready to go. The telling thing of the game was they had 28 points off of our turnovers and we only had six. In the ballgame in Columbia less than a week ago we had only 11 turnovers in the entire game and today we had 22. Thomas Wilder had only two the entire season coming into today and today he had 10. Our pressure caused them problems early and then they stopped running their offense and just started sending their big guys into ball screens, then their guards started playing downhill on our big guys and that caused us a lot of problems to the point where we had to back off our pressure.

“The physical effort was there, great tournament, you learn so much out of these tournaments and a lot of stuff happened here that will help us be a better basketball team as we progress through the season. We lost the ballgame in an eight-minute stretch.”

(On South Carolina’s defense): “They all play great away from the ball. That’s just part of their game plan, they just make it so difficult for you to even make a pass. Then they hurry you up. Our entire program is based on intensity, toughness, physicality and we brought it in the first eight minutes.”

Western Michigan Guard Bryce Moore – “We got off to a great start and when the second half started we just relaxed and we can’t let that happen. Frank Martin and their team got on a roll and we weren’t able to catch up from there. We have to stay at it for 40 minutes.”