2017 PUERTO RICO TIP-OFF post-game quotes, South Carolina 80, UTEP 56

SOUTH CAROLINA Coach Frank Martin – “It’s safe to say we were all disappointed with how we played yesterday. Never want to take anything away from the opponent because they beat us but we played more to our personality, our character, our disciplines that we’ve tried to create over the first six weeks of practice and season and these two (Maik Kotsar and Kory Holden) had a lot to do with it. Maike starting and Kory coming off the bench, that provides stability, it provides guidance because we’re such a young team. As I continue to figure our team out, I’m very proud of how our team responded today.

“We probably took it for granted that with such a young team that their mindset would be what last year’s mindset was. We just kind of let them be on Wednesday night. We probably should have been a little more aggressive with our mental preparation. That goes back to us trying to figure out our team this year. There were two things about today’s game that said a lot about our team. Number one is we came out and played with the energy, the enthusiasm, the discipline offensively and defensively. Then the game settles down and (UTEP) starts making a push. If we were phony, as the game evolved, we would have wilted into who we were yesterday but that’s not who we are. So when they made the push, we settled down, we locked in and we extended the (lead) even more.”

South Carolina Forward Maik Kotsar – “We had film, we had walk-through, we prepared but at the same time it was more mental, it was about being ready to play, about being ready to drive the gaps and find the open gaps.

South Carolina Guard Kory Holden – “We just wanted to come in and respond differently than how we came in the game yesterday. It ate at us all night so we all talked it over and we knew we had an earlier game and we knew we had to be ready from the go. We knew as guards we had to drive the seams and kick. We wanted to play inside out, get it down into Chris (Silva) and Maik or whatever big was in. That was we could get behind the zone and hopefully get a good shot from there and kick back out. During walk-through Coach told us we weren’t really driving the seams like we were supposed to so that was a big thing for us that we came in today and did.”

UTEP Coach Tim Floyd – “They just paralyzed us with their pressure, which they do to most teams. They got out and overplayed us and we just couldn’t make basketball plays. We couldn’t drive and kick, we wanted to approach it with multiple drive-and-kicks in the first half and the drive either became a turnover, which we had 16 in the first half, or it became a quick launch bad shot. We got settled down a little bit in the second half, we were able to play through Matt (Willms) and get some things established on the post. But the offensive play led to the 50 points in the first half.

“They really moved the ball well against our zone. It seemed like when we decided to go zone, we had a lot of young guys in the lineup. Tirus (Smith), Trey (Wade) and one of our freshman point guards out there and our (zone) doesn’t like quite as good. Nothing looks quite as good with the youth as it does with the older players early. We just decided when the game got out of hand we’re going to go man., work on our man and try to get it better. We need to practice. I don’t think I could rest real good without a practice.”

UTEP Center Matt Willms – “We came out very slow and we came out slow against Boise State so us as players we have to look in the mirror and figure what we need to do to come out quicker in the game. The first half we were totally flat, we were turning the ball over a lot. In the second half we settled down a bit and had some things going for us but in the end we’ve got to learn how to come out right away and figure out how to get a win here.”