Sunday, November 27, 2016 Post-Game Quotes – Dayton 64, New Mexico 57

Dayton Coach Archie Miller – “I’m proud of our guys. To come out of this thing 2-1, and a hard fought win against a good team in New Mexico, who have to really good players in Elijah Brown and Tim Williams. From a game plan perspective, I thought we got better each game, and more importantly, the guys did a really great job of playing hard. Offensive, sometimes, you’re just not going to make shots. They’re still the same shots we took the past few games, they just didn’t go in today. When you’re able to lose lead, get down, you really depend on the toughness of your team. And these two guys (Charles Cooke and Scoochie Smith) are able to come in, hit some shots, and we’re right back in it. We have to get some rest when we get home, now, and just keep improving.”

On guarding Elijah Brown – “He’s a really good player. He can make tough shots, and we knew that. But I think the big thing is staying attached to him as much as possible, try to impact him. I thought Kyle (Davis) did a really nice job at times against him, but he’s going to make his shots. He’s a great player, and a preseason player for a reason. But I give our guys credit. They knew coming in that they needed to attach to him for the majority of the game, and if not, that he was going to hit shots.”

On Offensive Rebounds – “Today’s game had a lot more misses, but we did come up with some big ones. The biggest thing I’m proud of is our defensive rebounding. It’s been our Achilles heel all season. If we’re disciplined and block out, that definitely helps us compete.”

On His Team’s Defensive Effort – “We’re playing harder. We improved, over the course of the three games, defensively everyday. We know that our defense can carry us. We’ve won when we haven’t played well, shot well. The first ten minutes of the first half we were able to convert some turnovers. That’s what we have to hang our hat on. We play hard on the defensive end.”

Dayton Charles Cooke on losing lead and coming back – “We just played the same way we always play. Just have to keep your head down and keep grinding.”

On His Injury – “I went to the back, get looked at, and my leg was definitely hurt. I’m just glad I was able to get back out there and help my team get the win.”

Dayton Scoochie Smith on New Mexico’s comeback – “Going into the timeout, we were ready to back out there and execute. We did what we did, and came out with the win.”

On Playing With Injuries – “College basketball is not an easy game, and we know that. We just have to play as hard as we can.”

New Mexico Head Coach Craig Neal– “You have to give Dayton credit. I thought our guys played extremely hard and played the way we wanted them to play the last four minutes and forty-nine seconds. Before that, it was unlike us scoring the basketball. I thought Tim Williams was terrific and unselfish and did what I ask him to do. It shows the four minutes and forty-nine seconds how we are capable of guarding. I think they made the plays down the stretch, maybe because of their experience. They have been in games like that and we haven’t. When it was a one-possession game, they made the right play and we made the wrong play. All in all, guys gave good effort but gave too many second chance points and too many points off turnovers. When you do that to a team like Dayton, they are going to hurt you and they definitely did that.”

On his team’s play? – “I have a lot of parts on this team going in different directions right now. We are going to have to take a serious look on whom we play and whom we don’t play. You can’t make surprise passes and shots without running the offense. If you try to take a shot or make a play and your teammates aren’t on the same page you surprise them and you can’t get back in transition. They are a great transition offensive team, but I thought late in the game we did a nice job with them. I thought we held them, but again there are some moving parts we have to clean up offensively so we do not get hurt in transition.”

On Elijah Brown’s play? – “He puts a lot of pressure on himself. He maybe puts too much emphasis on trying to make a play rather than just let it come to him like it did at Northridge. I don’t think he is playing out of the offense. He’s such a good kid; I think he’s not 100% healthy. I think he is limited on some of his movement, but he will never say he is limited because he wants to play so bad. I think he is taking some uncharacteristic shots. I think everything he does is within in the offense, but some of the things are uncharacteristic on what he should be doing.”

On playing higher caliber teams in this tournament? – “I think we had a great opportunity with Virginia Tech, I think they are going to have a nice year. We got fortunate that Dayton lost their first game. You don’t ever want to lose your first game in a tournament but we got lucky to play more quality opponents with an RPI. I don’t know that our guys understand the magnitude of that. We haven’t been to the tournament since my first year and we only have one guy left who was on that team, so when you talk to them I don’t think they understand the magnitude of RPI or the opportunity and venue. Our guys are going to understand that you’ll make some mistakes during the period of a game but when it comes down to the last two possessions, you can’t have any mistakes. You want them to get over the hump, you want them to understand the quality win and the RPI helper that it could be. My group right now doesn’t understand it.”

On today’s game and officiating?- “I don’t say anything about the officials. I don’t think it does me any good. Calls are calls and you are not going to change them, you just have to play on. I was trying to let us play when there was forty-five seconds left, I wanted to get something quick to get us up by one or two and that would have given us a time out left. I thought our clock management by our group was good.”