|"We were going to play ten guys.
Christian didn't play as much. He got off to a bad
start and then dislocated his finger, so that made it
real easy to play ten. And our bench played better
than our starters. There's no doubt about that. I
think it's good for those guys. I think it's good for
our bench. I thought Mario had his best game of the
season, I thought Jeremy was terrific, I thought
Julian had his best offensive game of the season. I
thought Darnell was solid, and I thought Stephen was
excellent. So you're talking about five guys there
who deserved every minute they got, and they probably
should have played more.
"Our perimeter scoring is more balanced, and a lot of it is because of Jeremy. He's kept a good attitude when he wasn't playing, and has come in and made shots. But it goes beyond just making shots. If he comes in and is only concerned about making shots, he won't make as many of them. He's concerned about being well-rounded, and he's doing a better job defensively, so he's stepping up and making shots because I think he feels good about the way he's playing. If he guards, he won't come out as quick. And I thought Stephen made a couple of big shots for us. But we've got to get some low post play. We didn't have much low post tonight at all.
"Mario didn't practice yesterday. He's had this bug that's going around. Some guys play better when they're a little ill. I think Jordan did that once or twice, and maybe that's how Mario was today. Maybe the game slowed down for him a little bit. But he was active defensively and got his hands on a lot of balls, and made some plays that really sparked us. We looked really good in spurts. But 18 turnovers, and probably ten of them were just wasted possessions. This game should have been cracked earlier than it was. We have a way of making it interesting.
"Our big guys played really soft. There's no other way to describe that. They didn't have their best outing. I thought New Orleans was quicker to the ball, particularly with our big guys. Sasha and C.J., without going into a lot of detail, have got to do better. I believe they can, they've shown they can, but tonight wasn't their night.
"(Scoring defense) needs to be a strength of this team, because we're going to go through some scoring droughts. We got the ball up the floor so much better today. We shot quicker than we had. We got the ball up the floor, but we didn't execute what we wanted to do. Guys execute in practice, but when they get sped up it's a little bit different. In order for us to be a really good team, we're going to have to really guard and rebound. And obviously we're not rebounding. Guards aren't cleaning up as well, but our big guys aren't attacking the ball at all, and that's something they have to get better at.
"We need to get a lot done (in practice). We've got Yale and then Kentucky, and then league play starts, so we need to defend our home court and get better, and things will work themselves out as far as minutes and the like. But this team's got to get tougher. We're not a tough basketball team, as evidenced by how our big guys rebounded tonight."
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