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NCAA Cross Country Champions
Colorado, Texas Southern Quotes
Release: November 18, 2009
By: CUBuffs.com
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Colorado Head Coach Jeff Bzdelik

On the Student Section:

"I want to thank our students.  Our students are awesome, they really are.  We need them and they are a big part of our basketball team.  We are going to play hard, and we are going to play with enthusiasm and passion.  We are going to do the best we can.  We really appreciate our students and our fans.  We are going to give it everything we have."

On Rebounding:

"We have to rebound the basketball.  We are playing a dangerous game right now, just trying to outscore teams.  We have to get stops and we have to rebound the ball.  We have to do a better job in both of those areas.  We got beat off the dribble.  We stood around on the defensive glass.  It's something we work on first thing every day in practice.  That is the big thing we have to do better; rebound and contain the ball."

On the Maui Invitational:

"Let's go play.  Kansas was scheduled to go, but they bowed out.  They needed a team from the Big 12.  To me, it's like, 'Let's go do it.'"

On Freshman Guard Alec Burks:

"Alec is a great player.  I have said that from day one.  He's a gifted player offensively.  He didn't have a turnover.  He passes the ball.  He is unselfish.  He scores in a variety of ways, and he is an intelligent player.  He is going to make freshman mistakes, and he has to figure it out."

On Freshman Guard Keegan Hornbuckle:

"I thought he gave us some really good minutes.  He gave us a big lift, especially at the end of the first half.  He is active, and he is long and athletic.  You look at this team, with only one senior, and as it gets stronger and more mature, everyone should feel good about where they are headed."

On Junior Guard Cory Higgins:

"Cory plays at a good pace.  He is taking good shots.  He is mixing up his game with shooting off the dribble, driving, finishing, and passing.  He has been very efficient.  I keep harping on this, but it's so true, he is in his junior year, and all those minutes he played early on have escalated his game.  The only way to get better is to go through it.  The only way to gain experience is to just get it.  You are seeing the results of those first two years in the way he is playing right now."

On Sophomore Guard Nate Tomlinson:

"Nate is running the show.  He is efficient out there.  He had eight points.  He didn't miss a shot.  He got a rebound, had some assists, and a steal.  He is a very heady player.  He is only in this second year, and he has been very efficient thus far.  I think he has 12 assists now, and only four turnovers now.  That's a very good ratio."

On the Bench:

"We need depth.  I like the trend we have.  We have four players in double digits.  We had seven players in double digit minutes.  Shane [Harris-Tunks] was one minute away.  Every day, with the pace of the game, and the demands of the game, there are going to be guys whose minutes fluctuate depending on what adjustments we have to make to win the game.  Everybody needs to be on the edge of their seat.  It's not about any one individual, but us as a team."

On Texas Southern:

"They are a well coached, athletic team.  They had 17 points off the offensive glass."

On Gonzaga:

"They are good.  So is everybody in the tournament.  That is why you play the game.  We are good too."

 

Texas Southern Head Coach Tony Harvey

On the Game:

"We played without two starters [Ricky Boyles and Whitworth Treasure] tonight. Our team came out and we fought.  We stayed focused and we were disciplined.  We had some let-ups defensively.  When you are playing on the road, you have to play a slanted game.  We have to understand how to take care of the basketball and get stops.  We had a couple guys where the rotations were a little bit different, so we had to come up with a different ball plan.  This was a well coached team.  I thought we could have taken care of the ball a little bit better.  We had turnovers in the second half in situations that gave them better opportunities.  We turned the ball over in some key moments that really put a different twist on the game.   We need to learn to take care of the basketball a little bit better.  We have a long ways to go.  We are growing.  We are trying to get better every day."

On Playing Against a Big 12 Opponent:

"The team came out and we competed.  We gave ourselves a chance.  We just shot ourselves in the foot a little bit, but I am proud of my team.  We have no reason to hang our heads.   But we also have to keep learning from situations.  It was a six point game at El Paso with four and a half minutes and some change to go, and we had some bad decisions with shot selection and some turnovers.  We have to dial in on those things.  We have to finish games strong.  It was a two-point game for a second.  We missed some shots.  We just weren't strong with the basketball.  When you are playing against a Big 12 opponent, they are a very physical league.  I have been in this league before.  You have to be strong with the ball, you have to be ball-strong, and you have to make the officials make the calls.  You can't be passive with the basketball.  I thought we were indecisive in the end, when we should have been keeping more pressure on the defense."

On Keeping Morale Up:

"We have a long season to go and this one game; we have to learn from it, we have to go back to the drawing board, we have to go watch tape, and we have to break some things down.  Defensively we have to get better.  We have to keep the numbers in front, we have to keep guys out of the lane, we have to me more disciplined on the defensive end, we have to talk and communicate, and that will get you more animated on the defensive end.  But, I am proud of my team.  I am not satisfied, but nor am I dissatisfied.  We came on the road, played in a hostile environment, and we competed.  But, we still have to learn, we still have to get better."

On Getting Starters [Ricky Boyles and Whitworth Treasure] Back:

"They will be back next game."

  Colorado Players

Cory Higgins, Junior, Guard

ON HOW GOOD OF A TEST THIS GAME WAS- "It was good for us because we are going to be battling every minute of every game in Maui and we needed something like this just to get a little taste of what it feels like to be tested."

ON TEXAS SOUTHERN COMING BACK INTO THE GAME- "You definitely give them credit. They started playing hard, making shots, played really tight on the offensive board. That's always a point of emphasis for us but you have to give them credit."

ON SCORING RUN JUST BEFORE HALFTIME- "That was huge. Whenever you can get a little bit of momentum, you can always build on it and that run gave us a little bit of a cushion going into the second half."

ON FRESHMAN ALEC BURKS TAKING SHOTS AT THE END OF THE GAME- "He is a big time player and he isn't going to back down from anything so that's not a surprise to any of us but it's very welcome."

ON LACK OF REBOUNDS- "I think it's a combination of both [not boxing out and having the ball not bounce their way]. The people that were out there were trying to get the ball, obviously, but sometimes the ball just doesn't bounce your way."

ON EXCITEMENT OF BEING IN THE MAUI INVITATIONAL- "We're extremely excited. It's an honor just to be in the tournament, first of all. I know all the guys have been watching it growing up, just knowing that the nation is going to be watching you play is just really exciting."

ON COMPETING IN THE TOURNAMENT- "We're not going up there to just play some games, we're going up there to win. I think we have a lot to prove."

MOST ENCOURAGING SIGNS AFTER THREE GAMES- "Most encouraged by the team effort, the balanced scoring and team distribution. Just how much deeper we are this year."

CONCERNS AFTER THREE GAMES- "The rebounding part. It has to be all five guys and we have got to just keep working at it."

ON COMPETING AGAINST GONZAGA IN THE MAUI INVITATIONAL- "They're big, so we are going to have to rebound the ball again, that's what it's going to come down to. I think if we play our game we will be fine, we just have to rebound the ball."

Alec Burks, Freshman, Guard

ON TAKING SHOTS AT THE END OF THE GAME- "Cory told me mid-way through the second half just to be aggressive so that's what I was trying to do to help my team win."

ON LETTING BIG LEAD SLIP AWAY- "I think it's good because it's a wakeup call before we get to Maui and face a real good team in Gonzaga."

ON PERFORMANCE IN GAMES BEING A FRESHMAN- "No matter what age you are as long as you play hard and compete, I think you're good."

ON BEING NERVOUS AFTER TEXAS SOUTHERN CUT LEAD TO TWO- "I was nervous, I've never been in that situation as a freshman but everybody else was keeping me calm, they've been through it. It was good to rely on them."

WHY THIS TEAM STRUGGLES WITH REBOUNDS- "I think if we just box out more, and just contest, that we can work it out."

ON GOING AGAINST CORY HIGGINS IN PRACTICE- "I went against him a lot, he toughened me up a little. I mean, he's the best player here and one of the best players in the Big 12 so he helped my game out; get stronger for the Big 12."

ON LACK OF RECRUITMENT- "I felt like I got recruited by a lot but the big names didn't come after me because they said I was lazy and stuff. I am just showing them what they missed."

ON BIG 12 SCHOOLS OTHER THAN KANSAS STATE AND COLORADO RECRUITING HIM- "I had Iowa State, Missouri looked at me for a minute and Oklahoma but they weren't really interested so I came here, it's about Boulder, I love it out here."

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