Tubby Smith met with the media following Minnesota’s 88-81 loss to Indiana on Saturday afternoon at Assembly Hall.
Watch and listen to his postgame comments in the embedded media players below:
Quotes after the jump.
“Well I thought our kids put forth a great effort in the second half to get back in the ball game. It was obviously a very physical game so I thought we had opportunities at the rim and we didn’t finish around the rim or get fouls so those are one of the things that concerned me. Otherwise, we did some good things. I was disappointed in our first half in the way we played. We weren’t aggressive. Obviously Indiana was much more aggressive both offensively and defensively and it showed.”
On cutting the lead from 23 to three:
“Well, I was proud of the way we hung in there and didn’t give up, didn’t give in. I thought we did the things to help us give ourselves of a chance, didn’t embarrass ourselves by folding the tent and heading home. We’ve got a very competitive group of guys and that’s what I expected from them in the second half. Obviously we had a chance with 15 seconds left if we get that rebound and it’s a three point game and we might make a three the way we were shooting at the end but we didn’t do the things during the course of the game. Obviously 17 turnovers doesn’t help. We just didn’t defend like we had been, especially the three point shot. We did in the second half but in the first half they were 7-for-11 and that really hurt us.”
On Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell being able to drive and dish:
“He’s just such a tough guy to guard. He’s hard to guard. His penetration and kick like that, when you’ve got a guy like Jordan Hulls who can really stroke it and so that really gives him a lane. I thought we did a poor job of forcing back to help like we should. We had some breakdowns but he’s so quick he can make you think he’s going that way and get a guy off balance but that was huge for them to be able to penetrate and kick the ball.”
On what happened in the first half that broke the game open:
“Well we didn’t attack. We played very passively and they were much more aggressive and I thought that was the difference. We were both passive at the offensive end and the defensive end and when you’re back on your heels like that teams sense that and they just became very aggressive and made some threes because we didn’t do a good job of challenging their outside shots and we started making shots and the momentum shifted. Both teams were shooting well in the first half. We were just giving up too many open looks but a lot of it had to do with the breakdown and penetration and how we got stuck inside and Yogi did a good job of pitching it back out to open people.”
On what the second half says about the character of his team:
“It tells me that we are capable but we knew we were capable of it. We’ve just got to put together two halves. You’ve got to play every second you’re on the court, give it your all. Not that they didn’t but we became a little bit passive and we didn’t make some calls, I’m talking about calls from the bench when we’re trying to make a call and it didn’t get translated, a certain play, that type of thing. But it says a lot about our character, about the heart, and about the toughness of this team.”