Nicholls State coach J.P. Piper met with the media following his team’s 79-66 loss to Indiana on Friday night at Assembly Hall. Watch his postgame comments in the media player below:
Quotes are available after the jump.
Talk about your effort in the second half.
“I was proud of my guys. We talked at halftime that there were a few things in the first half that maybe caught us off guard – there ability to get the ball up the floor – we talked about those things. I think until you see it in person, it’s hard to have your team understand it. I think in some ways, we gave Indiana too much respect. We have a lot of respect for them and the program and the tradition, and the job that Coach Crean does; we were maybe a little in awe.
“I thought we took the fight to them a little more in the second half, and maybe surprised them a little bit, but I was really pleased with our effort to defend and I thought we were more aggressive offensively in the second half. We made a few more shots – we didn’t shoot the ball well in the first half.”
You talked about running more in the second half, at halftime.
“We wanted to be opportunistic, but I did not want to get into an up and down game with these guys. I thought we were too cautious in the first half; we talked about testing it and understanding our personnel. If one of our shooters is open, we may take a quick shot in transition, but if we don’t need to take a shot in transition, we can grind and control the tempo. I thought tempo was as important to us having success as making shots was. It’s almost crazy to say it, but a possession with a shot clock violation or a possession where we get a shot with one second on the clock that still doesn’t go in, was not a bad possession for us – it makes them guard for 30, 32, 33 seconds. I thought we did a better job of managing that in the second half.”
Yogi Ferrell got away from you a couple times there in second half …
“He’s a heck of a player. He’s so quick and puts so much pressure on you. I thought our guys, for the most part, did a good job until fatigue was a factor late. He lulled us to sleep a little bit. I love the way he manages the game. Smart, smart kid.”
Dantrell Thomas had a huge game for you tonight …
“That’s what we need him to be. That’s our guy. That’s our workhorse. If he can bring that kind of effort for us every night in league play, I think we have a pretty good shot to make a run in our league.”
Thoughts on Indiana.
“They’re lightning quick. If they can make shots from the perimeter, they are going to be a heck of a team. I love how fast they get up the floor. I’m glad we don’t have to play them again.”
What did you think of the press Indiana ran?
“It’s a smart play against us. It makes our desire to manage tempo almost work against us because once we get down there, we’re not working with a 35 second shot clock, we’re on a 24 second shot clock. It’s puts more pressure on the offense. I thought it was a smart play by coach Crean.”
Filed to: Nicholls State Colonels