Jan. 14, 2012
South Carolina Head Coach Darin Horn
So far in league play our team has been a tale of two halves. Tonight, it happened to be different halves. I thought we had a good response in terms of getting off to a better start and playing the way we wanted to offensively to start the game. Obviously, 41 points in the first half is tremendous for us. I don't think that there is any question that the way we started and how those guys responded was a huge part of that. There is no question we have to go find a way to continue to do that. It may not be 41 points, but to find a way to score and get some stops. Obviously, Florida is a really difficult match up with how we are playing; they are so skilled. Any time somebody puts four shooters on the floor it makes it really tough, especially with a team that is learning to get good at this defense. That being said, we have got to continue to get better defensively. People can't continue to shoot at fifty percent for us to be our best as we move forward. I had some really good responses from some individuals; really good to see Brenton Williams get out there and do some positive things. I thought Brian Richardson had a great response to starting, not only making some shots, just the way that he played. We had our best offensive guys out there and things actually looked pretty good for us. Obviously, we have got to address some foul issues and look at the ones that maybe our guys having trouble or causing themselves and get that corrected. We have got a week to get back to work and get better at all of the things we need to get better at.
On the second half
I think a big part of it is just understanding. As I have told you before, we can't make them older, faster. We were terrific to start the game, throughout the first half and to start the second half we hit one of those lulls for whatever reason. The biggest part of it, without watching film is that we had a few turnovers and we forced a few things early and that hurt us and they turned them into baskets. In general we have got to understand that we may have a few lulls and we have to continue to find a way to defend better to give ourselves a better opportunity when that happens.
On missed baskets
I don't think as much but there is no question that it did impact us. That is a hard thing to do even for a veteran team. When the ball is not going in for a long period of time, it is hard to stay at a high level defensively. Again for us with the really bad match up with the veteran team that has got incredibly skilled, passes the ball so well, and has so many guys that can shoot the basketball, I thought that again in the first part of the second half the issue was that we had a couple turnovers and that just really hurt us. We had a few that we needed to finish around the basket as well. That is something that we have to work on and something that we have to learn to play through as well.
Florida Head Coach Billy Donovan
On the Florida defense
I actually didn't think our defense was all that bad in the first half. I thought we had a few breakdowns, but we guarded them pretty well. They made some timely shots, some difficult shots. Certainly the three-point line hurt us. They made, I think six in the first half and we made eight and we were still down by one. I think going into the game, they do a great job of offensive rebounding and driving it, creating a lot of help, and then they get up on the glass. They probably didn't have a lot of time to offensively rebound with the percentage they shot in the first half. We made a few adjustments at the half in terms of just pressuring up a little bit. I thought it was really important the first four minutes coming out of the locker room that we got off to a good start. I think we got the ball first and scored on our first possession. Then they went on a little bit of a drought there where we were able to extend the lead up to eight, ten and then into double figures. It's probably a combination of a lot of things in the second half. In the first half they made all those shots, in the second half they didn't make them. I didn't think our defense was all that bad in the first half. The shots (Bruce) Ellington made were deep. The backup point guard made a couple deep ones. (Anthony) Gill made his first one. We had a couple breakdowns on some loose balls that they came up with that lead to some layups. We got beat a couple times off the dribble. I thought our focus level was there defensively, we just probably didn't have the results on the stat sheet that we would like in the first half and it was better in the second half.
On Will Yeguete's performance
I was really happy with the way Will responded, having to move into the starting lineup and finding out that he was going to start at shoot around today. He responded really, really well. He had a terrific game. He made some great plays, he rebounded the ball for us, defended very well. We really needed him.
On the 17-3 run in the second half
I think anytime you get a chance to go on a run, it's generally going to be because of your defense. Even if you're shooting the ball very well, like we were in the first half. We shot the ball well in the first half, but so did they and there were no real big runs. I think at one point in the second half they were 1-11 from the field to start the second half. That allowed us to get out on the break and have more offensive possessions, extend our lead and push it out. Like I said before, I don't know. Those shots in the first half were going in for them, in the second half they weren't. It kind of balanced out for us statistically. We didn't go into the half and say that was uncharacteristic. We tried to make some adjustments.