Wednesday, January 8, 2014

MSU Coach Rick Ray Post Game Comments (FULL TRANSCRIPT)

Mississippi State Head Coach Rick Ray

On holding Julius Randle to eight points … 
“Well, that was our gameplan. We felt that we had to limit Randle’s touches and when he did get touches and make sure that we were there to get the ball out of his hands. But I told our guys that he really does a great job of drawing fouls and if you don’t want him drawing fouls and getting in foul trouble the best way to do that is to keep him from touching the ball. So we wanted to make sure that we fronted the post in hard three-quarter form and when he got the ball we called it 31, that means every time he’s catching the ball he sees three people, he sees the man guarding him, the man to his right, the man to his left and then that’s our principles. The biggest thing that disappoints me about this win for Kentucky is the fact that I thought we did a great job in the first half. I thought we really competed and no one will know that because of the final score and that’s something we have to fight to get past. I think against good teams there is always a point in the game where they go on a run and we just don’t deal with that adversity very well and if we’re ever going to grow as a team we’ve got to be able to fight that adversity because I think it’s a shame that people are going to turn on SportsCenter tonight and they’ll see the final score, they’ll think it’s a blowout, they’re going to see us get dunked on in the second half. I just don’t think that’s indicative of the way we played and fought and competed in the first half. I just don’t think you give yourself a chance to be reputable when you just lay down and die when you have adversity and that’s something as a young inexperienced team, and to be quite honest with you too, we just don’t have enough bodies. We only have eight scholarship guys, we’ve got three front-line guys, we’ve got guys out there tired and winded. I always say this, every player says they want to play 35 minutes a game and then when they play 35 minutes a game they simply can’t do it.”

On the first half … 
“I thought our guys did one thing and that was simply follow the gameplan and I thought we did a great job of following the gameplan and I thought in the second half we totally went away from the gameplan. We wanted to make sure we limited Kentucky’s possessions, that means like when we got a defensive rebound or steal we wanted to push the ball and try to get something in transition. I told our guys, if you want to run, if you want to push then get defensive stops but if they score, we’re going to walk the ball up the court, we’re going to execute our sets, that’s a way to limit their possessions. But we got to a point in the second half where guys started to go their own way and we’re just simply not good enough for guys to go their own way.”

On what Kentucky was able to do inside in the second half … 
“In the second half we just didn’t follow the gameplan. Here’s what happens, guys get so wrapped up in their offense and when you’re not having success offensively they carry it over to the defensive end and that’s something we’ve got to get better at. We talk about it, we’re not going to start the ball all of the sudden better than Kentucky, we’re not going to start finishing at the rim all the sudden better than Kentucky, we’re not going to become a better one-on-one basketball player all the sudden than Kentucky. You know this going in so when you miss a wide open shot or you don’t finish at the rim that’s been happening the whole season, don’t be surprised by it, you have to continue to fight and compete at the defensive end because you know the outcome on the offensive end. If you’re a 27-percent 3-point shooter and you don’t make a 3, why are you surprised?”

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