March 3, 2012
Tulsa Head Coach Doug Wojcik
"Not the way you want to end senior day. We really didn't get off the a great start, but for me, playing them with their speed I didn't mind the tempo except for the fast break points we gave up to them in the first half. The tempo was pretty good for us in the first half. We wanted to make them play defense in the half court, we come surging back and have a chance going into the locker room. Then, we just don't start the second half. Give Memphis credit they were shooting a high percentage and we weren't. From that point on we couldn't stop Will Barton. He had a great game with 30 points. He ahs good size and moving all the time, and he's better than anyone we've played all year that follows his shot to the glass.
What happened at the start of the second half:
"I do think the press didn't turn us over, but it disrupted us. I don't have an answer for you. I wish I did, especially with the opportunity we had in running into the locker room down three."
After losing 2 in a row and heading to the tournament, what do you tell them?
"Well, this was early in the day. It's a tough day. They're not feeling good about themselves. They're not feeling good about losing two in a row. Their families are here. A lot of people traveled and spent money to be here for this event. We've got to find our confidence. A week ago we win at Tulane in a good win with a lot of contributions from everybody on the team, balanced scoring."
Is it a mental thing going into the tournament or is it an Xs and O's thing?
"We have to get ourselves in a good place mentally. Coming off of our Wednesday game, to stay fresh and be alert and keep their legs for this game, that's the biggest thing. Now you're talking about playing three days in a row, so it's about feeling good and confidence."
Memphis Head Coach Josh Pastner
"Obviously a really good win for us. But first I want to say that I think Tulsa has such a great program and I have such great respect for Coach Wojcik. I think he's terrific, the winningest coach here. He's won a lot of games. They're very well-coached and they have good players. For us to come in and to win on the road we knew it would take a great effort by us because that's the type of respect we have for the Tulsa program, and like I said I think coach Wojcik is as good as there is out there."
"There's no question regarding the regular season championship that we earned it. We earned the victory. Nothing was given to us, especially at one point after Christmas break we were sitting there at 6-5, and there was negativity. There was rocky waters and people thought the sky was falling in, and we handled it. We were able to stay together and be able to win 17 out 20 games. To be able to do that is not easy, and to be able to do that without a couple guys. After Christmas break, we didn't factor in that we wouldn't have Adonis (Thomas), so to be down a couple starters for most of the year and still be able to earn the conference championship even after the UTEP game. UTEOP beat us and again, people though the sky was falling, and we just stayed the course, and having to win those four against East Carolina, at Marshall, Central Florida at home and at Tulsa, I feel our guys earned the right to be conference champions."
When you went into halftime was it that you couldn't believe that you were only up by three. Did you not play as well?
No, we played well. Tulsa is good. I think they're good. I think Tulsa they are a good team. They have good players and they're big. We got a little sloppy towards the end defensively, and Tulsa capitalized on it. They hit a couple of three's. Haralson hit a big three, then Clarkson, then Idlet hits a short baseline jumper. I just told the guys we're up three. It's a game of runs. It's a good team and they're going to make some runs, but we were able to stay the course and do our job and came out with a really nice victory.
Between Joe's ability to get in the lane and Will's ability to finish talk about the way they controlled the game:
"We're not a big team, but we are quick, fast and athletic. I thought we were able to get into the paint and make some things happen. I thought Joe had a good floor game even though he had six turnovers, but all of them weren't his fault -- a couple were guys that just missed passes. Joe is getting better. We have continued to get better every time we've stepped on the floor. Since Christmas break the improvement defensively has been a big thing. Defensively we have been pretty big."
"Will Barton was terrific. I don't think there is any question on his play. Chris Crawford had seven assists, not turnovers. I thought Wesley (Witherspoon) gave us great minutes. DJ (Stephens) came in and gave us a big boost and so did Ferrakohn (Hall), and we did that with Tarik (Black), one of our main guys, having some foul trouble and being a little bit in and out and Tarik when he was in there was still really good."
This is Tulsa's first Senior Day loss since 1997 when the Hurricane lost 56-54 against #r-ranked Utah at the Tulsa Convention Center. Tulsa has won 14 consecutive Senior Days.