December 21, 2010

Postgame Quotes: SDSU

Shortly after Central Michigan's 72-69 loss to South Dakota State on a buzzer beating three point shot, CMU head coach Ernie Zeigler and select players made their way to the postgame press conference.

CMU head coach Ernie Ziegler

Opening Statement

"I'm really proud of the fact that we were trying to respond to the challenge of trying to recommit ourselves to toughness. In particular that second half for 19 minutes and 50 some seconds. We got that much closer again. You have to give South Dakota State all the congrats as well, because they were able to made a huge shot there down the stretch and it's one of those were you don't want to get to close and put yourself in position to get fouled and he was able to knock it down. We just got to keep pushing and were going keep pushing and were going keep challenging guys, and were going to keep trying to work are ways out of this. To put ourselves into a position where we can get to, where we can close out some games like this."

On what he said at halftime

"Really came at our guys about playing with confidence and we have been so uptight here at home, for whatever reason, and its probably the best we have shot the ball since the Temple game in the second half. Just talked about guy playing with confidence and confidently taking shots. If you're open shoot the ball... don't get gun shy. You have to take shots to make shots. We really got after it, especially with our press it gave us some opportunities in transition as well and we were able to convert those and finish some layups. Because in the first half we shot 25 percent again for the third consecutive half, I guess I would say. We missed six layups, we charted it... we missed six layups and five free throws. One layup I remember in particular I think we were trying to throw an alley-oop miss it get it back and missed point blank layup. I try to tell guys we have to be efficient in things we can control, because if you look at game it came down to the end and maybe instead of being up one were up three if we can just make a layup in the first half. So we got to continue to drill..continue to go film tomorrow and hopefully get guys to understand. We can't have wasted possessions on offense and/or defense. It's a good reason why were sitting here at two and nine because we have had a lot of wasted possessions in eight of our nine games that we have lost."

On his different starting lineup

"It's all about trying to ruffle feathers. It's all about when you're going through what we have been going through right now, it's our six consecutive loss. Things can't remain the same, you have to juggle things and challenge guys, you have to do different things. Offensively the way we started didn't really get us to a better start, but I think it definitely helped us particularly in the second half. Finis (Craddock) was very aggressive, and he is a more then capable scorer and that hopefully one of the positives we can build on as we continue to move forward."

On the play of Finis Craddock

"He played in second half with confidence. He has the ability to score in transition. He has the ability to get to the basket and get in the lane and make plays for himself and others. He hit those couple of three's and I think he had a couple of really good drives as well, and was able to score. So hopefully this is something we can get him to try to sustain consistency after coming back from that mid to high ankle sprain where he missed a few games. So looks like he is starting to play with some confidence and hopefully we can build on that as we get ready for conference play."

On Forcing 19 turnover of a team that normally takes care of ball

"It was one of the aspects that we thought we needed to do to combat their excellent shooting ability. We wanted to pressure the ball. We wanted to put them into a position to be under pressure and handle the ball. It was somewhat successful for sure us but unfortunately it wasn't successful enough."

On his teams improved post play and the carry-over effect it can have against Cornerstone

"Hopefully we can take advantage of that, and we have to. When we have been struggling to score here the past two games prior to this game and in this first half. Just trying to get easy buckets. Trying to post guys and trying to post different guys ...we tried to get some stuff in the lane and we were somewhat successful with it, and it's just something we have to continue to do. It was good to finally see more than two guys in double figures, I think offensively we had a couple other guys at nine or eight . So hopefully something we can continue to build on and just continue to look to play inside out offensively."

On whether SDSU's success in the first half was attributed to his team's defense or their shooting ability

"No, they are an excellent shooting teams. They are one of the top shooting teams in the country, they came in here shooting over 42 percent from three. They spread you out. In my opinion the kid Nate Wolters is like a poor man's Steve Nash... he is a tough cookie. But they all shoot the ball and we knew that. We definitely had some miscommunications on a few plays where they got some layups. where guys weren't rotating down or what have you...that definitely contributed to them shooting as well as they do. But they make jump shots and that's what they do. They have done it against Big Ten teams in Iowa and others. Unfortunately for us we weren't able to have them shoot a lower percentage here tonight."

On whether their shooters Sargent and Wolters reminds him of former Chippewas Jordan Bitzer and Robbie Harman

"I think Sargent definitely reminds you somewhat of Bitzer. Wolters has somewhat of a different game in that he is very crafty with the ball and able to do stuff off the dribble and is able get to the foul line. He shot 13 free throws here tonight. Almost shot more then we shot as a team, but that is a whole other issue. Two are both are really good players."

Senior Forward William McClure

On not starting the game and having his head coach label the team as "soft"

"I mean he said we played soft the last game and got blown out at home. So he switched the lineup to try get other people a chance to come off bench, who were on the bench and come in and do their job. What he said proved true. I missed last box out when we were up one. He made the right decision."

On his emotions after SDSU hit the winning shot at the buzzer

"Of course it hurts, but we never should have been in that situation. It was key points throughout the game where mistakes were made that we should have been up more than the one... when I missed the box out. We should have been up by who knows how many, we will see in the film. The fact that it did come down to that and they did hit that shot it is a dagger. Saying that we have been struggling and we really need a win right now."

On scoring 45 points in second half and getting some offensive flow

"As a team, we can all score. It's getting people in positions to score. Everybody has been in a slump and people are working their way out of slumps right now. Were working and we bonding with each more. Learning how each other play still. We have a young team and everybody is finally starting to mesh. Once we finally get everything going right... it should be nice."

Sophomore guard Finis Craddock

On his performance and breakout game

"Halftime coach told us to come out and shoot with confidence. So when I got I went and got my open shots. I shot with confidence... it was falling for me."

On whether he gave the team a spark

"Yeah I felt like I came in with energy. Gave us nice spark for the comeback. Down the stretch had a couple lapses and we couldn't make the tough plays and they hit the three at the"

On the mood of the locker-room following the loss


South Dakota State Coach Scott Nagy

On Nate Wolters and his shot at the end

"He's been doing that all year. No one has been able to guard him. He is hard to guard and slick, and he doesn't look like he is a great athlete. It's like how can't you stay in front of him, but nobody has been able to stay in front of him. I'm not crazy about our offense at times because I like to be a motion offense team and have every one touch the ball and move around, but sometimes it's like we just sit around and watch Nate play. He is a really good player. He has been playing at a high level. He was Calmat their end after they made their shot, and I was like let's go and he just walks up the floor. He must have known what he was doing because he hit that shot. That is one thing, he was All-Newcomer last year in our league. We knew we had a good player, but one thing he didn't do last year was shoot it well, and this year he is shooting a very high percentage from three. He doesn't take a ton of them, but he shoots a high percentage and he has worked very hard on it. It paid off for him tonight and for us."

On holding CMU to 25 percent in the first half on whether it was them or his defense

"Little bit of both. We were ready for their stuff. We did a nice job of communication plus when were on our end, our coaches can help and we can talk and communicate better. They were way more aggressive in the second half. What they did to us in the second half was they took advantage of their size and just pounded it down to Trey Ziegler and their big kids. They were much more physical with us and we're just the least physical team they will see this year."

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