MT vs. Western KY Postgame QuotesFebruary 26, 2004 · MT Media Relations
"First of all, we have a lot of respect for Western Kentucky's team. Their team is very physical. I thought Western came in playing very well. The Marshall tape we watched was as good as I have seen any team in our league play. That is just a credit to our guys. We matched their physicality around the goal. I thought we had a very balanced team on the floor tonight. That is the best we have guarded. That makes six games in a row where we have held our opponent to 40 percent shooting or less. To hold Western Kentucky to 30 percent, who came in leading our league in field goal percentage, was a good job. It was the best we have defended all year."
"We were a little intimidated [against Dixon]. We kept him off of the sweet spot. We tried to collapse on the zone. When he gets the ball, he is a very good player. But, he seldom gives it up. You just try to collapse on him. He is still going to score. But, we held to two of twelve. Our double teams were quick and aggressive. Alex Weekes had eight blocks, and that is what we need from Alex. He can change the game around the goal because you are going to get beat some. But, he was able to deflect balls and change the game."
MT Guard Bryan Smithson
"We have a lot of people that can score. But on the defensive end, we just buckled down. With Tommy [Gunn] on the bench, we are not at our best, but different people step up. They covered the slack. Everybody has to do little things. We just have to compete until he comes back on the floor."
"The crowd was great. It is good that I get to come in to this atmosphere. The seniors and past players have waited a long time for this. It is great to be a part of this being so young. I hope it is like this for years to come."
MT Guard Mike Dean
"We talk about the first five minutes of the game. Every game we want to come out and get a jump. Lately, we have been doing that some. We just wanted to do that in front of a big crowd tonight."
"We talk all of the time about making the extra pass and driving in and kicking the ball out. That makes our team better. We have a lot of people that can score. So, we try not to let teams key on one person."
MT Forward Michael Cuffee
"We knew we had to come out and play hard against Dixon. We had to be physical in the post. As long as we were able to do that, we thought we would be all right tonight."
"The crowd had a lot to do with it. They gave us a lot of momentum coming in to the game tonight. We would like to thank Dr. Todd and the fans for everything. We hope they come back for more."
WKU Head Coach Darrin Horn
"The most important thing is we did not come ready to play. You have to credit Middle Tennessee. They played like a team whose life was on the line, and it was. We dug ourselves in to such a hole, and you are not going to come back against a good team. Playing for what they were playing for, it was going to be very tough to do. We got some good shots, but we were unable to knock them down when we needed to."
"Nigel [Dixon] did not compete tonight. That is the most important thing. He allowed himself to get frustrated. Everybody in our league is going to double him and give him a ton of attention. He got frustrated in the first half. Defensively, they really attacked him. They got a lot of open looks by either turning the ball over or coming off of ball screens by forcing our defense to rotate."
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