March 2, 2011
Box Score |
East Carolina Head Coach Jeff Lebo
"It was an exciting night, especially for our four seniors. I'm really happy for them and I told them after the game that we're not done playing basketball yet. Some of the guys have gone through some changes in their roles and they stuck with it and I'm really proud of them. To win on senior night against Memphis, there were a lot of things at stake in this game and I told them you won eight Conference USA games, which is the most of anybody, assured yourself the first winning season in 14 years with this win and you beat Memphis for the very first time. That was a lot of pretty neat things to tell those seniors on Senior Night. I told them I was jealous cause I got an "L," but thanked them for letting me share.
"We did a lot of nice things especially in the second half. I thought defensively we were dialed in and we made some huge shots at the end of shot clocks. Jamar and Jontae made some big ones. Our kids executed our game plan better in the second half; in the first half, we gave up some transition baskets and offensive rebounds, which they're very good at, but we withstood it all. Jontae was awfully good, career-high 28 points and made some big buckets for us coming down the stretch."
On the homecourt advantage of Minges Coliseum
"The environment in here is awesome. I've played and coached in a lot of different environments and this one is as fun and as tough an environment to play in. It has been a huge factor in our games and in the game of basketball the crowd can play a huge factor in the game and they have. Our students have been terrific. It's awfully fun for our kids when they go through that tunnel and see those people. Our students were here early tonight and it was pretty nice to see them in those seats early. Our players notice that."
On getting the players to believe in themselves
"We'll enjoy this one, this was a big one for us. I really had a good feeling coming into the game, I told the kids yesterday that we could do it. Half the battle is getting your kids to believe they can do it. They recognized that, went out and executed and did it. Its one thing recognizing it and believing in it, and then it's another thing in believing in it and doing it, and they did it tonight."
On beating the shot clock with 3s
"Jamar has been shooting the ball well and he can make them at the end of a shot clock with range. Jontae made one to that was huge. They were back breakers too, end of the clock, crucial times, second half, it took a little steam out of them. You could see their body language change a little bit when those shots went it."
On the game plan
"We wanted to pack it in and make them shoot the ball from 3 and make them play against five defensive players. If we could get them to miss the first shot and keep them from getting the second or third one, we would be fine. They got the second and third one in the first half. The beginning of the second half they hurt us on the offensive boards. We mixed our defenses a little more in this game and tried to give them some different looks."