Tracking The Four: Voices of…

Posted by EJacoby on February 24th, 2012

Evan Jacoby is a regular contributor for RTC. You can find him @evanjacoby on Twitter. TT4 will cover four selected teams of interest – Syracuse, Indiana, Murray State, and UNLV – by tracking their ups, downs, and exciting developments throughout the course of the season.

The ‘wildcard’ version of TT4 is back, and this week we take a look at the voices of each team. Below you’ll find key quotes throughout the season from players, coaches, and media members who cover each of our four squads. With just three games remaining (or less) for each team in the regular season, it’s an appropriate time to take the pulse of the programs before they head into the home stretch:

Tom Crean Has Had Much to Say This Season for the Surprising Hoosiers (AP Photo/A. Colwell)

Indiana Hoosiers

  • “They’ve been punking us the past couple years and we realized that. This year we had to go toe-to-toe with them.” Guard Victor Oladipo, 12/31 (after win over Ohio State)
  • “Our mindset is next man up.  We know that a lot of different people at different times can step up and make a play that helps us win games on either offense or defense.  We have done a good job of being unselfish and worrying only about getting the win.” Guard Jordan Hulls, 1/3
  • “The bottom line is this team gritted it out again. They have won 14 games 14 different ways with a lot of room for improvement, and I’m excited about them.” Coach Tom Crean, 1/5
  • “We can’t be satisfied with moral victories.” Center Cody Zeller, 1/18
  • “I think the most difficult thing to swallow from one game to another, though, is simply the consistency of this basketball team in recent weeks. You really just don’t know what you’re going to get from week to week, game to game, minute to minute. And that’s what I find to be the big difference between the 15-1 start and the 2-5 record since then. It comes down to consistency. And it’s across the board.” Beat writer Terry Hutchens of the Indianapolis Star, 2/2
  • “If you’re going to get physical with [Zeller], he’s going to respond. The only soft thing about Cody is that he’s soft-spoken on the court, but other than that he’s a tough, tough person.” Coach Tom Crean, 2/9

Murray State Racers

  • “Coach has a great personality and he cares about our team more than anything, and the same way he cares about us we care about him and we try to go out and play as hard as we can for him.” Guard Isaiah Canaan, 12/15
  • “Canaan’s first-half performance Saturday had many around the country watching on ESPNU, including CBS Sports’ Seth Davis, labeling it one of the greatest halves of basketball they had ever seen from a player.” Beat writer Ricky Martin of the Murray Ledger & Times, 1/9 (after beating Austin Peay)
  • “I chased him everywhere in AAU basketball. He’s a special player, he’s a gamer, he plays big. The bigger the game, the better he plays. The first half, he was tremendous. I think he’s one of the elite guards in the country.” Coach Steve Prohm, 1/4 (speaking about Canaan)
  • “We’re really not too much hyped about being ranked. We like being ranked but we’re not trying to focus on that the whole time. We’re still going to be the same team that plays hard and goes hard and play everybody like they’re ranked No. 1.” Forward Ed Daniel, 1/15
  • “I just try to stay aggressive. I think when you come out on your heels and aren’t aggressive that could force you to play passive and you don’t really want to play that way with anyone. Myself and everyone else on the court need to be in attack mode.” Guard Donte Poole, 1/28
  • “I’m extremely proud of our guys. We had an amazing run, 23 wins in a row. I’m sure we set a lot of records along the way, but now we’ve got to be totally locked in on winning a conference championship.” Coach Steve Prohm, 2/9 (after only loss of season)

UNLV Runnin’ Rebels

What Have the Runnin' Rebels Been Saying About Their Exciting Season? (AP Photo/G. Bull)

  • “I could tell on the bus on the way over and at shoot-around how focused we were. North Carolina is so well coached. We expected to play really, really well. We felt we had a chance to be competitive. We have four seniors. We don’t want one game to define our program. We want to be judged on our consistency.” Coach Dave Rice, 11/26 (after upsetting the #1 team in the country)
  • “We really have the luxury of not having to rely on one guy to carry us through the whole game. We’re a ball club with a lot of veterans who have been playing for a long time now.” Guard Anthony Marshall, 12/31
  • “We play nine or 10 guys. Depth and conditioning is one of our strong suits. We’ve always been a second-half team.” Coach Dave Rice, 1/5
  • “The UNLV basketball team’s speed is no secret. There’s not an opponent on the schedule that doesn’t know about it and have a plan to stop it. But seeing it in person is another thing. Saturday night in front of a sold-out Thomas & Mack Center crowd, New Mexico looked like a driver whose car stalled on railroad tracks with a train bearing down on him.” Beat writer Taylor Bern of the Las Vegas Sun, 1/22
  • “They had been picking it up for me the whole game, so I owed them that. We’re a team, we’re a family, and we know how to stick together and always try to pick each other up.” Guard Chace Stanback, 1/28
  • “I couldn’t make a shot. I didn’t know what was going on. I still don’t.” Forward Mike Moser, 2/4 (after loss at Wyoming)

Syracuse Orange

  • “Not to say that we’re arrogant, but we’re No. 1 in the country for a reason. Going into someone else’s home, it’s always going to be tough. Like I said, we held our composure – that’s what I took out of this game.” Forward Kris Joseph, 12/17 (after win at NC State)
  • “It was the best shooting night we’ve had all year. If it hadn’t happened that way, the game could have easily gone the other way. We’ve stopped everybody, pretty much, this year. We couldn’t stop them. We just outscored them.” Coach Jim Boeheim, 1/4 (after beating Providence)
  • “I’ve never been on a team with subs like this. It’s crazy. We continue to get better and make each other better in practice every day. We’ve got some of the best guards in the country.’’ Guard Dion Waiters, 1/14
  • “I watched the tape twice because I couldn’t believe what I was watching – seniors making defensive errors, missing easy shots. It was just an awful experience.” Coach Jim Boeheim, 1/21 (after only loss of season)
  • “I’m just supposed to try to block shots. Luckily, I got it and the ref missed the call.” Forward Baye Moussa Keita, 1/28 (after missed goaltending call sealed the win vs. West Virginia)
  • “Fab Melo’s absence is not the reason Syracuse lost to Notre Dame. Syracuse’s defensive intensity lagged throughout the game. You could argue that the SU players might have been down after learning just 24 hours earlier that they would be without Melo, but that’s impossible to know for sure. What I am sure about is Syracuse played so poorly at Notre Dame that the Orange would have lost that game with or without Melo.” Beat writer Mike Waters of the Post-Standard, 2/11
EJacoby (198 Posts)


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