"Tonight was one of those games. I think it was pretty obvious that it was hard to find flow early on inside of the game and our movement got better. Our defense was pretty solid throughout, but then the movement really picked up and we gained some more confidence and our guys continued to play at a high level. We had 62 deflections. I'm proud of the way they played, especially with the adversity of having a couple of guys out and then a key guy like Verdell (Jones III) going out during the game. We really needed people like Matt Roth and Austin Etherington to step their play up tonight. I think they did.
"Our starters were very good. It was tough to play without Verdell, but there again, Matt came right in and it was next man up and he did an excellent job with that. All in all, to be at this point, to be 12-0, I don't think anyone could've seen that coming. I'm not going to sit up here and act like I saw it coming. You don't spend much time thinking about last season, but to have the same number of victories on December 22nd that we had all of last year. I think the players deserve a ton of credit for what they have done with that. We just want to keep getting better, we really do. We just want to keep improving.
"As I said to them, there's a big difference between catching your breath and taking a breath. As they go home right now I want them to catch their breath, but keep their eyes and their focus on what's ahead and not take a breath to the point where they just kind of relax and move on to the next thing in life. I want them to enjoy their families, enjoy Christmas, be in church, do the things that they need to do at home, but at the same time keeping their mind on what they're capable of and as they come back on the 26th, be ready to roll at a high level and we're excited about that.
"I think the way that they are playing, the way that these guys are working, leads me to believe, leads all of us to believe inside of our program, that there's a lot of progress that can still be made and at the same time there's guys that want to make progress. And where we want to go as a team, where we want to go as a program is still a long ways out there, but the way that they're working gives us a chance to continue to move towards that."
On the play of Matt Roth off the bench:
"His play was big because he's a veteran and it was great to see him do that. It's great to see him go into this break and into the next wave of the season with confidence because we're going to need him. There's no doubt about that. He was ready when his number was called and his teammates found him and he did an excellent job. I thought he did a good job defensively as well."
On the team extending the lead:
"They continue to create their own energy. Our guys continued to create their own fire tonight and they kept moving it at a high level. I thought they did an excellent job of building this lead with their defense, with the break, even when we became a little stagnant offensively and then our whole mindset became let's just get more movement on offense and look for the openings that are there. We always felt there were certain things that were open from the film and they were the same things that were open in the game. We were just having a little harder time getting to them."
On facing a zone:
"I don't know what their game-plan was, but it looked very much like they wanted to pack the lane and make it tougher on Cody (Zeller) and we've got to continue to get Cody where he's comfortable being away from the rim and looking for his shot and I think we will. Our guys did an excellent job once the ball started moving better and we wanted to treat the zone like it wasn't a zone. We just get better ball movement and get more penetration, more kick-outs, and our guys did an excellent job of finding one another. I think 19 assists in a game that had its ups and downs offensively is pretty strong."
UMBC Head Coach Randy Monroe
After trimming the lead down to ten points early in the second half, what went wrong?
"We didn't take care of the basketball. You have to take care of the ball in situations and you've got to take good shots. Those are things that we talked about at the very beginning of the game, before we stepped out on the court, that was our game plan; ball security, taking care of the basketball, moving the ball, making good passes. I thought we did that at times, but then we just didn't do it enough and we didn't do it consistently."
On playing at Assembly Hall:
"It's tremendous being here, I want our guys to be in this type of environment. It's a good place to play basketball, great crowd, fans know their basketball and it's the type of environment you want your guys to play in. It's something that they can talk about some 20 to 25 to 30 years from now."
On the positives the team can take from this game:
"I think the positive to take from it is we haven't been starting off very well in second halves and I thought the second half of this game I thought we came out with some energy and we did some good things. So, that's something that we can take from this game. I feel our big kids did a solid job for us. Nate Basalyga, I thought Will Wise came in and gave us a solid contribution. Jake Wasco, who's done a terrific job for us all year and I think Ryan Cook came in and did a solid job. Kudos to my point guard who, I told him he's not a walk-on now, he's a college basketball player, Quentin Jones, came in and did a commendable job for us. I'm really proud of him."