Marty Simmons after 68-59 loss to Butler Saturday at Ford Center:
SIMMONS: “It’s a tough loss. I’m really proud of our guys for bouncing back from last week. Practices were spirited, much better and I thought it carried over into today’s game. I thought our guys competed and fought hard for 40 minutes. We had that one stretch, probably more than one stretch, but one critical stretch in the second half when they made an 8-0 run.
Give Butler the credit. They’ve got some veteran guys and hung in there and they deserved to win.”
ON OFFENSE, INCLUDING MISSED LAYUPS AND GOING 4 of 12 FROM 3-POINT RANGE:
SIMMONS: “We missed some shots that we’ve got to knock in, that we’re going to knock in, that we have knocked in. (Kameron) Woods makes it a little different in there. That guy’s like (John) Henson from Carolina a couple of years ago. He’s 6-9, got long arms and he made a couple of great blocks.
“I’m really proud of our guys. I thought they stayed with it. We had a few possessions out there where we probably got a little helter-skelter out there, but I thought for the most part we stayed together better maybe than we have all year.
ON BEING BEATEN 49-31 IN REBOUNDING:
SIMMONS: “They got us on the glass. I saw guys looking to block out. I saw guys working to block out, but Khyle Marshall is a heckuva a player. He’s been doing this a long time.
“We’ve got to get better at it. We’ve got to get physicaly and mentally tougher. We’ve got to be able to block guys like him and (Andrew Chrabascz).
“We spent a lot of time on it. We’re going to keep working at it, and eventually we’ll get to where we need to be.
“I didn’t think it was because we weren’t trying to block out. I saw guys looking, I saw guys going (to the glass). We didn’t finish it. They were a little bit tougher, a little bit more aggressive.”
ON SLOW START IN SECOND HALF AFTER LEADING 32-29 AT HALFTIME:
SIMMONS: “We came out of the locker room and didn’t get off to the best of starys. We wanted to play four-minute segments. We won four out of the five in the first half. We rea;ly put a high price tag of winning that first four (of second half) but they just did a better job of coming out and setting the tone.
NOTE: It was actually the third four-minute stretch of second half where Butler built a 40-39 lead into a 48-41 advantage.)
ON A BETTER EFFORT AFTER LOSS TO JACKSON STATE:
SIMMONS: “I’m just proud of the way they bounced back. We went to Xavier and played our best 20 minutes of the year, fought pretty hard to the finish. Then we kind of lost it.
“I liked the way the guys regrouped. They came back with good attitudes, they practiced spirited and competitively. They worked really hard
“We’ve got a lot way to go. I know we’ve played 12 games but we’ve got a lot of room for improvement. This group will buy into that. They will continue to do do that as we head into league play.”