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Courtesy: Doug DeVoe/Missouri Valley Conference

Creighton vs. Nebraska, MBB Post-Game Quotes

Junior Forward Doug McDermott

On getting into their groove in the second half
We just came out with a little more confidence. We were a little shaky at first. It was our first real test on the road against a packed house. We got those jitters out at halftime and we moved the ball a lot better and executed our game plan. We did a good job of regrouping there in the locker room and came off right.”

On Gregory Echenique
“He was huge. He was grabbing every single board. He was running the floor and finishing everything. I’m really proud of Gregory these past couple of games. He started to grow up this season and that’s something we’re going to need from him all year if we’re going to be an elite team.”

Creighton Head Coach Greg McDermott

Opening Statement
“Our defense was really important tonight. Nebraska did a good job at taking us out of our offensive flow, in particular the first half. I thought we were able to get into the teeth of their defense the second half, but the first half, wejust never had a rhythm. Our bench was shorter tonight and that certainly played a role in our inability to get in a groove. But Nebraska is a good defensive team. They believe in what Coach Miles is asking them to do. Theyplay with a lot of confidence. Fortunately for us, our defensive plan worked.”

On what it was like to coach against Tim Miles again
“I can’t remember what I did yesterday. It’s been a long time since me and Tim competed against each other. His teams generally don’t beat themselves. We had a hard time forcing them into turnovers. They’re going to be disciplined defensively and follow the plan, which they did. We finally got behind a couple of those ball screens and would throw it up for lobs and stuff, but Tim’s a heck of a basketball coach. As you folks have learned about him, he’s an eternal optimist and he’s got these guys believing that they’ve got a chance to win. That’s why they’ve won six games, because they really believe in what he’s selling and that’s how he’s going to build this program.”

On Gregory Echenique
“He’s good. He’s snaring rebounds. It’s a crowd and he’s going to get it. We needed him tonight. Obviously, they kind of played (Andre) Almeida when Gregory was in. We tried to get Ethan a few times, but Tim outsmarted me most of those times. That’s as big and as physical of a defender as Gregory has seen. I thought when he couldn’t score over top of him, he went and got rebounds and scored that way.”

Nebraska Head Coach Tim Miles 

On why Nebraska’s offense never got going

“I thought Creighton did a really good job. I thought that they didn’t give us angles to attack the basket. We couldn’t get fouled and we couldn’t get a rhythm. They did a nice job taking Ray (Gallegos) out of action, and I regret—later in the second half, I regretted not running one more thing. I thought we had some rhythm early in the second half, but I don’t like to just isolate guys and go to them and then everyone else gets to standing around. You just kind of walk that fine line for, ‘Can I get him an open shot and still get everybody going?’ We couldn’t. I thought the only time we had any offensive rhythm was early in the second half when we were just trading baskets.”

On if Nebraska reverted back to old habits on offense

“Oh, there is no doubt there were some different old habits. I was taking guys out; you just have teachable moments and you’re like, ‘Sub, sub,’ and you don’t like to do that. Emotions run high and guys kind of lose their wits a bit and you could see that. Our new guys played like new guys. Anybody who was new to the program looked like, holy cow, look at all the people here, this must be a big game and we’re playing a ranked team—all those things. None of those guys, I thought, performed all that well.”

On his thoughts on Creighton

“There are who we thought they were—no, sorry, you’re only supposed to say that if it’s a close game. One player gets 27 points, another player gets 12 rebounds and a different player gets 10 assists and another player gets three threes. That’s a few pieces to the puzzle. I was really impressed. Mac (Creighton Head Coach Greg McDermott’s) a really good coach. He does a nice job with them. They’re going to be hard for a lot of people to beat.”

On keeping this game from being two steps back

“I think we’ll know that when we play Oregon. Creighton took a little bit of the Omaha blueprint; you know what I’m saying? Omaha didn’t play us much different than this. When Oregon does that, and they will, are we able to stand the attack? Defensively, we weren’t great, but we weren’t bad defensively. I don’t know how many possessions we played in the game, but I’m not sure they were a point a possession. That’s what you want to hold your opponent under - a point a possession. We were not good on offense. We have to get better.”

Nebraska Players vs. Creighton

Senior Forward Brandon Ubel

 On why the team struggled offensively tonight

“They took us out of a lot of the things we wanted to do. They had a good game plan coming in. They didn’t let Ray (Gallegos) get any catches. They played off Benny (Parker) and Mike (Peltz) in the lane. That kind of makes guys a little uncomfortable and that clogs things up. We hadn’t played against a scheme like that before. They had a good game plan coming in and they executed it. We just couldn’t get the ball in the hole.”

On if the reason for only taking six free throws was lack of aggressiveness or just the Creighton defense

“I think a little bit of both. Obviously they are playing so far off guys and making them uncomfortable and unsure. That makes you a little unsure on the perimeter. They were doubling me in the post, so I wasn’t getting to the foul line there. A lot of things they did took us out of things. We’ve got to watch that tape and learn how to attack defenses like that and learn where those defenses are going to be and move forward.”

On how difficult it is to defend Creighton

“A lot of stuff that they got was off our turnovers or bad shots where we were out ofposition for rebounding and getting back. We just didn’t get matched up in transition and they hit a wide-open shot. That happened way too many times.That’s definitely something that we need to fix – not letting them play offense off of our offense. That’s probably one of the biggest things we need to correct.”

Nebraska Center Andre Almeida

 On what the battle inside was like tonight

“They are a pretty physical team. They are a good team. There is a reason why they are 14th in the nation. It was a physical game.”

On how hyped the team was

“We were pretty excited. Maybe we got too excited because it’s such a great rivalry and everything. We were ready to go. It was just a matter of execution. They got some points off our turnovers. Like Coach says, they ran offense off our offense.”

On if the team reverted back to old habits

“I think sometimes when things go wrong, we need to do a better job of sticking to the plan. I think in the second half we didn’t do a very good job of climbing up the mountain. Some of us went back to our old habits. We’ve got to stick to the plan no matter if we are up or we are down.”

On how much fun it was to have this many people at the game

“It was great. When you are warming up and you see it this packed, it’s exciting. That is what college basketball is about. We appreciate the fans and I think we have one of the greatest fan bases in the whole country. We appreciate them.”

On if the team will shake this off quickly

“It’s tough. It was on our home court. It wasn’t any game; it was a state rival. We can’t get hung up in a loss, we’ve got to move on. We can’t let this game define us and we won’t. Tomorrow we’ll come in ready to get to work and get better. It’s tough, but now we have to think about Oregon.”
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