Saint Mary’s forward, Calvin Hermanson
Q: Is it tough to get it down to him when teams are playing him like that?
Hermanson: “It is a little tougher to get it down to him but if teams are going to take that away then we got something else we can take advantage of. So if they want to double Jock then that leaves a shooter open."
Q: What did you think of Joe’s Game?
Hermanson “We needed him when the game got down to five he hit the big three, then he had another one to push it to thirteen. We love him he is a guy we turn to in a situation like that, and he had a great night tonight.”
Q: Do you feel like you are rounding into shape you need to be in to start conference play?
Hermanson: “We feel pretty good, but we have things we need to work on. It is kind of exciting about the start to the year, but there is an opportunity to get better."
Saint Mary’s guard, Joe Rahon
Q: What kinda of confidence does that give you when you hit shots going forward?
Rahon “I always try to stay confident, my shot has not gone down in the first nine games but you stay in the gym and keep working at it. You just have to believe that shots will fall when they come your way. I got some open looks, I ended up being the one open tonight. For us it is the next man up the open guy gets the shots, and we have a lot of confidence that if guys are open they are going to knock them in. So it was my turn to do it tonight, the guys have been doing it all year so I kind of owed them one at this point”
Q: Did you sense a difference with taking care of the ball tonight?
Rahon: “Yes definitely you can feel it; it is something we need to get batter at, we pride ourselves on ten turnovers or less per game, we averaged around eight to nine, so having nine and a half is way too many. We came out and only had four in the second half which is good, but we need to start getting better at taking care of the ball, because you hold a team to 18 points in the first half. We were up 15 at halftime but probably could have been up 20-25 if we just got those extra nine possessions, it is something we need to get better at, there is always something to improve on, so it is something that we will be focusing on in the future."
Q: You guys closed the game on a 12-0 run, how important is that to do with conference coming up?
Rahon: “It is really big, really big, you want to be able to push a 15 point lead to 20 and not get it all the way down to 10 then five. That’s going to happen over the course of the season, it is good for us to fight through it figure things out on the fly, when it comes to league play you are going to need to win those games, so being able to show some perseverance and grit when they cut it to five, then push it back up and end up winning by 20-21 that is really big for us, it is good for confidence, but we want to be able to try and take 15 point leads the right way and not allow them back into game in the future.
Q: What are you looking forward to do in the South Carolina State game?
Rahon” “We are just trying to get better, limit turnovers, I don’t think we made very many shots tonight I think we shot 41 percent from the field, so offensively we need to be better. On defense we need to keep improving, we were really good tonight I think we held them to 46 (points). So holding a team to 46 (points) on your home court gives you a good chance to win, that is what we try to hang our hat on is defensive rebounding just in case in nights like these where shots don’t go in we can still win the game, and win it comfortably. We have to sharpen up, stay sharp on defense, and on offense we got to get going a little bit before Christmas and league starts”.
Saint Mary’s Head Coach, Randy Bennett
Q: Maybe not the best shooting night for you guys, and you had some turnovers, but they made a couple runs at you guys and you were able to extend the lead back out...
Bennett: “First of all, they’re a good team. They’ll do well in that league and they were good last year. I thought they were a good team that can put up points, they average 82 a game. Any time you score that much you can win on the road – you can put it in the basket. So I thought we did probably our best defensive effort of the year, so we did a great job there, we did really good on the boards. That enabled us to, on a tough shooting night, be able to hold them off.”
“Sometimes you don't know why you don’t shoot it well. I thought we had pretty good looks, and Calvin has 18 in the first half, and then doesn’t make his first shot until after the first free throw. Stef is a great shooter, Fitz is a great shooter, sometimes it just doesn’t go in the hole and that’s when you have to be good in those other areas. But it was a good game for us, in that respect, there’s some pressure. Arlington did that to us, and we didn’t shoot great that night either. I thought we played through that tonight. Joe Rahon hit couple big shots [and] Dane Pineau’s two free throws were big – gave us a little cushion, some breathing room.”
Q: Does a game like this help the message that even if you don’t shoot it well, you can win?
Bennett: “Absolutely. I mean that’s what’s going on, right? It helps. We’ve been getting better defensively. Some of that is because Pineau is back and getting more minutes. If that one kid (Thomas) hadn’t had that stretch there, where he had some tough face-ups, those aren’t easy shots over Dane. [If] he doesn’t hit those, they might not have had 40. And that team, they have some guys.”
“My takeaway is we’re good on the boards, we’re good defensively. I don’t know why we’re struggling a little offensively – this is a good offensive team. The nine turnovers in the first half, it’s uncharacteristic of us. Same thing happened against Arlington. So we just got to keep getting better and stay away from halves where we turn it over like that.”
Q: Can you expand on Joe’s two big shots?
Bennett: “That’s kind of Joe. You don’t see him as a driller, but I tell you what, when the game is on the line, I like him shooting the ball. He’s got good confident there – big shots, big plays. That’s just kind of Joe.”
Q: Is there anything in particular you’d like to see out of your guys in this last non-conference game?
Bennett: “Play aggressive and take care of the ball – that’s it. We’ve got to get more aggressive at home. I was pleased to see Krebs, he didn’t get a lot of minutes, but he played with confidence tonight. I thought [Justin] Ford has been. We’re going to need those guys – league is right around the corner. That’s when it all steps up a bit, so hopefully we can get our confidence level for our top 11 or 12 guys where it needs to be.”