Head coach Tim Miles, as well as junior forward Isaiah Roby and senior guard Glynn Watson Jr., met with the media following a 73-49 win over Western Illinois (2-4) inside Pinnacle Bank Arena Saturday afternoon.
Here's the full transcript from their question-and-answer session postgame.
Head coach Tim Miles
On what he challenged the Huskers with after a loss to Texas Tech last Tuesday:
“Pass the ball. When we did that tonight I thought we were pretty good. I don’t know what the stat was but this is fairly accurate so we’re going to go with it. In the first half we were 12-for-19 from the field after three passes. That’s good basketball. Now, we didn’t continue it in the second half after we got the big lead and that’s where we can’t let our guard down. Whether you have a big lead or you’re behind like we were at Texas Tech, if those same habits come out — quick, early outside shot — it makes it really tough on your defense.
“I didn’t think our 3-point defense was great tonight but I do really like what Billy Wright’s doing at Western Illinois. This is the first game I think they’ve really been out of. You can tell he played for Coach Molinari, you can tell he took over for Coach Mo. They’re a base-man team, no nonsense, they guard you, they make it hard for you to score. I think we’re averaging about 85 at home and there was no way we were getting to that tonight. I think you have to credit them too.”
On the Huskers’ defensive intensity throughout the game:
“I thought it was good for a while. And then I thought it fell off. You don’t build a 33-point lead on anybody unless you’re locking them up. At that time we’d held them to just a couple 3-pointers, we’d rebounded pretty well. I liked where we were defensively. I thought we did a lot of things right for a long time. Now, we didn’t finish the job so I’m not happy about that, but on a good note, after a little bit of a sluggish start I saw Glynn Watson fired up about playing defense, talking to guys. Glynn was really good tonight.
“Thomas Allen got his first career block. Amir Harris did a good job on some defensive things too. So, I think we had some positive contributions that way by guys. Brady Heiman was good again. Tanner [Borchardt] does what Tanner does, just rock-solid.
“I thought that was good to have the bench guys to play well, we just had that bad stretch once we got way up.”
On if he’s concerned about the recent slow starts:
“I think it’s hard over the holidays when nobody’s around and I just think it’s a difficult time of year. We were only slow for a few minutes so I don’t think it’s a symptom, I think it’s just one of those things. I know we don’t intend to be slow out of the gates on Monday.”
On if the Huskers’ made it a point of emphasis to get Isaiah Roby the ball early:
“Well, we were trying to put the ball inside some, too. And Isaiah is one of our best options. Those first two times he was really good and then he kind of fell into the jumper mode after that. At the same time, we want to go to him and he’s very capable inside now.”
On if there’s a balance to strike between wanting to shooting a lot of 3s but not shooting it too quickly:
“To me, in transition when we’re just flowing down and you’re wide open, we practice those transition 3s plenty. The hard ones are after a made basket, after a free throw and it’s a set thing. You come in, set a screen, get somebody open and that guy just bombs one away. That’s a bad 3. We just need to keep teaching some of those guys what shot selection looks like.
“I think some of it tonight was we got a big lead and maybe Billy Joe Bob thought, ‘You know I only have about seven [points], wouldn’t mind getting into double-figures.’ So, he just jacks on up there. Can’t do that.”
On if he’s happy with the looks Nebraska is getting from 3-point range:
“All year this has been a concern, so it does not surprise me that we go a night here or a night there without shooting the 3 well. What concerns me are those quick, early outside shots in a halfcourt set. Those are killers to your defense, to your offensive rhythm and everything.”
On the emphasis put on rebounding:
“I thought we were better. We weren’t on the offensive glass for about 10 minutes in the second half very much with the lead but I thought overall defensively we were better. We just need to keep being better every night. We need to be better against Clemson.”
On Watson’s play to begin the season:
“Glynn’s playing with great confidence. I can’t think of another player that I want more for than Glynn. I just want him to have such a good year and he deserves so much. I think he’s up to the top-25 all-time on the scoring list. When I look at a guy like Glynn, there’s no guy that deserves a better experience than him. He’s been loyal to us, he’s been around and I’m just really excited about his future.”
Guard Glynn Watson Jr.
On if defense was the emphasis:
“Yes, and rebounding. Coach had talked about us rebounding so we just tried to come out and play defense and rebound.”
On his offensive performance:
“Just being aggressive. My shot wasn’t really falling last game but I’m going to stay aggressive and play my game. Coach Miles put me in a good position to score and set screens and stuff like that, so I was just being aggressive.”
On a career-high tying nine boards and his help on the defensive glass:
“I’m just cleaning up, the other guys box out and things like that but I’m the guy that’s got to clean up when those guys box out. Coach Miles told us all we had to come rebound today and play our defense and that’s what I’m trying to do.”
Forward Isaiah Roby
On bouncing back after the loss to Texas Tech:
“I think we played all right. Obviously, we know it’s early in the season and we’ve got a lot to learn from that game, but we played well today.”
On defending WIU center and 7-footer Brandon Gilbeck
“I had to focus a lot on positioning because a guy like that, if you give him an angle to the rim, it’s going to be a dunk, so I had to focus on that a lot. Just staying strong and walling up on him. I’m going to have to do that a lot especially around conference time so it was good to see it early.”
On whether he can be more aggressive on the offensive end:
“Yes, but at the same time we’re taking one shot, we’re taking one-pass shots so I’m the five-man right now. As the five-man, I’m supposed to set screens and keep the ball moving and not have the ball stick. So, yeah I need to be aggressive, but at the same time I need to keep sharing it.”
Derek is a newbie on the Hail Varsity staff covering Husker athletics. In college, he was best known as ‘that guy from Twitter.’ He has covered a Sugar Bowl, a tennis national championship and almost everything in between (except an NCAA men’s basketball tournament game… *tears*). In his spare time, he can be found arguing with literally anyone about sports.