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Memphis routes Rutgers – post-game notes

tigervesrutger 600The No. 24th ranked University of Memphis Tigers trounced Rutgers 101-69 at the FedExForum on Tuesday night. The victory yielded these post-game reflections.

Head coach Josh Pastner

Opening statement:
"This was a great win for the Tigers and we played well. Converting on 26 assists on 36 made field goals will make me happy any day of the week. We did a great job in sharing the ball. Establishing a post presence early on in the game set everything else up. I love that Austin Nichols went 8-of- 9 from the floor. He and Shaq Goodwin had some great moves down there below the rim. Chris Crawford had a big game with his 11 rebounds as well as Joe Jackson with eight assists. Our free throws (17-of-21) were better than in previous games. We held them (Rutgers) to 41 percent from the floor and did some positive things defensively. Overall it was a very good game and a lot we can take heading into our big game this weekend."

IMG an_assist_0891On the teams balanced scoring:
"I was glad David Pellom was able to get some minutes and we did not push him that hard. Everyone contributed and played very well. Nick King and Kuran Iverson both were able to log in about 20 minutes. They both were very active and did a good job. Dominic Woodson got in there and also gave us some good minutes. Even though he fouled out, I saw some positive things from him. Everyone played very well and did what they were supposed to do on the court. From top to bottom, everyone shared the ball and contributed. We have to continue to share the ball and thing will come easier. We shot the three ball well and took the three ball away from them (Rutgers). When you accomplish that, winning comes easier."

On Rutgers' performance:
"Rutgers has some really good players. They had seven players who were in the top 100 recruiting rankings coming out of high school. They are a very good ball club and are going to be very good next year. We still have to play them on the road, which will be tough. They have a very good roster and will mature and do well."

Memphis senior guard Michael Dixon Jr.

On the ups and downs of outside shooting...
"I think it's just how basketball is sometimes. Every game is a huge game. Everyone is out there to win just like we are. We've given some games away, but we don't have any bad losses."

IMG A_Nic_Block_0776On GameDay coming to Memphis Saturday...
"It's going to be fun. This is the second GameDay game I'll get to have played in, the first being Missouri vs. Kansas two years ago. The GameDay crew is really funny. It's going to be great."

Memphis senior guard Geron Johnson

"I feel like we're a great shooting team, and the further we get into the season the more it's going to show. I think this is one of the best shooting nights we've had on the season. We know the shots will eventually fall. We're just playing together defensively and offensively, we progressed really well and flourished tonight."

IMG G_Johnson__J_Seagears_1073Memphis freshman forward Austin Nichols

"It definitely helps to get involved early. I just have to keep it up and trust the process. It felt like I was in the right positions at the right time. My teammates were giving me the ball, and I was able to score."

"If me and Shaq (Goodwin) continue to post up and get fed down low, when we're not able to get a shot we pass it back out and get it to the second or third side, and that's when our offense really starts to open up."

Rutgers head coach Eddie Jordan

Overall thoughts...
"It was what it was. I told our guys at halftime, it's a lesson. We're being taught a lesson here. You've got to get ready to play. They're a physical brand of basketball, very good team, expertise at the three and in the paint. They're bigger than we are. They're tougher and they're better. I told our guys at halftime that it doesn't mean we can't win the game just because they're better, but you have to play a very good game, and we didn't do that. This team is very physical; they almost shocked us with their physicality."

Source: Memphis Athletics Communications

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