SAN ANTONIO—Arizona’s dream season ended in a nightmare Thursday night, losing 72-60 to Houston in the Sweet 16.
Our complete summary is to be found here. Below, which trainer Tommy Lloydcenter Christian Koloko and guards Benoit Mathurin and Dalen Terry must have said afterwards.
Lloyd on Houston’s defensive intensity: “Houston is one of those teams where you’re better served if you play them a few times. I think the first time you play them they do the things they’re good at at such a high level, that it is hard for you to feel comfortable the first time, and maybe the second time you play them, you can try to tell your guys what’s coming, but they actually have a good better idea of what’s to come after experiencing it.
Mathurin (in French) on the course of the game: “I don’t have much to say. It was a tough game. There are a lot of things we could have done better to win the game. I don’t have much to say.
Lloyd on the recent piece by Azuolas Tubelis: “He obviously hasn’t played very well by his standards in the last two games. I felt like at the start of the second half, he was giving us something, and we were able to kind of play him in different short role scenarios. He tumbled, and he had one of those weekends where he couldn’t buy a picture. I can’t wait to get some rest for myself and him and get back to the gym with Zu. I think he has a huge jump coming in the near future.
Koloko for not being able to come back like in previous games: “We’re just going to give them credit. They had a very good game. They did everything the coach wanted them to do. We came out in the second half and started to play our game, and went back to what we were doing in the first half. Just give them credit. They played really well. Yes, they deserved to win.
Lloyd on the team’s overall performance this season: “Overall it was great. I thanked those guys after the game. It’s an amazing group of guys. I will always be grateful to them. I think they helped me get Arizona basketball off to a good start in my tenure, and I will always be grateful to them.
“I think we’ve really built some fundamental pieces this year that will really serve us going forward. Extremely proud of the guys. Extremely proud of the coaching staff. was just a little too much for us.
Mathurin on his future: “The next thing for me is to hit the gym and get better. Everything the future has for me has for me. That’s basically it.
Lloyd on fan support: “Yeah, the fan support was great. We obviously have a huge fanbase. It started off a little slow, but there’s a lot of new stuff in the program. So we proved that, and once we got started proving it, they came out. They’ve been really supportive of us. I’m excited to move forward because I want to build it and make it even better. I want our fan base to be the best in the country, and I think we have the potential to do that. I can’t wait to roll up my sleeves this offseason and start working on that.
Mathurin for scoring 10 of his 15 points in the second half: “Obviously I came back from a strong game (against TCU) so I would just say they were pretty aggressive towards me when I was dribbling the ball and coming off ball screens. So I would say they were pretty aggressive I was able to speak with my coaches and see what the best options were for me when I came out of ball screens or reads that I could do for the team, the best of the team.
Lloyd on being caught off guard by Houston’s defensive approach: “They are excellent defensively. They are the nation’s (#10) defense for a reason. They are a difficult team to manage because offensively, they control the tempo and they are excellent in offensive rebounding. It’s hard to get multiple stops in a row to do those kinds of races. Defensively, they didn’t do anything unexpected. I think we probably need a little more experience to go against. I’m sure I’ll go back, and when I watch the movie, I’ll take away things that I wish I’d seen during the game, but that’s always how it goes. They get a ton of credit. They do what they do, and they do it at a very high level. That’s why they are always good.
Terry if he plans to test the NBA waters: “We are not thinking about that at the moment. We just lost a game. We’re just going to go back to Tucson and relax a bit and get back to the gym.
Koloko on the NBA: “Same thing.”
Koloko on the season as a whole: “We are proud of the guys. We started the season and nobody believed in us. We made them believe in us. I want to thank the fans for showing us incredible support throughout the season. Yes, as I said, we started the season and no one believed in us. I think we were ranked… some people ranked us fifth in the Pac-12 or something. We are past that. We won the Pac-12 regular season, we won the Pac-12 Tournamentand we arrive at the Sweet 16.
“We knew we could have done better. That’s why our team is sad right now. We knew we could have done better. We knew what a good team we were, but right now we can’t do anything. So we have to learn from it.