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MBB Quotes: Brown gets ahead of Houston

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The monster is coming! Head coach Isaac Brown sat down with the local media for a preview of Thursday night’s matchup with No. 3 Houston, a team that has consistently challenged the big Shockers with their rebounding and defensive pressure. Brown talked about what his team needs to do to beat Houston’s double teams and looked back on a six-year rivalry with the Cougars that will soon come to an end. Read on for the transcript:

… Thumbnail on Houston:
“Great basketball team, third ranked in the country. Great coach in Kelvin Sampson. Veteran basketball team. Best defensive team in the country. Best backcourt in the country. They have a really good freshman who will probably be a top pick 15 in the NBA draft. Those guys are really defending at a high level. We have to do a good job rebounding, taking care of basketball, especially offensively. They’re doing things that our team hasn’t seen this year before. The way you display the low post – I say ambush the low post – like no one else in the country. You have to be willing to pass it back into their screen coverage of the ball…. It’s just different. You have to be ready to make quick passes to get him to the other side of the floor. Then you have to do jump shots, because they protect the paint. They make you jump shots.
… Improvement on the offensive end – six straight games with 70+ points:
“We’re throwing the ball into the paint and kicking it (out). Kenny (Pohto) and (James) Rojas are doing a good job of getting us into the bonus early, scoring with our backs to the basket, making it guys open to get wide open jump shots and fixed. I think we’re going out a lot more in transition. We’re getting more quick counterattack points.”
… They rose to the occasion against Houston the last two times they’ve come to Wichita:
“(Our) guys just bought the rebound. That was key … I have to get this new team ready to rebound, because the only two guys who have played against Houston are Kenny Pohto and Craig Porter. So, it will be the first time for most of these guys… It will be the most important thing in this game: tenacity. Winning 50/50 plays. If you can do these things, you have an opportunity…”
… How Houston’s Success Affected Other American Schools:
“Any time you have a team that’s in the top 5 in the country, that’s one of the best defensive teams in the country, a team that’s been a back-to-back Elite Eights. Any time you face those guys — and you’ve seen their culture , the way they play basketball, the way they defend and rebound at a high level — I think he’s made other teams in the conference better.”
… Keys to WSU’s offensive against a stingy Houston defense:
“It’s going to be a big challenge, facing the best defensive team in the country. We have to make sure we handle those double teams on the post. We handle those double teams and the ball screen. We have to evaluate the basketball. We can’t flip it. We have to make sure we control. We can’t give them second chance points.”
… Pohto’s passing and the importance of that skill against Houston’s double teams:
“It’s going to be a different challenge for him, because nobody this year has really made us monsters in the post, and Houston is the best team in the country (at this one). They’re there the moment the ball hits your hand, so you you have to be ready to come up and score straight away or dribble and find a player from your team who is available.”
… The role that the other four players play in beating a double team:
“The weak side guys need to get to an open area. The big guys need to be ready to score when the ball is in their hands. They need to get some deep touches in the post. We haven’t handled that well in the past. I remember we had a big kid here, Jaime Echenique. They’ve doubled him a lot and he’s done a good job of keeping him out of his hands. We just need to make sure we get the ball in, deep, and we’ll be able to get in straight away.”
… What makes Sampson’s Houston teams so great:
“Kelvin Sampson is one of the best coaches in the country. You just look at his teams from afar, just the culture… They play hard and they defend. It’s not much about attacking. It’s basically like soccer, the way they play. They play hard. They’re always first team out for 50/50 balls. They check, they go to the glass like nobody I’ve ever seen before, and those guys find a way to win.”
… What makes this Houston rivalry so much fun on both sides:
“It was a good series. They are a good basketball team, one of the best in the country, and they are once again playing tough. That has been our culture here (too). Playing tough, defending, rebounding and just being some tough basketball players.”
…What do you remember from the first WSU-UH meeting in 2018:
“It was a sold out crowd. You couldn’t hear each other speak. The players couldn’t even hear each other, it was so loud. The atmosphere that night was (amazing). Again, (we have) the best fans in the country, and hopefully we can generate that kind of fan support for this game. We need (everyone) to be here. It’s like having a sixth man on the pitch. It gives (our) kids that energy to go out and play on.”
… Reflecting on WSU’s 2021 win:
“That was (another) significant game, with us earning our first conference championship. At home, in front of our crowd, I thought about that game that we defended, we rebounded, and we played tough. The most important in that game was that every “When the ball was thrown, our guys trusted the observation report and found someone to look at. You need to check out against Houston — again, one of the best rebounding teams in the country. All five guys will go check out and the gang bounce. We’ll go back and show a lot of those crates (in our movie session).”
… Lessons learned this season:
“Just to keep fighting. I have a young basketball team. Those guys made mistakes early on. I still feel like they’re getting better and better. And no matter what, after we lose a game, we come back here, we work. Those guys continue to make great strides”.

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