Quotables: Brown Previews Prairie View

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In this week’s Quotables: What Coach Isaac Brown saw on film after Saturday’s uneven offensive performance against North Texas, what he’s hoping to see going forward, and why Craig Porter’s ankle injury presents both adversity and opportunity for the Shockers heading into their non-conference finale against Prairie View A&M.
 
Read on for the transcript:
 
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HEAD COACH ISAAC BROWN ON…
 
… Wednesday night’s opponent, Prairie View A&M:
“They’re winless on the season, but they’ve played one of the toughest schedules in the country. They’ve been on the road every game… We’ve got to be ready to go. They force a lot of turnovers. That’s one area we haven’t done a good job — taking care of the basketball.”
 
… Takeaways from Saturday’s game film:
“We were careless with the basketball. It’s not like we weren’t running offense. We running offense right there to the end. We just didn’t take care of the basketball, and we’re not making wide open shots. It’s hard to win when you’re shooting 30% from the three-point line. Those two things have to change in order for us to be successful this year.”
 
… Holding players accountable for mistakes, going forward:
“If you’re not doing what you’re supposed to do on the court, you’re not going to get two or three mistakes. You’re coming out. If you’re not making shots, regardless of if you’re a guy who’s been here three or four years, you’re going to have to come out. You’ve got to make shots. You cannot turn it over. So that’s what the conversation was like.”
 
… How the team responded in Monday’s practice:
“I want to see how they respond in a game. Guys respond in practice. ‘Yeah! Rah. Rah Rah!’ We get hyped. We make shots. We don’t turn it over. But I need to see that in a game. That’s when I’m going to know. Practice was good. I’m excited about that. Really good practice. But now let’s go make some shots in the game. Let’s go not turn it over in the game. That’s when I will be able to decide how good that film session really was.”
 
… What’s holding the team back from a full-40-minute effort?
“Defensively, we’ve been pretty good, for the most part. We’re holding teams in the 50s and 60s. But we need to do a better job of scoring. On offense, if we can get some easy baskets in transition, that will help us not go against a set defense. If we can have games where we’re not turning it over 15 times. If we can have some games where we’re making wide open shots, whether that’s throwing it into the post, making a shot, whether it’s creating off the bounce, making a shot, we’ve got to step up and make shots. We’re not making shots at a high level right now.”
 
… The root of WSU’s turnover problems:
“It’s a lack of focus. If you’re making a pass and you’re not having the opportunity to score the basketball, you don’t make that pass with the same type of energy you would if you had the ball your hands trying to go to the basket. We’ve got to be able to run offense without you scoring, meaning move the basketball, get to the right gap. (There were) six-straight possessions where we turned it over (Saturday)… We’ve got to do a better job of making sure we hold our man off, making sure we make a good two-handed pass and then, again, knocking down wide open jump shots.
 
… His overarching message to the team this week:
“You’ve got to play the right way. I’ve heard that a lot of in my 20-some years of coaching: ‘playing the right way.’ And that’s what we’ve been emphasizing in practice. In order to win basketball games, you’ve got to play the right way. Take care of the basketball, create a shot for a teammates, defend at a high level and just be a smart, high IQ basketball player.”
 
… What he’s hoping to see in this final pre-conference tune-up:
“The competition is going to get tougher once we get into The American. Prairie View is an opponent that we’ve got to be ready for. We’ve got to play well in order to win this game. They force a lot of turnovers, and that’s one thing we hadn’t been doing a great job of: taking care of the basketball. You definitely want to clean up all of your mistakes before you go into the conference play, because those (little) things can come back to haunt you.
 
… What North Texas did so well defensively in Saturday’s second half:
“They did a good job on Morris (Udeze). We threw it inside, they would double him, and we wouldn’t have anyone flash toward the ball. So we’ve got to do a better job of guys cutting when we throw it inside and then getting in his vision so he can make a pass to them. I thought they did a good job of crawling up in us. They denied us. We couldn’t catch the ball. They crowded us when we had the dribble. When Porter left the basketball game I felt like they really turned the pressure up, and we didn’t handle it well. We just continued to turn the ball over — 12 in the second half. It’s hard to win a college basketball game turning it over like that. We need to do a better job of passing, catching, getting open and getting a teammate a wide open shot.”
 
… Craig Porter’s status for Wednesday after injuring his ankle on Saturday:
“He’s still day-to-day. I don’t think he’s going to practice today. Hopefully he’ll be able to go tomorrow, but his ankle is still swollen.”
 
… What he’s hoping to see out of Qua Grant if Porter is unable to play:
“I want to see Qua run the team, run the offense, get guys shots, don’t turn it over and just be a leader on the floor. Bring those guys together because at some point in the game there’s going to be adversity, and you’ve got to be a head coach on the floor. This is your opportunity.”
 
… How Porter’s absence might affect the rest of the depth chart:
“Tyson definitely would have to run some point, like he’s been doing all year long. Ricky would have to play some 2. Dex would have to play some 3. We’ll be scrambling, putting guys in different positions. But those guys have to step up. We’ve got a man down, so here’s an opportunity for you to prove yourself. Everybody’s talking about playing more minutes or playing the point guard spot. Now you’re given this opportunity. Time to go.”
 
… The potential challenge of playing without Craig on Wednesday:

“It’s a huge challenge. Two of the games we lost this year, Craig got hurt and we struggled. We didn’t operate well. We didn’t run our offense. We didn’t make the right plays. He’s the leader. He’s the head of the snake on our basketball team, and somebody’s got to step up. If he’s out, then this is an opportunity for other guys to have the ball in their hands. You’ve got to get us in our sets. You’ve got to get the ball to the right person at the right time. And you cannot turn it over. This is a team coming in, Prairie View A&M, that is forcing 17 turnovers-a-game. So we have to value the basketball. We’ve gotta take of it. And we’ve gotta make shots.”
 
… The mounting number of cancelations due to COVID-19:
“We’ve been fortunate. We haven’t had any situations, so far. We’ve been talking to the guys about it. After this basketball game, when you go home for the holidays, make sure you’re taking care of yourself. When they get back, they’ll have to do a COVID test. So hopefully, knock on wood, everybody comes back good and we’re able to play our first conference game on the road.”
 
… Other potential changes within the rotation:
“I’ve got to get Kenny Pohto more minutes at the 4-spot. I’ve got to get Joe Pleasant more minutes. Both of those guys are shooting a high percentage. I think those two guys are playing really well.”


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