TRANSCRIPT: Ole Miss head coach Chris Beard talks after the Rebels’ 70-69 win over Detroit Mercy
OXFORD, Miss. — Ole Miss head coach Chris Beard met with media following the Rebels’ 70-69 win Tuesday night over Detroit Mercy in the SJB Pavilion. Here’s what all the head coach had to say:
On why the Rebs played a guard-heavy lineup towards the end of the game:
“There has definitely been a lot of that. Obviously, with (Jamarion) Sharp, these games are tough in a lot of ways, and we are not an excuse program. I believe Sharp will play professional basketball, and in professional basketball, you have to play defense outside of the lane, so he’s really working at it. He gets a double-double if he gets his normal minutes; he gets 10 rebounds, he plays really hard, but it’s definitely a chess game.
“I’d like to get to the point where we can impose our will and play our bigs together, we just haven’t proven we can do that. I mean, y’all are at the games, you see it. They spread us out a little bit, and we just have to continue to work on that. When we get Moussa (Cisse), it’s going to be even more. We are going to have to figure out a way with these teams that play five out, these teams that have post guys that shoot threes, it’s an issue. We work on it everyday, we just have to get better at it.”
On Detroit Mercy head coach Mike Davis:
“It’s definitely a player’s game, and obviously, we didn’t play our best game tonight. We are fortunate to win against a really well-coached team. I have a lot of respect for (head coach) Mike (Davis). We share experiences with Coach Knight; I saw him a little bit today at the shootaround. We spent some time together. That guy is one of the best coaches in college basketball. You might not hear his name as much as some of the other legends in our game, but he has taken multiple teams to the NCAA tournament, he has coached on Monday night, and he was a great player in the SEC, so we expected the unexpected.”
On Jaylen Murray’s facilitation of the backcourt and on free throws:
“You know, we had some individual performances, obviously with JuJu’s (Murray) 7:1 assist to turnover and Matt’s (Murrell) 6:1 assist to turnover, and that’s basically what gave us a chance to win a game. We missed all sorts of shots around the basket. We just have to do a better job of demanding fouls. Victories favor the most aggressive team, and tonight, I don’t think we shot a free throw. The stat sheet says five or six, but I don’t remember any free throws until the end, when Al (Flanigan) hit a couple, so that’s a problem. That right there tells you the most aggressive team, they were.
“If you get two teams being aggressive, then it comes down to the team with the fewest mistakes, and we had a lot of those too. Leaving three-point shooters, I thought we fouled way too much in the second half—just things we have to learn from. That clock starts ticking down, and you feel the pressure of we gotta get this done tonight, but when that other team is in the bonus, it makes it very difficult because you are trying to play very hard, you want to be aggressive, but you can’t foul. I thought they did a great job getting to the free-throw line. In the second half, I had no complaints from the officiating from where I was sitting. They were the most aggressive team, they deserved to get more free throws than us tonight. We have to keep working on that, and we will.”
What Beard has seen in his offense through three games:
“We’ve played the majority of zone offense this season, and we’ve gotten some good things done, but like tonight, we shoot almost 50 percent from the floor, 50 percent from the three, but we don’t get to the free throw line, and we get out-rebounded again. Offense comes in different ways; offense isn’t just coming down and making every shot, it’s, can you get to the free throw line, can you get an offensive rebound, and an extra possession? But obviously, right now our rebounding is an issue. We got out-rebounded again tonight. It’s been a focal point in practice, a focal point in individual player meetings, we just have to get better. There is no secret, we just have to keep working on it, and we will.”
On the Tad-Pad game this Friday and Coach Rob Evans:
“Friday night, the Tad Pad game. It’s a special thing. We are honoring one of the all-time greats, Coach (Rob) Evans, and his wife. He is a Hall of Fame coach here, he took teams to the postseason and had great players. I believe he was the head coach here for six years, if I’m not mistaken. All of the players, assistant coaches, and managers that played for him have been invited back to Oxford, so we celebrate Coach, his family, and all of those Ole Miss teams.
“The Tad Pad means a lot to a lot of people, so we are excited to play this throwback game. 8 o’clock tip on Friday because the Grove opens up at 7 pm, so the plan is for everybody to get their spot in the Grove and come over for the game. It’s nearing a sellout, but it’s not a sellout, so if you guys wouldn’t mind putting that out tonight and tomorrow, there are tickets available.
“We are certainly encouraging the students to come to the game, too. I appreciate y’all’s help promoting the Tad Pad; we hope it’s a game that brings a lot to the program, even outside of the game. Ole Miss has a lot of tradition with great coaches, great players, and great teams. One of our objectives in year one is to get everyone under the umbrella. So this is the first coach and first era of Ole Miss basketball we honor. We look forward to doing this in future years as well, so thank you for helping us promote the Tad-Pad game on Friday night, thanks.”
(Feature image credit: Josh McCoy, Ole Miss)