Golden, Kugel, and Szymczyk post game press conference quotes


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      Mark Wheeler
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      Courtesy Florida Sports Information

      Head Coach Todd Golden

      On his takeaway from the game

      “I was pleased with the first twenty [minutes]. I thought we did a great job competing under the circumstances. Obviously, we’re in the middle of kind of reinventing ourselves a little bit. What we had talked about was trying to dictate the tempo of the game, dictate the shots that they took, make them chase us and guard us a little bit. We did a great job attacking the rim in the first half, got sixteen free throws. To go in down six when we only made one three in the half, I felt like we kept ourselves in the game really well. Now, the first ten minutes of the second half were disappointing and didn’t feel like we came out with that same enthusiasm, that same energy. A good team like Arkansas is going to take advantage of you when you do that. Thought we kind of rallied ourselves those last ten and competed pretty well down the stretch, but that beginning of the second half was what ultimately was kind of our death-blow today. The way that we’re going to have to win these games down the stretch is by putting together a full forty minutes of great effort as opposed to thirty out of forty, especially in a game like this.”

      On how the guys in the post fared stepping in for Colin Castleton

      “As I said [yesterday], we didn’t have enough time between Thursday and today to really change a whole lot. I thought it would not be necessarily beneficial to try to do that and try to execute that. So obviously Jason [Jitoboh] got the start, Shimmy [Aleks Szymczyk] and CJ [Felder] all got some rips. Now, moving forward before the Kentucky game, we’re going to have a little bit more time to try to get some things adjusted. I thought Jason competed hard – didn’t have his best game, but competed hard. I thought Shimmy stepped up in the second half. Actually, thought he played pretty well in the first half even though he didn’t produce much numbers-wise. Didn’t like his rotation early in the second half, but he came back and hit two threes and kind of showed what he’s capable of from an offensive standpoint. I think he finished with eight [points] and six [rebounds] in seventeen minutes – pretty dang good for a freshman, first game in Bud Walton Arena. So I thought there were some positives there. And CJ’s still getting his legs under him. He’s going to have to keep finding his way to be able to help us down the stretch.”

      Freshman G Riley Kugel

      On his takeaways from the game

      “We fought hard in the first half. The second half came and we just let up in the first few minutes and didn’t fight as hard as we did in the second half. All our defensive principles went away.”

      On attacking the rim and getting to the free throw line

      “They were in drop coverage, so I tried to use that to my advantage. Whenever it’s drop coverage I think it’s best if I attack downhill and try to find open teammates or try to get myself to the basket.”

      On the team trying to reinvent itself after Castleton’s injury

      “It’s all part of the game. It just happened, but we all know it’s next-man up. We believe in Jason and Shimmy [Aleks Szymczyk] and believe they can step up and make plays in the long run.”

      On Aleks Szymczyk’s performance

      “It shows that his confidence is there. He definitely can work on a few things, but we can all work on a few things.”

      Freshman F Aleks Szymczyk

      On his takeaway from the game

      “Honestly, I’ve got to sleep tonight and rewind. I’m a little in my emotions right now. I’m disappointed that we lost, but that’s basketball.”

      On Arkansas getting the better of the post matchups

      “For now, I have to say we need to be more disciplined on the offensive end and defensive end. We have to block out and execute our plays better.”

      On taking any personal satisfaction despite the outcome

      “It feels good to play more minutes, but the goal is to win the game. It was a great atmosphere and it was really fun to be playing out there, but again, we didn’t accomplish our goal here in Fayetteville.”

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