NT at Middle Thread

MGN is in Nashville, which is about 40 min or so outside of Murfreesboro. I’ve stayed in 'boro before so I didn’t want to do that again. So far Nashville is cool, expensive, and fine. It gives me Austin vibes mixed with some other towns I’ve been to.

Ate at Toots, which had good wings but the hot ain’t that hot if you have ever been to Texas y’all.

Got some good quotes from Mac about the game. After he wanted a picture.


Rubin Jones:

Game plan for the turnaround

“Coach write on the board every game – game is 40 min. Just had to figure out a way to get everyone on the same page and do what we do every day”

“We started off slow. Just had to pick the energy up”

Big buckets late

“First half, like coach said – they were beating us to all the loose balls. Being physical, Game on the line can’t risk losing the ball, got to go get it”

"Its just – we do it every day, back to the basics. Loose ball, got to run right through it go get it. In the half court they were active in gaps, just going for a lot of steals. "

On the game becoming a grind late

“We got 40-something points we feel like we can win the game”

On guarding Dishman

“(Digging) was part of the game plan. Blitzed him a little big. Doubled him a little bit. At the end went solo on him, just digging on him, dont’ get back cut.”

On Lawrence and Middle’s late plays:

“Lawrence would back cut and go through the whole game. But he back cut and came right back off the down screen. Abou seen it, switched it and made a great play”

Aaron Scott:

On his play this weekend:

“I think I’m playing good. Scouting report has everyone sagging off me. I’ve just been taking advantage of that getting to my spots and making shots.”

On extra work

“Oh yeah a lot of work, especially on my three point jumper. I’ve been working on my midrange – on my finishing. Everything.”

ON preparing for his the team’s needs of him

“I got good length, I got good feet. I can guard 1-4 and I just use my length and try to be as versatile as possible.”

“We know its a long game - 40 minutes and we are just saying ‘Stick together for 40 minutes’ and we ended up with the dub”

On the adjustments required

“We always have to make in-game adjustments. They were denying TP. We just put Kai and Rubin in ball screens and just worked our offense. We had to be prepared for anything and we were prepared for anything.”

Coach Mac:

“Well, give them credit because they did come to our place and we beat them last year, and they won the east last year, and we ended up winning the west. And so I think there was just mutual respect, and they came off of a loss at UTSA so you could tell they were revved. Ready to go. And we were flat to start the game. And their ball pressure and the way they attacked the basket caused us some problems, and Abou got in foul trouble early and that really hurt our momentum. And you could tell we were just trying to figure out how we were gonna play this game, you know subbing people in, we tried to give a lot of people opportunities. Just because of playing on Thursday, you want to make sure you try to stay somewhat fresh. But I just think we kinda of got out of rythym without About out there and us subbing a bunch. It took about 10 minutes to kind of settle in, and challenged them after that 8 minute media. It felt like the guys were just at that point were like ‘We are going to compete’ you know.”

“They were much more physical than we were to start the game.”

“What ends up happening is we really anchor around Abou a lot when people are pressuring us, to get it into the paint. And I thought we were actually driving it well after the first 10 minutes of the game. We started getting it into the paint and started drawing fouls and started kicking out and started getting shots that we felt like were good. But they really did have us pushed out”

“That’s why I write on the board it’s a 40 minute game. Because it really is. You can come out there do what we did at the end of the night and play well, but eventually good teams are gonna respond. And I did think the smaller lineup we went to really was effective at turning the tide. We started pressuring them a little bit more and we started turning them out and we started getting into the paint. It was like 36 to 22 or maybe even worse than that and we said look we just gotta get it under 10 before the half.”

“Ultimately we felt like you can’t get it all back. Sometimes you feel like in those games you gotta make hero plays. You gotta chip away at it. And I felt like to that stretch right before the half there was a lot of urgency. Our guys were gaurding and I felt like to that point we changed the game.”

“Truthfully, at that point, I thought Ruben in the first half was the difference. Like his his energy was the difference in the first half. And then A Scott at the end of the game had those 2 back cuts in the second half, had that pullup jumper on the right side. And his defense was really big. We don’t win this game without either of those guys obviously. But Ruben in the first half was the guy that jump started our team and really provided the penitration and the defense that we needed. And then A Scott was the guy that was able to really add the physicality to it at the offensive end. Both of those guys were the difference in the game.”

“Ultimately, where we were the first half is we had turned it over and they were beating us to some loose balls. In the second half it flipped. They had only 3 assists and 13 turnovers in the second half, and I felt like we got all the loose balls. That last possession was typical of what Ruben and A Scott were doing. They were both on the ball, they both blew threw it and came up with the 50/50 and Ruben’s the one that got it and dunked it. The fight to win is our biggest priority as a program. You can’t underestimate the fight that it takes, to play for 40 minutes. Don’t ever let up. You don’t play the scoreboard like that. I thought we could come in here and feel our way through it and you can’t do that. It will be a good lesson to learn, through winning again as opposed to having… but I did think we handled the pressure down the streth better, I mean the press. We didn’t cough it up against the press at the end and really did a good job of handling the ball. Really all of our turnovers were dead ball turnovers. We threw it out of bounds or we had… no transisition baskets for them because of them.”

“That’s why you just keep playing. Because it works in your favor eventually. That’s how you play. Sometimes the ball bounces doesn’t bounce exactly where you want but that’s why you never quit playing. That A Scott play was unbelievable because I thought Weston had a wide open layup. From my angle I didn’t even see A Scott and he comes around the baseline and goes and blocks it. Reminds me of Thomas Bell, he used to do that kind of stuff. A Scott has that kind of mentality. We had a play in practice a couple of weeks ago, when we broguht them back from the Christmas holiday we were practicing over at Bonson Gym…and Ruben had a wide open layup on a rip drive and A Scott was out the top opposite and he came flying out of nowhere and blocked Ruben’s shot. And I just thought when I saw that block, I thought of that play. I never even saw A Scott in the picture and neither did Ruben, and A Scot came out of nowhere. Those dudes do it in practice, it’s not like they just do it in games. That’s how we practice everday. That’s what I love about this team. We practice too hard to let a start like that derail a road win.”

“I think you can talk about a lot, but it’s what you do in practices that’s the difference and we practice really hard. Some people don’t practice like that. We feel it’s the only way to prepare yourself for these types of wins. To win the games you gotta win you have to play hard every possession, and so we practice hard every posession in practice. There are no days off. That’s what I told people about last year’s team, it was the hardest practicing team I have ever coached. They just never had a bad day and it was because Thomas and JJ would come out there and just practice hard. And that’s what I do love about TP. And you saw that with Abou. But TP’s got that mentality. He’s starting to carry that over. But Ruben’s been that guy for us. Ruben’s the guy that brings it every day and A Scott’s lelarning to be that guy. JJ had 5 years to learn to do that and, A Scott and Ruben are just 2 and 3 years into this thing. So that’s what I love about these guys, they’re starting to take up that mantle and be like this is what we do. This is how you show up everyday. So you don’t have to will somebody to do it, they just go compete. It’s a credit to how hard these guys practice everyday. It’s the reason why we’re able to make those plays.”

“It’s the extra effort it takes to run people off the line when you know that’s what you gotta do. And then all those charges we took were big. You get all those charges down there on that end and then those are fouls that lead you get to the bonus, and then we’re in the double bonus and Ruben makes the free throw and you get the second one. All that stuff is cumulative and makes a big difference in the final score.”

“A Scott, 13 for 15. These guys have pracitced it and we dont talk about it. There’s nothing to talk about. These guys practice a lot. It’s more about getting yourself in shape where you feel confident when you get there, and you can focus on the job you gotta do. These guys want to win and they’re willing to do whatever it takes.”