Nov. 4, 2002

Recap?|? Final Stats


"I was pleased with our effort. Our young guys brought a lot of energy and athleticism like I thought they would. We had too many turnovers and too many fouls, and it really disrupted the fluidity of the game. It seemed like every minute, there was a stoppage of play. But overall, I was very, very pleased with the effort."

[on giving the younger players a lot of playing time] "It's a positive and negative at the same time. They know how to play hard, and now we have to get them to play under control, and what to do in certain situations. Pops [Freshman F Pops Mensah-Bonsu] plays with so much energy. There was one possession where he guarded four different guys; where the ball went was where he was running. We've got to get them to play with a little more poise and understanding of what we're trying to do. But I like what we have."

"At times we were very, very good, but then our youthfulness showed up. We had a terrific transition and got a dunk. Then three of our young guys are celebrating [while] the other team is inbounding the ball and making a layup at the other end. They have to realize that summer basketball is over now. If they get a terrific play, instead of celebrating, they have to get back on defense and play just as hard on the next play."

"We're still trying to work out combinations of which guys need to be on the floor, what sets we need to run with certain guys. We have a lot of versatile players who can play many positions. We're trying to find out who's best at doing certain things. Primarily, we'd like the ball to be in TJ's hands, but we want to give both Omar and Chris an opportunity to handle it because they can."

[on the balance in scoring with five players in double figures] "That's as good as it gets. We run an offense based on five guys touching the basketball, and sharing the game as we like to refer to it. If we can get this kind of consistent effort in terms of scoring, we have a chance to be a pretty good basketball team."



[on whether he'll substitute as frequently during the regular season as he did today] "That's hard to say right now. I would like to, but it's very difficult to play that many guys that many minutes. It'd be wonderful it worked out that way. But every guy who stepped on the floor today gave something and made a case for himself."

[on Chris Monroe's characterization of his play as "awful"] "If he played 'awful' today, I'd like for him to play that way a little bit more. It wasn't one of his best games, but I've been around him for a year now and I haven't seen him play what anyone would consider awful. He's just being tough on himself."

[on the team's half-court defense] "They did score 90 points. But when you look at the numbers overall, they shot 40 percent. If we can hold teams to under 40 percent, we'll be the fourth-best defensive team in the league, and that's pretty good. If we can hold teams to 33 percent on 3-pointers, we'll be the best in the league if we do that all year. But then you see we had 28 turnovers. Our defense was a lot better than the score indicates. We had a couple of lapses where we made a great offensive play, but didn't get ourselves back on defense. Take those away and take away the 28 turnovers, then the score would be a little different."

[on addressing the large number of fouls] "We certainly want to do something about that. And beginning next week we're going to bring referees in twice a week into our practices so our younger players can get used to having them on the court, and learning what is a foul and what is not a foul. Hopefully, we'll take care of that problem."

SENIOR GUARD CHRIS MONROE [on the balance in scoring] "It takes a lot of pressure off me. Lots of times when I have the ball, all the attention is on me. Now, the other guys can freelance and do their thing."

[on the freshmen players] "They're real good and real athletic. The only thing I try to teach them is the mental aspect of the game. They have to be mentally strong and to think out there because a lot of them are more athletic than most people they're going to play. The mental level, though, is what they need to experience. Once they learn that, they'll be fine."

[on his role as a leader for the freshman] "My job is to share advice out on the court. I'm not a loud, yell-at-'em type. I'd rather just whisper what I think they should do, and let them judge by the tone of my voice what I'm talking about. I just want to help prepare them for what's going to come their way; they're not going to learn until they get out there and experience it firsthand."

[has he raised his standard for himself in his senior year] "Definitely. I set goals for myself and the team, and it's to get to the NCAAs. We won't get there if I have seven turnovers against the teams we're going to play. Coach is probably right that I exaggerated a little bit, but I still feel like I could have done a lot better today.]