Hoops Post-Game Quotes

Head Coach Herb Sendek, and players James Harden and Jamelle McMillan comment on ASU's 80-53 exhibition game over Grand Canyon University.

Head Coach Herb Sendek

(on the fact that McMillan just started practicing again this week and earned the start today)

"Jamelle has led us in deflections (of passes) by far. Even if you take away the practices that he missed, I think he missed roughly a week of practices, he's still our team's leading deflection getter – which to us is really a barometer of defensive activity, pressure on the basketball."

(on the fact that McMillan who usually struggles with his shot, hitting some baskets early on)

"Jamelle is a fine shooter and most importantly he makes other guys better."

(on whether he's happy with the team's defensive performance in the game)

"We're still learning our defense. Our defense is designed and engineered to not necessarily help us be the best we can on November 3rd, but it's something that we're gonna have to grow with and learn as we go. Once again, seeing how other teams choose to attack and what we need to work on, is really important to us. I thought we were good at times on defense, but clearly we're nowhere near where we need to be."

(on whether he's happy overall with the team's play at this point of the pre-season)

"I wouldn't say I'm happy. I think a better way to describe it is simply – focused. We now have good feedback to act on. Today was like a test. You practiced for a few weeks and then the teacher gives a quiz. Now we have to check it and see what we have to do. One of the big things was that we didn't do is shoot free throws very well. We left roughly 18, 20 points at the free throw line at least…which obviously we aren't gonna have the luxury to do moving forward."

(on the play of Ty Abbott)

"We're really excited about Ty. He's done a great job the first three weeks of his college career, and you can see why we are so excited about him. He's a talented young man, a very focused person, so he has the composition to only get better."

(on the play of James harden, getting to the line 16 times)

"James was very aggressive on offense, which is good for us. He made a lot of things happen, not just for himself by getting to the line and scoring, but also I thought he had some terrific passes to his teammates."

(in terms of your offense, where are you at relative to your expectations?)

"We have a lot of work to do. An enormous amount of work. We're at the beginning stages of our first season together. We'll get better at…last week we had our maroon and gold game. We watched some film, we came back and had some of our best practices of the year. We were able to really ramp up from where we were Saturday to mid-week. I think this weekend will give us a similar opportunity. We'll be able to point out some things, give feedback to the guys that they will be able to implement. I expect us to have another rise in improvement."

James Harden

(on his thoughts of his first college game)

"It went well. We really looked good out there. We just started to get the flow of each other, but as a unit we did good."

(on his poor free throw shooting)

"I was kind of shaky, kind of nervous in the beginning. But my teammates did a really good job keeping me relaxed and patient, going into the flow of the game."

(on how far along does he thinks the team is in picking up the offense)

"We got most of it down, we just need to work on perfecting it, reading the different options we have."

(on the Chemistry of the team right now)

"We have fun with each other, pick each other up. It's just the little things that we do with each other. As the season goes on we'll get closer to each other and get a little bit better."

(on what the team still needs to do in the pre-season)

"We just need to pick up our intensity, our togetherness. Coach really puts emphasis on playing hard and playing together every play.

Jamelle McMillan

(on him scoring eight points in the very beginning of the game)

"I just tried to come out and bring some energy, fire to the guys to start it of. I hit a couple of shots early so that was good."

(on whether there's a sense of accomplishment in the pre-season with this win)

"I think so. I didn't play in the maroon and gold game and watching these guys through out the practices last week, the level of intensity only picked up. Guys are definitely catching on to what we're trying to do here. We were able to get the ball up the floor pretty quick, which is something we emphasized in the last week…I was pleased with how we responded to different competition other than ourselves."

(on how far along the team is in learning the offense)

"70-75%. We have a lot of work to do the next couple of weeks and then we take that big trip to Maui. We just look to get better everyday. Coaches have been great in being patient because it (the offense) is complex. Guys are anxious to learn."

(on being excited starting his first college game)

"Yes I was. From warp-ups, just seeing the crowd, the building, the lights…but it was just basketball in the end. You go out there and just play the game the way you know how to play it, the way you have been taught. You rely on your teammates, coaches have your back and just play for 40 minutes."

(on whether he believes this team is building chemistry among is players)

"I think so. James settled in after a while and was able to make some moves and play off penetrations…it was good to see guys sharing the ball, playing together. Nobody had the long faces because of selfishness and that's a great thing about this team. Everybody is looking for a ‘W' in the end. It's not about the stats. We made some improvement in the last week or so and it's all coming together."

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