On keeping focus in Hawaii:
"Well I'm sure it is on their minds. And it should be on their minds because we have to get ready, we have to prepare. We have a game in now less than a week."
On being the last Division I team to play a game in the regular season:
"The difference between playing this Saturday, Sunday, or Monday is negligible. Not a big deal. I think everybody is anxious to play a game now, but in terms of the split between this weekend or Monday, I don't know if that is a big deal. I have never been one to try to over analyze those kinds of things. Because at the end of the day nobody really knows anyway what is best. You see it all the time when you have a bye. Is it good to have a bye now, or is it bad to have a bye now. Well, who knows? You could make legitimate arguments either way. You really just have to play the schedule as it presents itself. I think over the course of any season there is probably going to be some challenging turnarounds, some challenging travel, some circumstances that you are going to have to encounter regardless."
Do you set goals for this season?
"We are always setting goals. Some in bite size pieces, some are in longer term. But I think it is important to have things that you are trying to accomplish today and maybe this week. Divide the season into energy bursts if you will. To have goals with respect to our offense and our defense and our team in general. We are always talking about what we need to do know. And like everybody I assume, we have longer term goals. But we really like to break it down into more immediate goals, so they do become more tangible."
On the Maui Invitational:
"I think of that start of college basketball and I think of excellence. Because the fields there have been historic and the competition remarkable. It now has its own slice of basketball history to it. There is the NCAA tournament but then you have all these other events that right now have been long standing and good enough over time to really have their own place in the history of college basketball and Maui is clearly one of those."
On the schedule in Maui:
"We are not going to have a lot of free time. We're not going to bring our bathing suits and all of our sun tan oil. We might have a little time as we adjust to the time change the first couple of days but we are going to be playing games that are going to be literally less than 24 hours apart. The preparation that that requires, the replenishment of fluids, and trying to get your legs back quickly; that doesn't lead a lot of time. That is a tough turnaround. As nice a place as it is, it's really a business trip for us."
What Illinois film has show him:
"Primarily I have watched ASU on film. That is who I watch. I obviously will watch our opponents some as well. But my primary focus right now is us. I spend most of my time watching film of the Sun Devils. I have seen the good the bad the ugly. We just try to give our guys daily feedback. We are teaching, always correcting and pointing out and instructing. So film is one of the best tools we have to accomplish that. It allows you to see more clearly."
Is this a fast learning group?
"I think in general they are. Like in any group you have some guys that pick things up faster than others. Some require more repetition that you have time for but it is just like any group. I think in general they are a group that picks things up well."
Have you ever had this much uncertainty going into the first game?
"I think the uncertainty comes not so much from our team but from our team relative to who we are playing. I come to expect where we fall within a certain boundary right now. But that is so relative because of who you play. That is the thing about competition, it's always balanced against what someone else is trying to do."
Will the Maui Invitational be a good precursor to a hard PAC 10 schedule?
"In this particular Maui field it is tremendous. I do think it is a good thing for our team. I think it is going to give us a good experience. We are going to learn about ourselves. You do that by playing against good competition. We are going to get that opportunity the first game against Illinois."
What do freshmen learn in their first game?
"I'm just a big believer in once the game starts you can't help but resort to your habits. Whatever you have done repeatedly chances are that is what you're going to do. Despite your best intentions otherwise. That is why for coaches practice is so important. Perhaps the toughest challenge a freshman has is they simply haven't had the number of practices to develop good habits or sharpen good habits that someone who has had a longer tenure."
On ASU being ranked 9th in the PAC 10 preseason rankings:
"You're right we have to play the games. I can't remember the last time where an order was predicted precisely at any sport at any level. But you can certainly see why they picked us 9th. We are not bewildered at why they did it. If you look at the teams they picked ahead of us and who they have returning and what we were able to do last year it's ok. That's what it is today and we just have to work hard to be better."
On free throw shooting in practice:
"We have been working on it. We have been spending a great deal of time on it. We will be ok with that, we'll get better."