Jeff Lebo: Practice Comments

Inside ECU Sports stopped by Monday's basketball practice to talk to head coach Jeff Lebo about playing in the CIT.

Thoughts on Wright State?

"They're a great team. They're a team that struggled coming out of the gate and really just figured it out. Five seniors, grown men. They're used to winning. They're coming off a year last year where they won 23, went to the CIT, beat Tulsa by 20 at home and also beat Richmond. So, a team that's used to winning here lately."

"They've got experienced guys at a lot of different positions. Really no young guys. [They have a] terrific coach that played at UNC-Wilmington; Billy Donlon. We'll have our work cut out for us, especially with their size and the man strength they have at all positions."

Thoughts on playing in the postseason again.

"It's big. It's huge for us. You talk about the history of our program in the postseason, it wasn't even in the mix for a long period of time. So, this is three out of four years. That's really big for our program. Getting the chance to play at home, in front of our people, in this environment is big four our kids to give us the best shot to win."

"I'm really proud of this group to find a way to be here. If you had told me we'd be standing here, playing in the postseason at the beginning of the season, I would have looked at you probably pretty funny. But I'm really proud of my kids, proud of my coaching staff, proud of my seniors. We did it the hard way this year with seven guys throughout the season. It's been a difficult period for us trying to get through it, but really rewarding here at the end. Probably as rewarding a season as I've had as a coach."

After a week off from playing, how are Paris Robert-Campbell and some of the others doing?

"Paris is doing okay. He's still not great. He's still not 100 percent. He's had a little sickness along with his injury, so he re-tweaked that injury again. It's going to be something that, until we're done playing, we can rest him for about a month to get him back healthy. He's just going to have to suck it up as best he can. Obviously, we're down bodies at that position. To have another one go down or not be 100 percent is going to be really difficult for us. I hate that for Paris, too, because I though he played really well out in El Paso in the tournament. "

After studying the tape, what were some of the thing you liked about the way you played in El Paso?

"I liked them being aggressive. I though Paris played with some confidence shooting the basketball. When he plays well, we seem to play well. It just opens things up for us and we score a lot easier. It opens the floor up for us with Akeem [Richmond] on the floor, and Paris, for some driving opportunities. We've got to be able to keep Paris on the floor and keep him out of foul trouble. That was, I thought, a huge factor: only playing 19 minutes against UTEP not having him on the court really changed the dynamic of the game."

What would it mean to you and the team to win another CIT Championship?

"It was big for our program last year. Not only winning it, but how we did it was exciting. We're far from that. It's long with 32 teams in it. There's a lot of things that can happen. I thought we broke through some barriers that we had in place in this program last year. 1. Winning a postseason game and 2. Winning a postseason tournament. It was really big for our program."


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