MEN'S HOOPS: SEC Basketball Conference Quotes

The SEC recently held a roundtable press conference with the men's basketball coaches and athletic directors with quotes.


(On returning starters) "We feel good about our players coming back. We lost some guys, but the guys coming back we feel good about. We felt like our freshman class impacted our team in a positive way. The thing we are focused on now is improving our post play, since that hurt us last year. Hopefully we can fix what was a deficiency and turn it into a strength."

(On Kentucky with or without Randolph Morris) "I think anytime you lose a quality player, whether it is expected or not, it's hard. It's hard to feel sorry for Kentucky, as much as I like Tubby. They have a lot of good players in their program. They are probably the only team that can absorb the loss of a good player. I am sure Tubby is going to have a good team whether Randolph Morris plays or not."

(On SEC underclassmen in NBA Draft) "I think there were some bad decisions. I was shocked that Kennedy Winston wasn't drafted. He has an NBA game and I wouldn't be surprised to see him on an NBA roster. The age limit is better than it was, but I felt it good have been much better than just making it 19 (years old)."


(On returning players) "We return four or five starters depending on how you look at it. Jonathan Modica will be inserted in with the rest of the lineup. We have an experienced basketball team for the first team since I have been here."

(On Jonathan Modica) "Jonathan played a large role for us as a freshman. I expect him to respond. If you look at his numbers, he shot his best percentages this year. He didn't take as many shots, and he was trying to be more of a team player. We had more of an inside presence last year. He is having a great summer, and he is a hungry kid. He's a senior, and his mindset is changing."

(On preseason predictions) "We haven't proven ourselves, so there is still that question mark. I think it is within us to challenge the rest of the league. I think that is fair. Our league will still be very strong, but you look at the players returning and the expectations will rise."


(On returning players) "We are coming off the NIT Championship, and we are excited about that. I think the confidence we gained from the NIT will help us, but I think the quality of opponent we beat on our way to the championship will help us gain a lot of confidence. The big void in our lineup will be Carlos Powell, as he graduated as the leader of games played here at South Carolina. He willed a lot of games for us. When you look at our lineup, six out of the top eight are back."

(On playing a three-guard lineup) "Basketball is like clothes or houses, it is kind of trendy. I think that will be a new trend. It's not that new. I was at the University of Virginia in 1984 and we used a three-guard lineup. What goes around comes around, and I think you will see more of that."

(On quicker commitments) "I don't think there is any question about that. Absolutely. Our society rushes our young far too much, and now we are rushing the kids to college. I think patience should be the order of the day. You are going to have an equal number of youngsters that are not developed and you will see coaches that will wish they waited and held on to their scholarships."


(On NBA Draft) "The people that need the age limit the most are the players themselves. A lot are losing their careers due to their impatience. I still think you will have a number of guys that won't go to college that will take the prep school route. It presents another problem for those that will go to college that will have in their mind that they are one and done. They won't be very motivated students, and won't be concerned with learning in class."

(On SEC players not getting drafted) "I hope so. It's a sad thing to see guys with such bright futures have their careers blunted because they were in such a rush. Even though all logic and the people that have the answers know that these kids aren't ready there are agents and neighborhood coaches and parents getting over excited about the potential money."


(On returning players) "I like our team. We start with Glen Davis, and he is in the best condition of his life. We like what we have coming back."

(On team talent) "I like the flexibility of our team. I went through the replenishing of a team. We had 3 scholarships a season that we couldn't sign. They took 9 away from us. In the last three years, we have had a full strength of scholarships. So now with Brandon going pro, we are able to absorb that."

(On Ben Voogd) "I think Ben Voogd is going to do well. He has been a point guard since the minute he touched a basketball. He is the best passer on our team as a freshman. He has been here all summer working with us. We think he is a lot better than we thought when we signed him


(On returning players) "We've got two starters back. We were supposed to be in a position where we only lost one starter. Rajon Rondo gave us tremendous production as a freshman. Patrick Sparks had an outstanding year. They have the experience and skill to play in this league."

(On Randolph Morris) "He has sent all the things he needs to send to petition for reinstatement. Tubby has agreed to take him back. Now we have to wait for the dialogue between our compliance office and the NCAA. They are going through that process right now. They are gathering information and trying to see what went on. They are trying to figure all that out and we will know when the NCAA tells us."

(On return of Randolph Morris) "You never know what is going to be an issue. We have had a lot of questions about Randolph's return, and we weren't able to tell them a whole lot. He's a good kid, and some people will say he made a mistake in what he did. We didn't have any problems with him off the court, and we are not bringing back a troubled guy. It depends on how he is when he comes back on how other players will view his situation."


(On returning players) "We return three starters in CJ Watson, Chris Lofton and Andre Patterson. It's very fortunate for me to be in a first year and have a point guard that has been running the show for a few years back. I think CJ is going to enjoy our change in tempo, and we may go as far as he can take us."

(On welcome at UT) "I think it has been great. They want to win and expect to win. They win at everything. If we win, it will be right there at the top. People are anxious to get Tennessee basketball to the point where we are back as Kentucky's rival. We have beaten Kentucky 62 times, and next closest is Vanderbilt with 38. They want to participate in the resurgence of our program."

(On changes in the SEC) "I think every program in the league has a couple of guys that are on their way to the NBA or have left already. The biggest adjustment for me will be the quality of players I will be coaching against."


(On age limit rule) "I think most of us as college coaches have a pretty good idea of who is going to leave early and go to the pros. For me I like the way it was when there was no age limit. I don't know how it is going to play out."

(On Anthony Roberson and Matt Walsh) "I think the one thing about it is that they didn't misjudge this thing. Matt Walsh right now got some guaranteed money from the Miami Heat. Anthony Roberson is in a summer league in Memphis. Neither one of those kids came to me and said coach I am going in the first round. There was nobody in their ear forcing them out or telling them to come out. It's these kids life and these are decisions these guys made. Those guys wanted to go. They want to play in the NBA."


(On returning players) "We have got three starters back, with Winston and Shelton gone. We are certainly going to miss those two."

(On replacing the scoring from Winston and Shelton) "We don't know yet to be honest. At the other wing position we are wide open. I don't think you take a Winston and Shelton combined off your roster and not take a hit."

(On Tennessee and Bruce Pearl) "First of all, he is an excellent coach and he will jump start that program. I think Bruce is going to do a great job. The style will be a bit different. You have to find a way to get into that top 3 on your side and stay there. You have to find a way."


(On returning players) "We don't have a whole lot of them. We will be very young and inexperienced. Really a whole new look time, with not a whole lot of experience coming back."

(On the West Division) "I think the West is going to be very challenging. You look at the team that has a majority of their guys back is Arkansas. LSU has proven players back, and Alabama does also."

(On scoring) "It's going to have to come from a bunch of different places and score by committee. I think Frank Tolbert is a young man that made tremendous strides during the year. We are excited about that. We are going to have some new guys playing. Our team is going to be a work in progress."


(On returning players) "We feel really good about the kids we have returning. We have a lot of new kids."

(On new talent in the program) "We felt like we have done a lot of good things in our program, but the talent has fallen off. First guy would be Dwayne Curtis, who has a chance to be an All-SEC player before he leaves here. Clarence Sanders is one of the best scorers we have had here in a long time. We felt like we have a good class and the depth is there. We have good size, and we are bigger than we have ever been since I got here."


(On returning players) "It's obvious that we are going to be a very young basketball team. Returning we are going to be young. We are going to be very young with a lot of new faces."

(On scheduling) "We are still one game away before we can finalize everything. We are going to schedule a game in Jackson again. We have Santa Clara here and we open a series at Charlotte early in the season. We will be tested very early."

(On possibility of freshman playing) "No question they have chances and opportunities to play. It's going to be a new basketball team and the positions will be wide open. I think we have some depth and some talent, and there will be some ups and downs as we learn. You never know how it will all work out."

Fightin Gators Top Stories