Hewitt: Its a Great Opportunity For Us

Coming off a win over Florida A&M, Coach Paul Hewitt is preparing the team for Puerto Rico and a tough opening game against an experienced Dayton squad. Coach Hewitt assesses the team's performance against A&M and talks about what they need to improve in order to be able to beat Dayton.

Can you talk a little about your new commit Jason Morris?

"He's another versatile perimeter player. He's a great athlete. We've been watching Jason for four years. I was telling him today that the first time I met you, you looked so young. You looked like you were thirteen. He said coach I was thirteen when you first saw me. He came up here for a football game. I'm very pleased that we were able to get him."

He's been compared to Ish (Ismail Mohammed). Is that accurate?

"Yeah that's accurate. He's that type of athlete. He's got a lot of upside. With that kind of athletic ability I think he'll do well with our individual instruction program. We've been fortunate enough over the years to help guys get better especially with shooting and handling the basketball."

Was the game Saturday the type of game you wanted going into Puerto Rico?

"We got a chance to play a lot of guys, build some confidence, but after watching the tape it was kinda what I expected. Our execution wasn't good at all. Our offense, especially on baseline out of bounds and half court offense, we didn't execute well. Our pressure was good. Our athleticism allowed us to get some easy baskets. We also have a lot of video to show the guys that against a team like Dayton that can match us we have to execute. We won't be able to just steal the ball and go down and score."

Dayton is a pretty experienced squad.

"Oh yeah, it's a great opportunity for us to play them. It's a team that went to the NCAA tournament last year and they have a lot of experienced players back. We're not a young team but we're certainly not a veteran team like them. We're going to play four freshmen so it's a great opportunity for our young guys. It's a great opportunity for our team to play a team like that."

The competition will be a good measuring stick for the team?

"When we get out of the tournament we'll have a good idea of where we are as a team."

What are some of the things you want to accomplish and get better at after watching the first two games?

"Again, the half court execution is not good. The baseline out of bounds situations and the half court execution was poor against Florida A&M. Ironically, I think it was better in the first game against Western Kentucky and okay against Indiana. Maybe because of how the Florida A&M game evolved we didn't do well. We didn't do a good job screening and we didn't do a good job of cutting to set up the plays. We could have done a better job of getting shots. I think Derrick (Favors) and Gani (Lawal) could have gotten a lot more touches. Derrick went to the line one trip and Gani two trips. Both those guys have to get three or four trips to the line. That's a product of getting the ball inside in scoring situations for them."

Is the rebound production you got from Gani and Derrick Saturday the kind of production you're looking for?

"If we can do more, why not; they both can do double figure rebounding. I think they're both capable of doing more. Again, I think we have to do a better job of getting them the basketball. It could have been a product of the game. We got such a big lead early. Our press was effective. I just know as the competition level goes up we have to do a better job of executing and getting the ball inside."

You got some nice production from (Glen) Rice and (Brian) Oliver in the thirteen odd minutes that they played.

"Yeah, with Brian that's the guy we saw when we recruited him in terms of shooting the basketball. He's capable of ripping off four or five in a row. Glen is just a playmaker both offensively and defensively. He's different from his dad. He's not nearly the shooter that his dad was. Not many people are. Glen is an outstanding playmaker. He's got a good feel for the game.

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