Coach Paul Hewitt is telling is players to enjoy the experience. Former players Marvin Lewis and Jarrett Jack have passed along the message to the players that the key to winning is to value every possession. Hewitt feels that everything that has been taught and preached about this season you'll see in the tourney. "The guys that have been listening will go out and perform well," said Hewitt. The NCAA tourney will show the strengths and weaknesses of your team."
The team has been building their confidence as the year progressed and the ACC tourney only helped to increase that confidence. "The important thing is that when we lost some of the close games we didn't get discouraged," said Hewitt. "You build their confidence up, control the things you can control, and hopefully you pull out a win and that's what these guys did for the most part."
The Jackets will be facing James Anderson, the Big 12 player of the year, and Keiton Page is a great shooter. "They're a very good shooting team," said Hewitt. "They're kinda like Duke without the inside game." Anderson will remind everyone of Kyle Singler. He can shoot the three, go off the dribble, and post up. Page on the other hand has taken most of his shots from three-point land. He does, however, drive to the basket if you give him the angle.
The team is continuing to believe in the locker room and they're staying on the same page. The team is continuing to work on improving their game. "I think as far as toughness and the desire to win we're all there," said Mo Miller. "We need to work more on execution and being tougher with the basketball." The team is still working through the mental and physical effect of the ACC tourney. "It's still a process but we've been through it before in AAU ball where we played six games in a row," said Miller. "It's something we signed up for so we have to keep working."
The players are prepared for a battle and are only worried about themselves in getting ready for Oklahoma State. Some of the players like Miller have been preparing in their time off by researching Oklahoma State on the web trying to find out the little things to prepare for the game. They also began to go over the scouting report this past Tuesday. The team doesn't have the tournament experience so they are looking forward to making the best of this experience. Nerves should not be a problem. "Once the ball goes up, the nerves are gone," said Miller.
The team feels that they can play with anybody and they also feel they haven't played their best basketball yet. Right now they feel they're playing off toughness and the desire to win. "We'll continue to work on execution and staying fundamentally sound," said Miler. "If we can do this we'll be very hard to beat." "We believe in ourselves," said Miller. "People have doubted us all the time but that's not going to stop us."