Coach Bruce Weber's first Press Conference

<p>Read here for Fighting Illini's Bruce Weber's first Big Ten Press Conference. He tells us what to expect this week against OSU and Purdue.

Q. (for OSU Coach Jim O'Brien) Coach, if your voice doesn't get better do you think you will be able to continue coaching?

A. (by Coach O'Brien) No, because this will affect my career. However I do believe this will get better in time. Right now I'm taking this one day at a time.

Coach Weber's opening statement: We survived the non-conference schedule and we just finished up with two in-state rivals: UIC and ISU. I think some kids feel just because you're at home you think you are going to automatically win and that's just not case.

Q. Coach, OSU has struggled with a lot a new players. How tough is it to get new players to buy into a system?

A. Sometimes it can be very hard. We went through the same thing here at Illinois. I said coming into the season that OSU could be a dark horse once they settled in. For us it's been an adjustment because we lost the league MVP, Brian Cook, and it took awhile for our kids to adjust to that. One thing that has impressed me this pre-season is our defense, up until last Saturday against Illinois St., but we've guarded pretty good.

Q. Coach, you came from a mid-major school. What is it like to get your team read to play?

A. I tell our kids all the time everyone can play. It's all in how you approach teams. I know in the Providence game, I heard our kids say things like "they can't be that good", "they're not ever rated". They read the papers and watch Sports Center just like everyone else.

Q. Now you have your coaching debut in the Big Ten. Are you nervous?

A. No. We survived the non-conference schedule. It could be a lot worse. We are considered one of the favorites; we just have to go out and prove it.

Q. How is Deron Williams?

A. He's great. We shot around yesterday and watched game film, and he's not sore at all. Once he told me Saturday "I have to come out", and that was it. He's not having any problems with his jaw. Tomorrow they will take the wire out and let him eat something. And then wire it shut again on Thursday - just to be safe.

Q. Will it be difficult to coach against Gene Keady on Saturday?

A. Sure it will. I've been around the guys for 19 years. I spoke with Kevin Stalling and Steve Lavin and they both said it was tough. I wish Coach could win a national title and that he does well - except for when he plays Illinois.


Illini Inquirer Top Stories