Steve Alford Monday Morning Teleconference

"We are in mid-January now. Everybody is sore. We are up til 2:00am watching tape each night as coaches and we don't feel the best when we come into work in the morning, but we keep doing it for the betterment of our team. We have to have some players show some toughness. When you have aches and pains, it's a part of playing the game at this level. So they have to deal with it and make sure that their production stays at a high level." Steve Alford. Read on for more quotes

I think if you are a senior, you have to demand more than three shots and you have to make layups, that is my own personal opinion. I think the bench can be a great motivator. If you are sitting next to me, it is hard to rebound. I guess my suggestion would be while you are not sitting next to me, you had better get as many rebounds as you can because if you don't, you will be sitting next to me.

On Minnesota's Kris Humphries and the challenge he poses

I think that is the crossroads we are at, in particular with seniors. You should not be into challenging. I think that is freshman and sophomore stuff. By the time you have spent four years in this league, you ought to know exactly what is going on. You ought to know the importance of a Saturday afternoon against Northwestern after a big Wednesday night win against Purdue. We can't just keep learning lessons. You learn those lessons as freshmen and sophomores. This group has been through an awful lot, there should have been much more attention to detail. There should have been more leadership going into the Northwestern game. We have to start giving lessons. We are playing a team Tuesday night that is very explosive on offense. They have probably the best player in the league in Humphries. He is explosive, he shoots the three, he can play inside and out. He is the leagues leading rebounder and near the top of scorers. There has not been a freshman to lead our league in scoring and rebounding in decades. So we know what kind of match up it is, now we have to take it on.

Will Sonderleiter and Spurgeon be starting, based on some of your comments?

I don't know about that, but Sean has done a lot of good things. Not that Kurt hasn't. He has worked hard and has done some good things. He got 12 minutes the other night and has practiced hard. Sean has done a good job of earning a starting spot by what he has done in practice. I think he has an outside shot of that happening, but we have today to go through and see what happens.

When told about possible lineup changes on Saturday, Jared seemed like ‘Oh, whatever.' Does that attitude concern you?

I don't know. I was not there, so I do not know exactly what transpired. I would hope that everybody was upset after that game.

Will Minnesota's defense cause problems?

They change defenses. They have a couple of different presses, they zone and they man. That has given us problems, because we don't recognize and adjust well as the flow of the game is going on. That is where we have to have really solid leadership on the floor. I am only allowed so many timeouts, so we are not going to be able to call timeouts every time somebody changes defense. We have to be able to recognize that and go play the game. Don't stand out there and hold the ball, don't stand and watch who has the ball or over think or over-analyze. Play the game. That is what we have to do in this game.

Can you talk about Horner's rebounding?

I don't think it has anything to do with positioning. He is out on the floor away from the basket. Our big men are a lot closer to the basket than what Jeff is. I think it is a mindset. Jeff is a fierce competitor and he just pursues the ball and goes after it. That is a good lesson for a lot of our guys to learn.

Will Henderson start ahead of Boyd?

No, I don't think so at this time. We still have today, so I don't want you guys to waste time guessing all day long. As much guessing as you are doing, we are doing the same thing at practice.

Will Mike make the trip to Minnesota?

We are unsure about that right now. He has that intersession class and it meets from 1pm to 4pm, so we have concerns there. My concern has always been, as I have already benched him two or three times, they have been academic issues, the last thing I am going to do with the situation he has put himself in academically, he will miss a game before he misses a class.

There is nothing wrong with flying him up there tomorrow night, but his class ends at four and the game starts at six, so it had better be an awfully fast plane.

On team health issues

Pierre's hand popped out again. I think we are going to get in a habit of doing that every game, because he shoots the ball a heck of a lot better. Pierre is a tough kid. If we could bottle Pierce and Horner's toughness and put that into a lot of our other guys, then I think we become a better basketball team over night. You have to carry those two off of the floor for them not to play. We have some others, whether it be hands or feet or legs, that allow uncomfortable situations to impact them.

We are in mid-January now. Everybody is sore. We are up til 2:00am watching tape each night as coaches and we don't feel the best when we come into work in the morning, but we keep doing it for the betterment of our team. We have to have some players show some toughness. When you have aches and pains, it's a part of playing the game at this level. So they have to deal with it and make sure that their production stays at a high level.


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