Todd Lickliter Opening Statement
It's fun to watch a team that compliments one another. I think that our guys are comfortable with complimenting one another and playing to strengths. I have tried to encourage them to feel good about doing that and not concerned with staying away from something that is tough for them to do. There is nothing wrong with admitting that I am better at whatever. Better inside than at threes, better at three's than driving, whatever it is. Teams where they have a group of individuals play to their strengths and to their teammates strengths, they can be tough to play against and we did that at times. That is a thing of beauty; I like to watch teams do that.
Jeff Peterson played with such poise tonight and let the game come to him, in a flow. It complimented the other guys. Then they played off of him. Seth, Cy and Kurt came in and each gives you something the other one might need to stay away from but yet together, they can be effective. I don't want to leave out JJ and Jake and JR and Kurt and Dan and Tony. Someone asked me about playing time; it would be really hard to have a good team if guys that were not getting minutes were not good teammates. They are good teammates. I think we are making strides. I am seeing progress, I wish it were quicker. The league is demanding and that is hard but I hope that we can continue to grow
You had three players perfect from the floor
I have been working with those three individually (laughs). I thought Jeff played with a lot of poise. So the shots he took, he was comfortable with, Seth the same way. If you are comfortable, there is a great chance you will make them. I don't want them attempting to do things that they can't complete. We are looking for things that you know you can't miss. Do that. Make the plays you know will work, stay away from those that we know we can't make. It's shot selection.
What were your thoughts on the crowd, the largest of the year?
I don't have any complaints with large crowds at home. That is a good thing, so it's nice. I hope they enjoyed it. If you like to watch a team work together, you saw that today on defense and I enjoy that.
Jeff seemed more comfortable out there today, coming off the bench.
I think it has to do with development, and experience and being comfortable. I haven't been all that easy on him and I have been demanding, and he has handled it well.
Has he been working on his shot more?
Not more. His shot selection more than anything. He has not changed his shot. Your very best shooters will shoot low percentage if they don't shoot the shots they should take.
Has his thumb been bothering him?
I think that is fair
What was the key to the rebounding tonight?
Positioning. If we can stay in position and don't have to over help and rotate, we can maintain our position and we can rebound. I have challenged them. Seth has done a great job. I went after him today and at the end he was in there.
I was upset with them the next five. I think so much of it is awareness. So much of it is playing with purpose. You can't have a team if a guy decides he wants to deviate and guard his own way. What we are seeing more of is that guys are determined to let their teammates know that they will do their job, and you back me up. That is a huge thing. In our system, most actions we have a specific way to cover. It's frustrating if one person does it different. I really like to stay with our way
How have you been demanding with Jeff?
Let me put it this way; I think he can play with greater poise, determine shot selection, be very in tune and make the right selection on shots, I think he can make plays. When he doesn't, I let him know. That is not always fun, but he is the kind of guy that understands that part of coaching is critiquing. He accepts that.
Your team seems to play better defense at home. Do you say anything to them about protecting home court?
Not at all. What we would want to do is determine how the game is played. We want to play well at home, we like it here, no question. But you have to play on the road, so let's be determined to play the game the right way, here or wherever we may be.