BASKETBALL: Respective players comment on NKU

Respective players talk about the upcoming exhibition game against Northern Kentucky on Wednesday ...

Ravi Moss
On playing a college team in the first exhibition game…
"I think it helps in a way. It's just good to play against somebody else. We're tired of beating up on each other, so I think the exhibition game will be good for us. It'll be good to come out and see some new faces and play somebody else."

On the newcomers…
"They are good guys that can play really well. The older guys have worked really hard to teach them things and help them understand the game."

"The freshmen are coming along at a nice pace. They are learning from each other, on and off the court, and I thing we're going to be a pretty good ball team when we all come together.

On whether small vs. big lineups…
"I like winning lineups—whoever is getting the job done."

On his performance last season…
"I think that I was pretty productive at times last year and hope to continue to be productive when I get in the games this year."

#13 Bobby Perry
On how the freshmen are meshing with the team…
"It's going well. They are really learning a lot. They are really open and willing to learn."

On what the freshmen have said to him about playing in Rupp…
"Anybody playing in a new atmosphere is going to feel a little bit of nerves - we're all human. Stepping into Rupp in front of 23,000 people--who wouldn't be nervous?"

On whether he's ready to play the four position…
"I've been ready since I came here. It's not a big deal for me. I like playing the four—I played it in high school. It's wherever I can play to help the team."

On whether the talent of the freshman will compensate for their youth…
"Definitely. This is the most talent I've ever seen and just having that talent level—the strength and quickness—puts them a step ahead. It's been a pretty smooth transition just because they are so talented."

#24 Kelenna Azubuike
On playing other competition …
"We are ready to play someone else. I think that we will be ready for the first test tomorrow and hopefully everything goes well."

On Coach being pleased so far this season…
"That is definitely good to hear - when the coach is in a good mood it seems like everything else is running smoothly. We are happy about the way coach feels about the season and everyone is optimistic. I am really excited and I can't wait to start."

On how freshmen will handle playing in Rupp for the first time…
"Hopefully good, I guess you would have to talk to them to figure out how they feel about it. It is a great experience playing for the first time in Rupp and I wanted to take advantage of it. You have to try to make sure that your excitement does not get the best of you to where you push it too hard or start rushing things. Hopefully they will be able to deal with it and enjoy it."

#44 Chuck Hayes
On getting his senior season underway…
"I am really excited. It [the preseason] went by fast, but then again it had its slow moments. It's here and tomorrow we will find out just how far long we have come as a team."

On what he hopes to accomplish in tomorrow's exhibition…
"Just for guys to know their roles and get a feel for each other in a game like situation. We practice in game-like situations and train in game-like situations, but we get the real idea tomorrow."

On the freshmen playing in Rupp for the first time…
"You know, you really can't explain Rupp. There are only a few words that you can put Rupp in and so many categories. They have to experience that for themselves. You really can't prepare them for what they are about to see tomorrow or later on in the year."

On Coach Smith…
"He is on us a lot but he just wants the best for us. He has a third standard for us and a third way that he likes to do things around here. He wants us at a specific point that he wants us at and he is making sure that he is doing whatever he has to do and whatever the coaching staff has to do to make sure that we are up to his standards."

On being further along than in previous years…
"I don't know about that. We are probably about the same if not a little behind. In the past we have always had experienced players - only time will tell."


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