Marquette Press Conference 12/10

Marquette head coach Tom Crean and juniors Dwight Burke and Dominic James met with the media Monday to discuss the Wisconsin victory and what's ahead for the Golden Eagles this week

The Al McGuire Center – Milwaukee, WI

Head Coach Tom Crean

Q: How do you handle playing teams that you don't know that much about after emotional games against Duke, UW-Milwaukee, and Wisconsin?

Crean: "I don't think we get away from what we've been doing…our focus is really on getting better, it will be the same this week and we'll start putting Sacramento State in. The great thing about this week is that we've got a Saturday-Monday. We'll have two of those situations this year in the Big East with Saturdays and then Big Mondays so it's like an NCAA Tournament type situation so we're totally trying to build our preparation for January, February, and March so it's not foreign to them (the players)."

Q: After Dwight's big game, do you now challenge him a little bit and say now that's what I expected out of you?

Crean: "We've been challenging him quite heavily to this point but I think we just try and stay right where we're at. We know what he is capable of and he didn't do anything in that game that he hasn't done in practice and the whole key for him is consistency. It's a matter of doing it more and more and what happens when you do that is that your teammates start to expect it so it's not so much what the coaches expect it's what the coaches hold him accountable for and what the teammates expect."

Q: About being back in the top ten for the first time in a little over a year.

Crean: "Yeah, it was nice to see that today. We've had some really good games and I think that goes to show how respected the Marquette-Wisconsin game is. These guys earned it, but again, we don't want to give any of that back in the month of December."

Q: How about your bench?

Crean: "I like it. I feel like we have it where we have more than five starters. We started the season bringing Ousmane off the bench because I didn't want to get him in early foul trouble…now Dwight Burke is making it tough for me to change my mind, so I look at those two as being contributors."

Dwight Burke

Q: After playing well so far this season and especially Saturday, do you play now with a little more confidence?

Burke: "Yeah, most definitely. It was a big game so I just went out there and tried to play my game."

Q: How much better has the team gotten since you've gotten back from Maui?

Burke: "Since we've gotten back from Maui we've gotten so much better as a team. Practice has been a lot more competitive and intense; I think it's carrying over onto the court during games."

Q: How much do you feel you've grown personally from last year?

Burke: "Myself, I think I've grown a lot. I've changed by body a lot and my mentality as far as when I am out there on the court playing."

Q: Talk about the new rebounding mentality and improvement that the team has showed.

A: "It's not just the guys down low; it falls on the whole team. In practice we really stress rebounding…and in the Big East to win you have to rebound. So far it looks like we're doing a pretty good job, but we can get better so we're going to strive to do that."

Dominic James

Q: About being named Big East Player of the Week.

James: "It feels good; Coach (Crean) just told me about it at the end of practice. It was a great week for the team and when you have wins like that the individual accomplishments are going to come but the most important thing is that we got a big win and I am looking forward to the next game."

Q: Talk about passing, the team seemed to get a lot of wide open looks Saturday.

James: "Everyone on this team is very unselfish and a lot of the plays that we were making come along with our maturity and that was one of the big things we were talking about right after the game. Our ability to make plays at the end of the game and our decision making is a lot better."

Q: About the upcoming match ups before the Big East Conference opener and finals being this week.

James: "Yeah finals too, you can't forget about that. Right now we're just focusing on getting better. We aren't worried about let downs, it's all about us coming prepared to practice everyday and having that mindset and that focus that we need."

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