He's good. He's better.
Thoughts on Farnold Degand and his injury
Farnold's feeling better. He had a couple of days now under his belt; that first game back was a test for him. He seems to be coming along.
Thoughts on having Howell and Degand healthy and in the rotation:
We're different in... they bring something different. Richard, physical play, rebounding, good passer. Farnold gives us that extra guy in the backcourt to push the ball, maybe get to the basket, create something for us.
We're a little bit different. Last game, I'm not sure what team that was, it wasn't us out there, but we definitely need to have everybody healthy.
As I said long ago, we have a very small margin for error, and if we don't have all our pieces it puts a lot of pressure on our other guys.
Are you pretty happy with the shots you're getting from your sets?
Yes, I am. When we have to execute, we're getting good looks and we're getting some of the right guys to shoot the basketball. It's just been one of those things where shots are not falling.
It's frustrating for the players too because they know they are open and have a shot, they are just not knocking it down. I keep saying at some point it's going to get back to where everybody is making a good percentage of their shots. I don't know when, I'm hoping soon, but when that does happen we're a different ballclub, a different team.
Thoughts on Carolina and how important this game is:
It could be a game that could start something good, but it's going to be tough. It's a rivalry game, it doesn't matter what the records are... I think both teams are going through some of the same things with youth and trying to develop, trying to progress, but it's still State and Carolina.
It's a game that could maybe start something... give a little more confidence. Showing that you played through things and get a big win like that, it's the way you'd have to play every game.
What are you expecting out of Carolina?
High energy. They are going to come right at us and push the ball up the floor. They are going to be pumped up. They are young like us but they have talent, they have very talented players. I think they understand this game.
We have to come with that same energy and make it a great ballgame.
Thoughts on Josh Davis defending point guards or two guards as a shutdown defender:
With his size and quickness, Josh can guard those guys. No question about it. I'm sure we're going to have another situation where we're going to put him on a point guard maybe just to take something away, passing lanes, penetration, whatever it may be.
It could happen tomorrow if those guards are penetrating or hurting us too much. We could do that, but he gives us that luxury of defensively putting him on those guards.
What sort of lift has he given you rebounding?
Unbelievable. It's not just the ones he gets. It's the ones that he makes an effort, that he drags another big to block him out, and one of our bigs gets the rebound.
He understands who he is. He knows his strengths, and he plays to his strengths. He defends, he runs the floor, he crashes the boards. Occasionally he may take a shot, if he's wide open he can take it, but he knows who he is.
I think that's probably one of the biggest adjustments for players today, to accept who they are.
Some guys think they are 3-point shooters, but they don't make many. You're not a 3-point shooter. Some guys think they can penetrate, draw, and kick, but they turn it over three out of four times. Maybe that's not what you should do.
He understands what he is and he plays to that. He knows that if I go to the glass everytime, I'm going to get something because most players don't box out everytime. He understands that.
Now tomorrow, might have to be a little careful because they get out and run so much, but I'm not going to take away his aggressiveness of getting there.
When you go over film of a game like Virginia Tech, what are the thoughts in the room?
I think after they watched the film, they were a little embarrassed. They were. When you're in the game, they can't see what's happening until they see the film.
They walked out of there in disbelief. Couldn't believe some of the things we were doing, couldn't believe how guys were getting open so easily, and then we went out on the floor and had a great practice with great effort because they saw that.
Unfortunately sometimes you have a game or two like that during the course of the season, but they came back that same day and had a great practice.
What we did too is we showed them a lot of clips of some positive things we did, and in other games, of when we executed a play. When we called a play and ran that play we didn't break it off, and we showed them what happened.
We showed them 10 clips of when we did everything right, and we scored 10 times. We showed them 4 clips of when we didn't do it right, and what happened.
We just tried to get back to showing them some of the positive things we're doing and we tried to stay with that.
What do you think is up with Javy? He had such a productive start.
I don't know if it's, once again the ball not going in the hole on the shots might dictate something. I thought down in Georgia Tech he came on late, sorta like the Arizona deal. He came on, he got into it. Virginia Tech game, that game I kind of have to wash because everybody was bad in that one.
I don't know if it's a lack of confidence or concentration, but I still say with certain guys when they don't make shots it affects their game. I can't put my finger on it, I've talked to him, and he says he's okay and he'll say he's got to make some shots.
I told him the first thing he's got to do is continue to work hard and defend people... defend people and we can get out and run and play.
He had a great practice yesterday and had a great one today. I'm hoping he can come out tomorrow and have something good happen for him. That will help him along.
How much of defense is mental... how much of it is wanting to defend?
I would say, I don't know what percentage but it's very high. It's above 50, I'd say 80% maybe. Obviously ability is a factor so maybe 75%. You have to be able to stay in front of people, but I would think your mindset is the most important thing. Do I want to play defense? Do I want to stop this guy?
We've seen players that aren't as quick or as fast, but they are pretty good defenders because they think. They anticipate, they know their opponent, they know their body position... but you have to accept the fact that it's hard. The desire to do it and the pride factor has to be above the fact that it's hard. If you don't have that, you're not going to do it.
With AAU teams playing two or three games a day, is that hard to evaluate in recruiting?
I wouldn't say it's hard to evaluate in recruiting because I think what happens is the ones that are really good at it stand out. If they are good defenders, they are going to defend all the time.
Can you get fooled by some guys? Yes, you can. The AAU is just an interesting thing because there are so many games and so many players just looking to get back down on the offensive end and don't defend. So you miss there too because there are some guys that might be decent defenders, but that circuit you're just trying to get back on the other end.
There are so many games that you lose games throughout the summer and it's no big deal because you're going to play another in a couple of hours. That's a concern. Some people play three games a day and lose all three, but you're just looking forward to the next day.
It's hard for me to see where a kid can get emotional about losing, where it becomes so important to them because they know they are going to play again. That's tough.
Do you think Scott Wood is pressing?
Once again, it's those shots. I think the main thing with Scott, and we worked on it again yesterday and today, is he's got to keep moving. He's a target so he has to keep moving.
He has to also take good shots. I don't want him to just take a shot, I still want you to take good shots... the important thing is that you make a couple of shots. It's up to us and our bigs to set those screens and get you open for them. I'm sure he's thinking about it.
He said this was the worst season he could remember having.
I think what it is he's realizing these guys are a little better than high school guys. I'm not sure if he expected to come in and it be lights out every night, but these guys are better than in high school.
It means he has to work harder at getting open. I told him, "You can't just come off the screen thinking you're going to be open."
That's his adjustment now. Early he was getting shots but not knocking them down and then he got going. Then teams realized he could shoot. Now they are up on him so when he was moving at a level six to get open, and he was getting those early, now he has to move up to a level nine or 10.
That's an adjustment for him and he's got to understand what that nine or 10 is so his clean looks aren't quite what they used to be.
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