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"We're excited to say the least. It's my favorite time of year. The next four weeks is when you really do get to coach. It's a lot of fun to be on the floor with your team trying to give them some different things or make some things that you've done in the past a heck of a lot better. it's a challenge to see where our players stand right now. I am one of those guys that follows the rules. I haven't watched one minute of any pickup game all summer, all fall, so I have no idea how much they've improved.
"I hope I'll know a heck of a lot more after we get going with our practices. We did have two rehearsals, which was more dummy stuff than anything else just to help the freshmen be prepared to have practice and not have to hold everybody else back, so we could work on our secondary break options or whatever it was. But other than that, I have not seen them play. We're anxious as a staff to get ready and it's been a fun time this week trying to think of what we want to do and put it down on paper and then change it and those kinds of things, but this is my favorite time of the year."
How do you think this team will handle the high expectations?
"I think they'll handle it. They don't have a choice. If you to be good, you've got to play well. I think that our guys have been focused and had great challenges in front of them since we lost to Kentucky. And I think that they're setting tremendous goals. We'll get together tomorrow night and put some of them down on paper and talk about those kinds of things, but the guys have worked hard.
"I talked to Jonas in the weight room. Coach Holladay did the conditioning program and I sat there and watched the conditioning tests. So I think they've done a nice job in preparation. They've had great pickup games. With the NBA not working, we've had all of those guys hanging around and playing, so that's been great preparation for them as well. We've had guys from other schools coming over and playing with our guys, so it's been fine."
On the team goals:
"We're going to try to be the best team we can possibly be. We set that as a goal in '05 and it worked. We set that as a goal in '09 and it worked. We set that as a goal, a very legitimate goal, in '08 and it did not work, but we did make it to the Final Four. If you take away the way we played and all of the personal things that were going on, I would have been really pleased with that team...
"I think we're going to be a very good basketball team. If we can stay healthy and get things going the right way, we're going to be one of those teams that has a chance to win the whole thing. That's my dream about every year that I coach that we can be one of those teams."
How is Reggie Bullock doing and what kind of role do you see for him?
"He's really done well in preseason conditioning. They held him out for a long time. They were really conservative, which I was glad about that part of it. But according to everybody else, he's really been playing well. He went through the two conditioning test and did well with those, so I'm expecting big things. I'm expecting to make a higher percentage of those shots and play better defense and be able to do some more things with the ball because I'd like to be able to find some time at the two-spot and not just the three-spot."
On the Carrier Classic:
"This is one of the biggest thrills in my coaching career, to be involved in that kind of game. It really is as neat of a deal as you can possibly imagine."