Eddie Sutton Q&A

Q: How much has this team improved the first two months? <BR><BR> Eddie Sutton: We've gotten better. We're certainly not ready to go play the top teams in our conference right now, especially on the road. But I think we can get there.

Q: Who are the favorites in the Big 12?

Sutton: I thought Texas would maybe be the best going in but they didn't look very good in their two games back in New York. I still think they're very good. Kansas kind of stubbed its toe against Nevada. But that can happen this time of year. You get to thinking ahead. I think the three most talented teams are Missouri, Texas and Kansas. Oklahoma has really played well. They may have surprised people how well they've played with as many young players as he's playing. I thought those were the top four teams going in.

Q: How do you see the rest of the league?

Sutton: Texas Tech, Colorado, ourselves are right there. K-State is really playing well and so are Nebraska and Iowa State. Like I said earlier in the season, the bottom half of the league will be better than it has been in the past. The top half might not be quite as good. Nebraska, Colorado and Iowa State will knock off some of the upper-division ballclubs.

Q: How important is it to find a consistent starting lineup?

Sutton: I think any coach would prefer to have a starting lineup. But with a team like we have I wouldn't be surprised to see us have a change in the lineup from time to time. Sometimes, it will be who is playing well. Sometimes, it will be matchups.

Q: What intangibles do you like about this team? Sutton: Our overall grade point average the first semester was over 3.0. That's maybe the best we've ever had. They're good people, they really take care of business off the court, and they work hard. You can't help but like them. I think we have a chance to be competitive.

Q: Who have been the most pleasant surprises?

Sutton: Daniel Bobik has played really well and (John) Lucas has done well, especially with his ball-handling. He'll continue to score a little more than what he's been scoring. Spoon (Janavor Weatherspoon) is getting better. And there's no doubt in my mind the Grahams will get better.

Q: Who needs to step up?

Sutton: Joey (Graham) has improved and Stevie (Graham) needs to step up. I wish Jason (Miller) would be a little more consistent in his play.

Q: What are your biggest concerns? Sutton: The way I see it is our front-line. If Frans (Steyn) or (David) Monds could really develop that would really help us. The addition of Terrence (Crawford) will really help us.

Q: How have you adjusted to this being a perimeter-dominated team?

Sutton: It is a different ballclub. There are some pluses to having as many perimeter players that we feel can play. Most of them have adjusted to the number of minutes they will play. I think we're getting there as far as the chemistry of the team. They all like each other.

Q: What will be Terrence Crawford's role?

Sutton: He could break into the starting lineup at times. Terrence really brings a lot to the team. He's a heady player. He knows how the game should be played and has been around here a long time. He has to get in better shape. We'll just have to wait and see. He'll play a lot of quality minutes.

Q: Can Crawford play a role inside, especially defensively?

Sutton: He can play down low and can play outside. He's pretty versatile. Defensively, covering people in the pivot area, he might be our best defensive player. He just knows how to play. He moves his feet. That's an area that will allow him to play quite a bit. We have some guys who stay behind the man in the pivot area. The guy away from the ball flashes to the ball. Instead of denying that pass, we don't get started until the guy has taken a couple of steps. As a result, we end up playing behind him. When the ball goes inside, then we have to give help. That weakens your defense. We also have a tendency to foul at times, reaching around trying to deflect the ball instead of playing half-man around. Terrence does a better job of that than anyone we have.

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