Welsh Press Conferences: Vermont & UNH

Two for the price of one: Tim Welsh spoke to the media after the wins over Vermont and New Hampshire, and here are some of his thoughts.

VERMONT
Tim Welsh met with the media after his team's 87-77 opening game win over Vermont, and here's some of what he had to say:

"I think for our guys first night out, they did a great job of getting in control of the game. You're searching for the right identity, the right chemistry. We did a great job for the first fifteen minutes of the second half."

"Finishing games is a concern. Our defense was good up to that point (the last four minutes), but these are all good experiences. You learn a lot from them."

"We had an 18 point lead, and then they scored 21 points in the last four minutes, so obviously that wasn't good."

"We wanted to get the ball into Randall (Hanke). He broke the school record for field goal percentage as a freshman, and here he was, hitting 10 for 11 in his first game as a sophomore. We have to find a way to get him the ball inside."

"In late game situations, you have to make the right plays. Last year we were involved in a lot of close games where we didn't make plays, tonight we did. We really had control after the first two minutes of the second half."

"Sharaud (Curry) did a great job on Trimboli (Mike). He only had two points in the second half. At one point we had all four freshmen on the floor at the same time and they were fine. They played together, shared the ball, not onme guy cares about scoring."

"Weymi (Efejuku) is a man as a freshman. He's smart, and he makes big-time plays."

"Our guys are not comfortable with the defensive rotations yet, but we're long and athletic. All of the young guys played for big time winning programs, they're aggressive and they never look at the bench when they make a mistake like a lot of freshmen do. Even when I yell at them, they don't look at the bench."

"Geoff (McDermott) is very smart. He has a football mentality. He bulled over a guy fighting through a screen at the top of the key on one play. But he can adjust. He picked up three fouls, but then never picked up his fourth."

"Last year we played the last ten games basically with one guard, we had two guards go down, and our season went south. Weymi is 6'5 and a guard but he can also guard forwards, you saw his block."

NEW HAMPSHIRE
The Friars defeated the Wildcats more handily, 75-51, and here are some of Tim Welsh's comments after the game:

"I told our guys the first night you're excited, after that you've got to get better. We played a complete game on defense, we got into some passing lanes, and we had a balanced offense, which is what I think you're going to see from us all season."

"I've been very concerned about our defense. You've got to play these games where you have goals, like holding the other team to 38% shooting. I thought our guys did a great job getting out on their three point shooters. We were awful at that in the preseason."

"This team has a good basketball IQ. They're very unselfish, everyones getting minutes, you can bet that no one has their head down in the lockerroom about minutes or points."

"Last year, our problem was containing quicker guards, whether they were breaking help down or shooting. The defense starts inside-out always. If your defense is strong on the perimeter, it helps your interior defense. We're working on our pressure to help our inside guys battle because we're not bulky inside."

"As long as they rebound the ball, we can be dangerous with a three guard lineup. Sharaud is good at pressuring the ball. Donnie (McGrath) and Weymi have size."

"Off the rim, whoever is closest to the middle takes the ball. Sometimes Donnie hesitates because for three years he's brought the ball up. He went into the season working on coming off of screens and moving without the ball. He always had the ball last year. But he's constant motion - always moving without the ball, and I've got the big guys trying to set more screens for him. I told him, keep working and you'll get more shots. What basketball player doesn't like knowing they're going to get more shots?"

"They have a very high basketball IQ. They like playing together and they're good at making adjustments. We changed some of our philosophies about guarding the three point shooters, and it worked well."

"Being on the road is all about taking it one game at a time. These kids now have to adjust to the road environment, playing in three tough places, long airplane trips. We have to have maturity on the road, we're going into three hostile environments. But our kids come from great high school programs and have seen it all."

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