What's the wish on the recruiting trail?
"Obviously, the wish on the recruiting front is for a difference maker. When you are building a program, of course every person wants to see a 7 foot, 280lb commit. What I want to see is a player come in, regardless of height, and be a real difference maker. I want to see someone come in that's a McDonald's All-American or that level that can come in right away and try to beat out some of our guys that are working so hard right now to get better in our program."
What about your wish for this year's team?
"My wish for this year's team is good health. If you look around the country, there have been injuries that have hurt a lot of teams especially in the Big East. For us, the thing that didn't make the news much is that in the last 3 or 4 games, we've had two or three guys so far under the weather they really haven't resembled themselves. We might have been better off had we had an injury and just had guys sit out and rest but we felt having guys at 70 or 80 percent really could still give us a boost. Unfortunately, we just ended up on the short end of things in a couple games but I'm pretty proud of our group at this point."
What's going to be the focus during the school break for the team?
"When you come back from Christmas break you have the opportunity to do some to work as team without having to worry about the academics. We need a lot of work on our execution, on both our offensives sets as well as our defense, understanding the defense more. While most of our numbers this year are better this year than they were last year, two areas we haven't been better in are getting fouled, and not fouling the other team. I think sometimes it's just inexperience and lack of understanding of how to avoid fouling when the other team is going to the basket and how to get fouled on the other end going to the basket. This team is so young, but I think they'll learn quickly how to do those things."
How do you evaluate the non-conference portion of the schedule?
"We're starting a freshman at the center position and a sophomore at the forward position who both couldn't crack our top nine last season. I think they are playing pretty well given their experience level. We're also playing a lot of freshmen so I didn't expect us to come in here and blow through our non-conference schedule. I was really pleased with how we were in every game that we played, maybe with the exception of Iona.
"Now with last year's team, they were able to improve as the year went on, even as seniors. They were much better at the end of the year than they were in the non-conference games. Now, can this year's group improve their shot selection, add power moves on the inside, and improve the half court defense, despite being a little undersized and inexperienced inside? I think they can, and really make some progress in those areas even though they've struggled with some things in the non-conference. However, I've got to say that overall, with seven new players on the team, the team's play so far has been encouraging for the future."
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