Corey Sanders More Focused on Defense in Year Two

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Corey Sanders is more focused on defense as a Rutgers sophomore. Headed for tipoff against another challenging back-court, Sanders is back as a starter and hungry for a win.

Question: What's your reaction to being named a team captain?

Sophomore guard Corey Sanders: “I think it's a perfect role for him. He leads us on and off the court. He's a great kid. You can count on him to do certain things. He just has that role in him to be a captain. Him and DeShawn [Freeman], they're great guys. It wasn't a surprise to me.”

Q: How is he as a role model with what he's gone through at Rutgers?

CS: “He knows the game. He's been here longer than us. He's an upperclassman. We need those types of guys to step up like he's been doing.”

Q: What's it like to draw the challenge of defending guys like Peter Jok?

CS: “It's just what I was called on to do. When we were in practice, Coach changed it up and said I was going to be guarding Jok. I was perfectly fine with it. I've got to play defense. I feel like I can be a great defender. Guarding the best player on their team, that's what I want to do. I want to guard the best player on the team. I want to run the offense like I've been running the offense. It's just what a point guard does. I'm taking the role on and taking every challenge that Coach throws at me.”

Q: What have you seen from Bryant McIntosh?

CS: “I haven't really seen any tape on him yet. I'm pretty sure today I'll see a lot of tape on him. After I see the tape, I'll probably be very locked in on the game plan.”

Q: Is there any attitude change during the losing streak?

CS: “We're trying to put everything together right now. I feel like we're right where we want to be. Everything is coming together, we've just got to put in a little bit more effort and play 40 minutes every game. We're on a losing streak right now, but I feel like we're getting better. As long as we're getting better the winning is going to come. … It's definitely hard when you're losing. We know that wins are going to come. We keep getting better. Stick to the game plan. Coach always talks about staying on the boat. Don't jump off the boat. Right now we're on course to win games, we've just got to.”

Q: What are your hopes for the atmosphere against Northwestern?

CS: “I feel like it's going to be a packed game. Penn State was a packed game. I feel like if the fans come out, which I think they will, it helps us out a lot. Hopefully we have 8,000 or 7,000 people in here to get this thing rocking and get a W.”

Q: Are you more interested in defense this year?

CS: “I've always been a defensive player because that's what it takes to be a great guard. They love to see you play defense. Ever since Coach got here, he just put it in my head that I can be the best defender in the Big Ten. I've been taking on that challenge as well as playing the point guard position on the opposite end.”


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