Hoops Practice Notebook

Come inside for briefs and notes from today's basketball practice!

Team Happy With Big Win

Larry Brown was pleased after the team's easy victory over USF on Wednesday. "Markus (Kennedy) was great, Shawn (Williams) was great. It was hard to play Ben (Moore) and Cannen (Cunningham) as much as we would have liked because those guys were playing at such a high level but our energy was really up and I think that affected everybody in a positive way," Brown said. Sterling Brown was also happy with the team's effort. "It was a bounce-back game from the loss to Louisville. Just wanted to come home and get the win and get our confidence back," Sterling said.

Sterling Brown Developing

Speaking of Sterling, Brown has been happy with the freshman's development. "Sterling is coming around good. He got in foul trouble last night but our kids are all getting better. They get better every day at practices," Brown said. "Sterling can defend, he can get loose balls. Sterling and Shawn, you never can evaluate their play by looking at a stat sheet. You just know that they do little things that help the team. They do a lot of little things that are necessary for teams to be successful." This is why Brown decided it was time for Sterling to start over Ryan Manuel. "I thought that some of things that Ryan brings would be better off the bench. Sterling is more of a conventional small forward. He gives us a little extra rebounding and some flexibility there. You can put him out on the wing and he does good stuff out there," Brown said. "I've been telling the team, giving them the message that we want to play guys that do all the things that we're asking to do, (like) rebound, defend, run the floor, set good screens, and he's the poster child for that stuff." Now that he has the job, Sterling has only one thing in mind: "Just keep it. Coach obviously has trust in me right now to do good so I'm just going to try and keep it now."

Moreira Injury Update

Yanick Moreira was on the court before practice taking some shots but seemed very stiff. "He appears to be getting better. We don't have a timetable but we're hoping for the best," Brown said as he knocked on wood. But Brown has a luxury that not many coaches can boast, which is depth in his frontcourt. "(The injury) gives other guys a chance to play. He's our starting center, but everybody needs to step up. It's not going to be one guy who has to replace him; collectively, Markus, Ben, Cannen, and Shawn all need to help."

Brown Talks UCF

Heading into back-to-back matchups this weekend at UCF and at home against Hofstra, both Coach Brown and Sterling preached a "business as usual" approach. "I'm not worrying about the second game. I'm worrying about Central Florida. You know, it's just a bad scheduling situation because of the weather, playing back-to-back and then Tuesday right after that. It's not easy but we've done it before," Brown said. Sterling added, "We're going to prepare like we usually do, practice hard, play hard. We're going to perform like we practice so just go hard in practice."

Quick Hits

- Today's practice was short and light. After a film session that lasted just under an hour, the team ran offensive plays against air for fifty minutes before Coach Brown called practice.

- However all of the players stayed behind to practice shooting. Kennedy, Williams, Manuel, Brown, Moore andFrazier worked on their free throws.

- The team was loose after the big win yesterday. Markus in particular was goofing around a lot, yelling loudly after a few Cannen Cunningham and Jean-Michael Mudiay dunks. After Markus made a nice spin move for a layup, Cunningham let out an admiring "ooh."

- At one point, Ben Moore ducked low and dribbled the ball around Coach Brown, which caused the Hall of Famer to reach out and attempt to steal the ball, drawing laughs from the team and coaching staff.

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