Larry Brown Q&A
On Keith’s Eligibility: “Yeah, his appeal was turned down as of now so anyways he’s back in school and I think everyone is aware of what he needs to do to become eligible. We’ve got everything in place, and if he makes the kind of progress that e know he’s capable of doing then he’ll be eligible shortly. It’s something we’ve got to move on from. He’s going to be with the team he just can’t play. He can’t travel. We’ve got a lot of people looking out for him and giving him what he needs to be successful.”
On Ryan Manuel’s improved play: “I think a lot of it is confidence. His confidence has gotten better and better and he’s got the respect of his teammates and the respect of his coaches. He’s worked very hard for this. It’s not easy for kids to come to school and go through more than once coach, and for him it’s been kind of a roller coaster. First year he doesn’t play a lot with Matt. First year with me he plays every minute. Second year he’s kind of up and down until the end of the season. And this year he started a complementary player on the bench and all of a sudden he’s turned into a whole new role, so it’s pretty impressive the way he’s handled it all.
On how important it’ll be for Ben Emelogu to step in with Frazier gone: “He’s huge. Think about this: we started off thinking we were going to have Emmanuel, Justin, Markus, Keith, and all of a sudden everybody’s role has changed. We need everybody and he’s certainly as important as any player in our program. For him to be 16 for 70 is mind-boggling to me, but I don’t think it’s his shooting; it’s his whole game. He has just got to believe in himself and we got to find a way to make him understand that. We all believe and trust in him and want to figure out a way to unlock that little key that makes him believe in himself.”
Ben Emelogu regaining confidence
Emelogu was dressed and ready 90 minutes before practice started. Emelogu and Assistant Jerry Hobbie went into Moody and worked on the guard’s jump shooting for nearly thirty minutes before moving to the practice courts to work on his three-point shooting. Emelogu looked extremely confident shooting from behind the arc and made 9/10 shots at one point. Emelogu also made a fade away jump shot at the beginning of practice and Nic Moore yelled to him, “Stay with me now!”, trying to encourage the sophomore to keep shooting and maintain his confidence.
Defense, Defense, Defense
Practice focused mainly on the defensive side of the ball today. The early part of practice was spent working on denying passes into the post while being physical down low. Next the team spent time working on their switches on screens and being more vocal. Coach Jankovich reiterated numerous times that the guys on the court have to be vocal and start talking early, before the screen has been set.
— Keith Frazier was not at practice
— The pace of practice was a little slower than usual because of all the teaching that was going on.
— Ben Emelogu wasn’t wearing a splint, but did have his pinky and ring fingers taped together on his right hand.
— As always, Coach Brown consistently stopped practice to explain what his players are doing wrong.
— We’ve seen a lot of goaltending from Yanick Moreira recently, but he had a few nice, legal blocks around the rim.
— Markus Kennedy took a few three-pointers throughout practice, and while he didn’t make any, he looked comfortable shooting from behind the arc.