Men's Hoops Media Conference on 10-10-10

Stanford's Men's & Women's Hoops team held a joint media conference on Tuesday. Johnny was terrific and he was followed by Jeremy Green, Josh Owens and impressive freshman forward Dwight Powell. On display were interesting variants in willingness to discuss health status. Tara VanDerveer is essentially an open book while Men's Hoops appears to have chosen a bit of a "hybrid" approach for 2010.

Men's Hoops Media Conference on 10-10-10

 

Here is a partial transcript from Tuesday's routine, but solid media conference...

The Anne & Tony Joseph Director of Men's Basketball, Johnny Dawkins

On having no seniors on the roster...


"It's kind of unusual, right, to have a team with no seniors? But by the same token, we are excited because the one thing that is known is we will have this group for the next several years. That's a good thing, to be able to build and grow together while developing continuity with these groups."

Responding to the theory of this being "his" first full class...


"That's difficult for me because I'm one of those coaches who never looks at it as my players or someone else's players. You inherit the kids you have and work your butt off to try and make them as good as possible, and that's what we have done. We've been able to recruit some kids who fit the style of what we like to do, so it's exciting to see how they will respond to this level. I just like working with kids, teaching and motivating. I love the kids I've been able to work with here, and I just wish we could have accomplished more."

Talking about the return of 
Josh Owens...

"I really can't discuss his medical condition, as it is a personal matter. We are excited to have him join us again on the court and I think he'll contribute to our program. He is a capable, low-post player who is also fairly versatile. Mainly we are just excited for him. When you think about it, here's a young man who had some uncertainty about whether his career would even continue. So to be able to come back, contribute and do something he is passionate about, we are excited for him."

Discussing the progress of 
Josh Owens...

"He didn't play as much basketball of course, but was able to condition and train as much as he normally would. My take is that there is nothing like basketball. You can condition and train and do as much as you want to do outside of the game, but there is nothing like stepping on the floor and running wind sprints or taking part in drills. I think you have to be able to experience that in order to get adjusted. Josh being able to work out this summer was a good start for him and being able to work with the guys now is a continuation of what he started in the offseason. It's a process for him, but he's excited."

How does the program attempt to offset the loss of 
Landry Fields?

Absolutely I expect us to have more of a balanced offensive attack. We were so strong at one position with Landry, who averaged 22.0 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. We don't have anyone at the moment who we feel can produce those type of numbers, so I think we will have to do it more by committee. More guys stepping up, more guys contributing. And we feel we can find it. It's just a matter of these kids learning our system and getting comfortable with the level of competition we have to face."

 

Are expectations with the highly-touted incoming recruiting class fair?

"Fair or not, I don't really mind it. I am a competitor. We have high expectations for ourselves and I approach every season that way. My expectations are always higher than where we might be projected to finish. We have to go out there, continue to get better and compete. The experiences these young guys will face in the non-conference season and Pac-10 will only help contribute to them getting better and better. We realize that and there is enough veteran leadership here to help them find their way."


Losing Andy Brown for the second straight season to an ACL injury...

"I spoke with him right before he went in for his third surgery. We had that discussion. He said `Coach, I want to try and come back again because I believe I can do it.' I told him it was up to him and whatever he chose, we would back him 100 percent. Andy told me he wanted to come back, compete and be with the guys. So he's got 100 percent of our backing and I am excited about him trying to return for next year. It has really been one of the most unfortunate things I've ever seen in our sport, for a young man to have three ACL injuries to the same knee. We are anxious to see him return and are pulling for him and praying for him."

Talking about the expectations for junior shooting guard 
Jeremy Green...

"I'm expecting more leadership from Jeremy. He's produced well for us offensively but we need more than that from him. He is our most experienced returning player and has been very good for us. He needs to continue to grow, but more vocally than anything. Jeremy has an idea of what it takes to be successful in the Pac-10 because he has faced it. So for him to just be a voice to our guys will be important."

Early thoughts on the point guard position...


"The point guard position for us is something we have been working on. Aaron (Bright) was recruited because he is a pure point. Having him get into the fold and learn our system should allow him to contribute. Last year we did it a bit by committee. I give Jarrett Mann a lot of credit. We asked a lot of him and for most of the season, he was leading the Pac-10 in assists. He's a young man who was primarily a wing and changed positions because we needed him to. So with Aaron and Jarrett, and even Gabriel Harris, it gives us some options and more depth than we have had."

On the likelihood of four freshmen starting by midseason...


"I haven't thought about that, to be honest. I want to get out there and see what we have. It's great that we have these 40-minute sessions, three times a week. But it will be better when we start on Friday and go for extended periods of time. Now we can see how much guys can handle and find out where they stand physically through the grind of a practice against Pac-10 caliber players. Right now, it's a lot of teaching and fundamentals. Once we start practice, we'll have a better feel. From what I've seen from the summer up to now, all of those freshmen have improved physically and showed the skill necessary to compete in this conference."

An area he has learned about himself so far as a head coach...


"I've learned in teaching, both offense and defense. I've had to make some adjustments from some things I have known and been a part of over the years. Some coaches have told me that would happen. You can never take 100 percent of what you've done somewhere else and bring it with you. So I've had to tweak my system a bit on both ends of the floor, and in some areas, I think that's been really good for us. I don't like to compromise some things defensively, and that's why I'm most excited to work with the depth that we will have this year."

Describing the team's three-point shooting ability...

"Of course, Jeremy is a terrific shooter, like you said. Anthony Brown is a good shooter from the perimeter as well; he can really shoot the ball from there. We have some forwards who are capable shooters from the perimeter as well. Andrew Zimmermann can step outside and make shots. John Gage and Stefan Nastic can shoot from the perimeter. And Aaron Bright can make shots from the outside."



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