Hoops Follow Up

BI Special Contributor Roy Burkhart III sat down recently and followed up with the sophomore forward. After an 0-5 start our staff wanted to gauge the vibe with the team and see how the 'Cats respond.

As a team you dominated the 1st half, what did you do different then in previous games?
"We played an aggresive defense style, with a lot of help defense as well. our shots fell pretty good, and we where just clicking, my shots didnt fall but as a team we where shooting well.

The pace slowed alot in the 2nd half, was this a planned slow down or was it fatigue?
" No, it wasnt planned, and it wasnt fatigue. We just became less aggresive, and got complacent. I think we got comfortable with the score and the lead and just didnt push as hard. we had them down but never delivered the knockout blow, like we should have."

Texas State starting 0-5, is that motivation for you, or does that start to cause doubt about the team ?
"No doubt at all, I think it just adds to the fire. We are starting to come together, and starting to click, our chemistry is growing all the time, and I think you will see us pull it together, and get the wins rolling a lot sooner, rather then later."

What negatives from the last game can you take, and improve on for the future?
Transistion "D", we have to get all 5 men back fast so the guards can go out to there men. They dropped a lot of pull up 3's on us, we couldn't get out to them fast enough."

Joel Wright is the percieved leader of the team, as a Senior. Are there other players trying to lead as well? If so does this cause turmoil, or has everyone bought into the team concept?
" A lot of guys are trying to be individual leaders, but this is not a problem. I am trying to step up my game as well, we are all trying to lead together, as a team. Joel is great, talking to us, helping us on the court leading us, we hold ourselves accountable for our play, and we all want to get better."

Do you believe the ball sharing on the offensive end, was a problem against South Dakota? Coach clearly wants more passes, before the shot, but did this lead to rushed shots before time ran out?
" No, its a very good thing, we averaged a lot more passes against South Dakota then in the past. The idea is to work the clock but not run it down to zero. We dont want to force shots, we pass around looking for the best shot chance. We have to execute it better, the idea is to work the D, and get them moving around, wear them down."

You leave Wednesday for Mexico, where you play 3 games in 3 days, against 3 good teams. How do you hope to perform, and what record would you be happy with coming back from Mexico with ? Tulane is 5-1, Northern Kentucky is 1-4 but beat Tulane in OT, and SE Missouri is 5-2 including exhibition.
"Winning would be huge! I think if we execute better, we can beat any team in the country, we are a good team, and we will show that. If we could beat Tulane one day I think it would improve morale drastically. When you win everything feels better, you eat better, you sleep better, you play better. I would be happy to come out of this trip at 3-5, we want to win !!!

Talk about our 1 on 1 follow up with Emani Gant in the 'Cats Den Insider Forum!


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