Ben Howland, Part 1 --
Ben Howland, Part 2 --
The Players --
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(Howland has a can of Diet Coke and a bottle of water on his table. He never does drink.)
"Well that was the kind f game we expected watching the film on them last year this team we played was in the NCAA tournament last year. They had some gutty kids. We came out I thought we really had the right idea. We watched them play against Duke on the first round on film last year because they hadn't played a game this year. Duke really tried to com out and pressure them and it was 28 – 26 with three minutes to go in the first half of that game. We came out I the mindset that we were gonna guard them 23, 24 feet and in. We were up 13 to nothing. I was feeling good. Then all of a sudden they started switching the defenses and we started turning the ball over. We had numerous turnovers. Twelve turnovers in the fist half was the key stat of the half. They scored 12 of 17 points at halftime…..12 of 17 came of our turnovers; led directly to a basket.
"That's just experience. It's our
guys getting used to playing a trapping team: a team that's just swarming the
ball. I thought Darren struggled with that early in the first half and did a
much better job half in the second half handling the pressure. I told him, "Hey
don't feel bad,
(Looks at sheet of paper)
"I was excited about our team
defense. I was really excited about Luc at the halftime with six boards, but he
didn't score or get a rebound in the second half. We probably played him too
many minutes. This was a long week; six days straight of hard, competitive
games. We practiced hard Monday, played a good team on Tuesday and won,
practiced really hard two and half hours before that
Does 200 wins mean a lot to you?
"It's nice. There's so many players that I've been involved with not only as a head coach but as an assistant coach. I feel everybody that I've ever been involved with ahs contributed to any kind of success as a head coach. I've been able to stay in this business because of a lot of good player and a lot of good cohorts that I've been involved with."
Who was the first win against?
"It was at
"I thought Ced did a good job
tonight. Ced's playing well. This Is the same kind of tempo we'll see in our
league twice against
"I'm very confident
What about Fey?
"Fey I'm less sure about. We'll just see how it feels. He can raise both arms above his head like this (raises his arms above his head). he's taking anti-inflammatory now. It's been 48 hours. Obviously we'd like to have him, and we need him. Hopefully he'll be ready to go as well, but I'm not as sure about that."
So this is a little like the
"Yeah, you're right it is. You go from one extreme to the other."
"Well this is a great trip for our
kids. We're gonna be in
"Our mindset is to go out there and
try to beat the 12th ranked team in the country who had a great win
Could you talk a little bit about the versatility that Ced has shown early in the season?
"Ced's really doing a good job. He
played backup point tonight. So far, in three games this season, he's played
one, two, three, and four, and he's defended all four positions. His ability to
pass… oh and by the way, he had an assist in the last game that didn't show up,
Mark and Bill, that we forgot to tell you about watching the game. It was an
assist out to Afflalo on the right wing against
Ben, have you coached a kid like that who can play 1 through 4?
"You know, we had Jaron Brown, the kid at Pitt that I had, is a kid we had play backup at the point during his fist year I the program. He had some similarities to Ced in that respect in that he could guard four different positions if he had to. Ideally you don't want Ced having to guard a four, but he's able to do. I think he's playing with some toughness. That's what I like about him. He's playing real tough."
How did you feel about Darren playing 35 minutes today?
"I think it's a great experience for him. I'm excited about Darren. I thought the jump stops he made…… I called a timeout. I think it was my last timeout or one of the last ones, because he made a great pass to someone in the corner for a wide open three, but he's jumping the air on the pass instead of being on the ground. He should be able to penetrate whenever he wants. His biggest thing to learn is to penetrate and then stop, and not pass on the run. Mike Roll's turnover the second half; he made a nice back cut. He's trying to pass while he's moving, and he threw it right out of bounds.
"Again, you have to credit their time, and also the fact I thought the game, the way then wanted to come and play offensively was gonna work to our benefit. Us being shorthanded with Jordan being out, and Janou getting his first Minutes of the year. I thought with them wanting to hold the ball for 20 seconds….. Great go ahead. We'll stand there and watch you do it. It was really working well up to 13-0, and then they played us even for about 28 minutes until we came on at the end."
Is it hard for a young team after their up 13-0 to keep their focus and energy?
"I don't know. We had some mismatches. It was a hard game for out 5 men tonight, because there was no one for them to really match up with and guard. You saw out there get beat a couple times on the dribble. I thought Lorenzo did the best job of doing what he's supposed to do defensively tonight. It's a tough team when you're basically playing five little guys out there."
Were you happy with the energy level of your team out there tonight?
"Yeah, I think it was tough for us today, Brian, to have three games in five days. To be short-handed. And again, the practice on Wednesday was like a game. Trust me. We had two and a half hours. Normally between games we don't practice nearly as long, but we had to get ready for that zone. I think that contributed…. You know….. I think we got fatigued tonight; there's no question. I think Luc's first half was very good, but the second half he wasn't very good. I think it had to do with fatigue. That's why that style of ball where you're….. We probably played defense for 25 - 26 minutes tonight."