March 7, 2000
SEATTLE, Graves Building Conference Room
ON THE RETURN OF USC'S SAM CLANCY: "I was listening to (USC Coach) Henry Bibby last week and what he expected was about 10-15 minutes a game. The only thing that changes this weekend is that if he starts to play well then his minutes will go up. His timing looks a little off but you expect that. It's such a late return and they played so few people before that we'll prepare the same way we did before."
ON USC'S DUO OF SAM CLANCY AND JEFF TREPAGNIER: "When you have Clancy and Trepagnier, you have something that a lot of people don't have in that size of athletes. When you concentrate on Trepagnier, then Clancy kills you. On the other hand, if you keep Clancy in check, all of a sudden Trepagnier's getting four tip dunks in a half."
ON USC'S SEASON: "They got off to such a great start and then they had those two injuries. It's pretty tough to go through the second half without guys like that and stay at the top, without those injuries they may have. The NIT has got to be their first and foremost motivation. For the NIT, in this conference, all you have to do is finish above .500 overall, it doesn't matter what you do in the league. Both these games are big games for both these teams we are playing."
ON USC HEAD COACH HENRY BIBBY: "I like Henry. He's a very honest and open person. As a colleague in this league I like Henry because if he believes in something he'll step up and say tough things and I respect that. He's quiet. He doesn't say a whole lot but when he says something he's right on."
ON PLANS FOR THE OFF-SEASON: "We have a long time, March, April and May, were we can be consistent in the weight room and in our individual workouts and that's when the tone has to be set. I think that with the two kids coming in and the returning guys on the perimeter the three-guard offense will be effective. The commitment of having David Dixon here all summer and seeing where that can take him physically is important. The same is true with Marlon Shelton. Greg Clark must become more of an offensive threat and become more consistent in that area. Senque Carey being able to play fewer minutes and not having to be solely the ball handler will be important for the success of next year's team. There's a strength issue for Will Perkins. Getting him stronger will be important. Your upperclassmen have to come up bigger and Michael Johnson will need to do that. We need for him to score. We won't give him that duel responsibility of being a backup point. And, the continued improvement of Bryan Brown will be important."
ON SENQUE CAREY'S SOPHOMORE SEASON: "There's always those sophomore expectations and potential sophomore jinx, so to speak. You're in the spotlight in that position and you don't have a guy in the back court who took a lot of pressure off because the ball was in his hands and the right time, that was Donald Watts, and you don't have that big guy to through the ball into, that was pretty automatic, that was Todd MacCulloch. So the glare gets brighter this year. He had to play a lot of minutes and I think he wore down both physically and mentally. He's a strong kid but this shows you that when you play those kinds of minutes, anybody is susceptible to some injuries. Last year he never missed a day of practice. All of those things will be alleviated next year. He's going to have some things around him that are going to make his job easier. I know this year was very frustrated and he handled it well. It was part of growing up as a basketball player."