Dec. 14, 2005
On home heavy schedule: "Not on any team that I've been a part of [have we had this many home games]. I know that Syracuse does it every year. It's common for some of the more high profile programs to play almost all of their games at home. I don't know if that will ever be the case again with us, it just kind of worked out that way."
On schedule making the team overrated:"I don't think it spoils it so much as gives you an unrealistic feel for where you are. ...I think I'd be surprised if we weren't able to win those games because we've played fairly well at home. You hope that you can win your home games."
On if he'd change the schedule looking back at it:"The way it ended up working out, I wouldn't change the schedule. I think it has been very helpful. We've had a large margin of victory in a lot of those games and it has allowed us to play some guys who gained valuable experience. Now, as we get into conference play, a guy gets into a game and his tail's not between his legs because he's played already. Last year, it was hard to get minutes for everybody because every game was so close. I think it has been beneficial for us to have the schedule that we've had."
On having multiple scoring threats: "That's the advantage of having more than one player who can produce for you. If they would have decided that they were going to double Jamaal (Williams), then Ryan Appleby scores 20 and makes six threes. I think that's a good luxury to have, to have more than one guy."
On having more of an inside-outside offense this year: "That's what makes this team different. I'm not going to say it makes one team better or worse. Jamaal could score like this last year, but he was only able to play 17 minutes per game. This year he's gotten himself in a little better condition and he played 34-35 minutes last game. ...Jon Brockman is able to go down there and score and even Artem Wallace, he hasn't been able to show it a whole lot, but I think if he can get that shot to the rim, he's going to score. So that is definitely a difference between this year's team and last year's team."
On high scoring and assists: "I'd like to think that the players we have are unselfish. Last year it was the same thing, we had four or five guys averaging double-figures. We have players that are unselfish and don't mind passing the ball to one another."
On why the team is unselfish:"I think it's part of our philosophy. Teams have to decide who they're going to take away and then the next guy is going to step up. We've had this conversation many times. I remember last year being asked why didn't so-and-so get his shots. Well, the other guy got more shots tonight, that's just how it goes. ...Being an assistant with Jim Harrick helped a lot because we always were in double-figures with five guys and we shot close to 50 percent from the field. ...We're a team and we all play together."
On Hans Gasser: "I would say that Hans has been a pleasant surprise. You have to give Hans all the credit in the world because he's worked. He's worked on his body. He was as valuable as anyone on that team against New Mexico. He not only scored three of four baskets when we were struggling, he rebounded, he tipped the ball out when he couldn't get it and that allowed us to score."
On Gasser's role: "I think he's found a niche where he is able to come in and spell your starters, you won't lose any ground, and you make do a little better while he's in there. What goes unnoticed with Hans right now is his defense. In terms of playing post defense, he's almost in a clinic. He's always in the right position. That wasn't always the case with Hans. He's worked really hard to understand and grasp our system."
On Eastern Washington's Rodney Stuckey: "We really wanted Rodney Stuckey. We thought he was a really good basketball player."
On what needs improvement: "We can still get better on our defensive rotations. Offensively, our spacing can get better and our screening can get better. Rebounding and boxing out is something that we addressed last week quite a bit. Getting better playing in the half-court."