March 29, 2010
Romar Press Conference: March 29
» Romar Season Review Audio
Opening Statement reflecting on the season:
"It was a lot of fun for our guys. The last few months, winning always beats the alternative but it was the way we were winning with the exception of a few games where we had a couple of setbacks. Our group was very efficient playing with a lot of enthusiasm and energy. When you are playing like that you hope your season never ends. Unfortunately we played against a very good West Virginia team. It does not take anything away from the way our guys came together and really became a team. We were excited how we finished the season with the exception of a loss. There is only one team that will not be disappointed at the end of the year.
On the player taking a leadership role next year:
"Quincy was our team captain this year, but I also think Isaiah Thomas was a leader in a lot of respects. Justin Holiday is always been a leader in his own right. Now with him being a senior I can imagine he will be someone to take on some leadership responsibilities as well."
On the impact of the preseason schedule:
"We won't change it a whole lot. I always make reference to our 2006 team that didn't play one road game and yet we were 6-3 in conference play. It certainly will not be an issue next year. With us playing in the Maui Classic, playing Texas Tech here, Texas A & M on the road, playing in Key Arena against Seattle U, but it's still not in our home gym. It will be interesting because this time next year we will look back and see what our road record will be and if our road record was ok, which it did end up being ok this year. There are some exceptions but by and large when you are a more mature team you do better on the road."
On the health of the team:
"Darnell and Matt have had nagging hip injuries but I don't think it will be anything that is too severe. Obviously Tyreese Breshers, he will be evaluated which he already is, but it would not be anything major. I don't know if there will be anything major with any of our guys."
On Isaiah's health:
"It just has to heal. That is my understanding"
On expecting everyone back and possibly more for next season:
"We always have a talk with our team. At the end of the year you sit down individually with your group. A couple years ago, a few years ago Phil Nelson says `I think I want to transfers' out of the clear blue. You don't know until you sit down with everyone. At this point I expect everyone to be back."
On adding another player from the 2010 class:
"Hopefully because we still have another scholarship. We will see."
On the age of his team changing things:
"One, I alluded to the fact that it will hopefully help us earlier on the road, having a more mature group. Hopefully it does not take as long for us to settle in as to what our rotation is going to be. With a lot of new faces and guys developing over the summer, it was difficult to settle in who's going to be playing in there. With an older team, even though we will have new faces... when I say new faces, I even mean someone like Abdul Gaddy will be a new face. I anticipate him being much improved from this year. Tyreese Breshers, I anticipate him being a new face. What I mean in the sense that they would be entirely new players. C.J. Wilcox will literally be a new face because he didn't play this year. There will be some new faces in that regard but yet we still have our nucleus that is back and we just hope I am accurate. We have some tough games early. We could become a team quicker because our experience."
On the players understanding their roles:
"This time of year everybody thinks `I am going to be the guy that scores for you next year.' You do that deal where, some coaches have done it; we have done it with our team. Write down for me how many points you think you can average for this team. What best. Everyone is going to want to say '30, if you just give me the ball coach.' Realistically how many points do you think you can average? When you add it all up it comes to like 300 point a game. Everyone thinks they should be averaging 20. `If only you'd get me the ball I would average 20. Quit messing my game up.' With that being said, part of our individual meetings from a coach's perspective to figure out what they need to do. When it's all said and done, you sit down as a team early in year and you practice, those players emerge. The guy that keeps saying `I can average 20 a game' but you never make a shot in practice, we have to make a little adjustment in your thinking here. There are others that come out and practice and no one can stop this guy, he's just killin'. You make an adjustment to that guy and go to him more than you anticipated. Before the season starts, we as a staff sit down and talk about who are our best bets to score? Where do they score from? With our offensive philosophy, how will we tweak it based on who we think will score for us. We do that every year. That still has to be determined."
On the team understanding what will be lost when Quincy leaves:
"Quincy averaged over eight rebounds a game, scored close to 20 point a game. I truly believe with teams, you can make up points. With Jon (Brockman), it was so much because he was the leading rebounder in the history of the school. That is just so hard to compensate for. To a degree collectively guys did that. In a game with West Virginia or Texas Tech on the road, Georgetown, Jon would've added more of a physical presence that we did not have this year. As far as Quincy is concerned, I think players will step up, four points here, three points there, collectively can compensate for his scoring. The thing that has to happen is Marquette, we knew what was going too happened whether we called a timeout or not. Quincy was going to probably have the ball for the last shot. We play at Stanford and Quincy has the ball in his hand. That will be more so what we look at as opposed to replacing points than replacing the go to guy. As I thought about that, we've had teams where there wasn't just a set go to guy. As a matter of fact I like it better that way when you have multiple options, guys that come in and hit a basket. Cal this year, who was there go to guy? Was it Randle? Was it Theo? Was it Patrick Christopher? In certain situations they are shared that responsibility. I think that is when you have a better offensive team, when you have more options like that. Hopefully that will be the case for us next year."
On if he would make the same decision to redshirt C.J. and let Clarence play:
"Did it the same way we did it. Thank goodness we were able red shirt C.J. and still do ok. Again, C.J. and our program will all be excited that he would've redshirted this year. I don't think we'd change it. I was tempted to put him in the games a couple times in January but we didn't."
On the effects of preseason tournaments:
"Has there been one where we done well in the tournaments and didn't have a good preseason? I don't think that has been the case. Don't shut your program down because you didn't do well in a November or December tournament, but in a lot of cases if you do well early in tournaments you are probably a decent team, especially in Maui. It is a long ways away but that is how I feel."
On the style of the team changing after Quincy leaving:
"In spite of what people may believe, including Spencer Hawes's year, we have never changed our style. We have tweaked what we have done and adjusted to our personnel. The eight years we have been here, we have always tried to attack you offensively, we have always tried to pressure you defensively, and we have always tried to play up-tempo. Sometimes your personnel does not allow you to play as fast. There was one year, I think it was 2008, we did not have the guard play to be able to push the ball like we would've liked, but that will still the goal to do it. In reference to Quincy being gone, our style will remain the same. I can't even tell you who the five starters are going to be right now. I made reference to new faces in terms of guy's improvement. I can't tell you exactly what adjustment we may make, but I can promise you that our style will remain the same. Especially now that we have been here eight years and we can recruit the type of players that fit our style as opposed to taking over a program and you have to deal with the hand you've been dealt with. Our style will be the same regardless but we will adjust at times based on our personnel."
On the role of Desmond Simmons:
"Desmond Simmons is a winner and is certainly going to be a good basketball. Again we cannot pre-determine who is going to be in that lineup until we get to practice next year and see who's developed and who's playing well. It is far too early to sit down and say `this is what it is going to be.'"
On the dynamic of potential coming back on the team:
"I like the fact that we have an older team. We are only losing one guy. A lot of the guys have played together, I like that. In terms of me being able to predict what is going to happen, I have no idea because we still have to formulate our team and put our team together. Until you get out there and start playing we will see. Two years ago we were picked fifth in the Pac 10 and we won the Pac 10. This year we were picked second and we were in tenth after two or three weeks within the conference. It is too hard to predict what is going to happen."
On advancing through the Sweet Sixteen:
"Can we break through the wall of this sorry Sweet Sixteen? The fact that three out of six years we've been in the Sweet Sixteen and that is a question that comes up, `can you break through that wall?' We are doing everything in our power to try and do that. We are doing anything in our power to do that and try and get better. That is something I don't see as breaking through the Sweet Sixteen wall. I said the day we were hired here, I'd like to win a national championship. I am thinking more of that as to opposed of... you have to break through that Sweet Sixteen to get to that point. Kansas gets beat in the second round. Many people thought they were going to win the championship this year. Kansas has won a championship before. To get beyond that, certain things have to happen. When I was at UCLA, Coach Herrick was one of the better coaches in the country. Coach was there in his eight years and they went to the Elite Eight, Sweet Sixteen, but never went to the Final Four until his last year. They had their breakthrough. We would like to have that breakthrough. I would say you can't take away the fact that we've made progress since we've taken the job."
On people making improvements:
"Usually when someone is on the brink of making a big improvement, they sense that themselves and become highly motivated in the offseason. Again, we will sit down and talk with our guys individually and talk about from our prospective, what they need to do to get better. Someone like Justin Holiday, someone like Mathew Bryan-Amaning who finished the year on a very high note, I can imagine they are really highly motivated, especially as seniors. Mathew is going to participate in with the Great Britain National team this year. It's not the junior team; it is the main team this year. Abdul Gaddy is going to be a part of USA basketball this year. All those experiences are going to help motivate guys along with the things we talk about propel them to the best that they can be."