Quotes From Bob Bender's Weekly Press Gathering
Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2000
SEATTLE, Graves Building Meeting Room -
ON INJURY STATUS OF CHRIS WALCOTT (who is recovering from knee surgery):
"Chris Walcott has practiced everyday this week. Chris' mobility is a little limited. He has a little more push off of it and he's able to cut off it but his lateral quickness is still a little bit behind. Surprisingly, with the minutes he played on Saturday, he was no worse for ware and tear. We've run a lot in practice and he's been able to keep up pretty good."
ON SENQUE CAREY'S INJURY STATUS (who sprained his ankle at Washington State):
"We thought we were going to have him back today but the doctors want to hold him one more day. He'll go tomorrow. The swelling is all gone and there's a minimal amount of pain. Senque Carey has played so many minutes going in, I would think his conditioning should be good."
ON MARLON SHELTON'S DEVELOPMENT:
"He's the player who has made the most progress. I can't think of anybody that went from where he was, playing minimal minutes last year, to where now he's a regular part of the rotation. Conditioning was number one, he knows how hard he's going to have to work. Concentration was number two. Last year when he got tired, everything went, his concentration, his productivity and even his competitiveness. Along the way he's really responded with skill development and breaking things down. He has improved on foot work and shots that should be automatic for him including his jump hook, which is his best shot to this point. The other area, which was shown this weekend against Arizona with (Michael) Wright and (Loren) Woods on the floor, was rebounding. Balance is still an issue and that would be the one area that we want to continue addressing. Marlon Shelton is getting stronger and his body is developing. I think he will look like a different guy next year. Now, we will start to see him put on muscle weight."
ON THE PROGRESS OF DAVID DIXON:
"We didn't play him on Saturday but we intend to play him this weekend. With both Oregon and Oregon State and their size, we will put him back into the rotation. His progress is steady but he hasn't taken a significant step in the last few days of practice. We saw David Dixon when he was in shape (in junior college) and he's a different player. In college basketball you stick with it and help him through the tough times. This has been a tough time for him and a tough time for our program but you don't give up on things. We've got to really be precise about what we do with him in the off season."
ON DIXON'S SUCCESS IN UW'S FIRST MEETING WITH OREGON STATE:
"Number one, he was the most mentally focused of anybody we put on the floor. Collectively as a team it was a poor performance. I hate to say how poorly we played because it takes something away from Oregon State and I don't believe that should be the case. Unfortunately, we were really bad and they had a lot to do with it but David was ready to play. It was a good example of him taking advantage of his opportunity. No one else was getting it done and he was rewarded. Now he's got to get it done day after day and that has still been a problem. He was ready to play that day and we didn't have much help for him."
ON ATHLETE COMPETITIVENESS:
"One pet peeve I have is when athletes talk about themselves and say how competitive they are in everything they do. When they play cards they want to win, when they play video games they want to win. And yet, the minute they can't play for the NCAA Tournament, a national championship, a bowl appearance or the play-offs, people say what is the motivation. You can't have it both ways. For the truly great ones, the motivation is simple, it's a chance to compete. That's what I've been trying to get our kids to believe in."
ON WASHINGTON'S NEW MORNING PRACTICE SCHEDULE:
"The purpose of it wasn't to get their attention or to punish them. Their day does not end with the morning practice. This commitment of more structure and demanding more of them for a full day will help us is in the classroom. We've extended our study table to all five days now and in the afternoon which I think will be more productive. They're sacrifices that I think are good for this team to make. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday after study table is when we go lift. The commitment in the weight room will get a better effort when you split practice and the weight room as opposed to going straight from practice to the weight room."
ON MICHAEL JOHNSON'S DEVELOPMENT:
"The progress that Michael Johnson has made and the confidence that he's shown in production has been consistent. Now, can we get him to his potential? Hopefully, we will see it the rest of the year."