Bill Self Press Conference (Oct. 29)

Oct. 29, 2007

Head Coach Bill Self: <?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

On guards Russell Robinson, Sherron Collins and Mario Chalmers:

“I wouldn’t trade them for anybody. Our guards can match up with anybody. All three of them are good and all three can play together if we can rebound. There’s no reason those three can’t have as much success as any other threesome out there.”

On Brandon Rush’s status:

“He’s doing great and hopefully he can get into some contact drills in the very near future. When he plays with contact, he’ll have a yellow jersey on and he may get hit a little bit, but guys will be aware that when he’s in their area, to let him go. He hasn’t shown any signs of being tentative or anything like that when he’s been out there. He’s been pretty good.”

On coming into the season under the radar:

“In my five years there has probably been only one year when we were more under the radar. But that doesn’t bother me at all. Maybe in a large part around here is because of football. The football has been great around here. I love the attention that our basketball program gets, but were going to get plenty of it. I welcome the fact that football is doing very well. We have a legitimate chance to be a BCS bowl team.”

On <?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>PittsburgState:

“I don’t think Coach (Henry) Iba will try too many trick defenses, but I would like to see us guard motion. We know they are going to run some form of motion so we definitely need to practice against that. Our guys will be excited to play and it should be fun. I just want to see where we are when the lights go on.”

On the differences between last year’s team and the 2007-08 team:

Last year’s team was better against the zone in large part because of Julian (Wright). Last year we were very good when we were running. Hopefully this year’s team will be a better half court team, but we’re going to be better up and down. I like the fact that we are improved on the post so maybe we can be better in half court offense.”

On the overall performance of the team thus far:

“I think we are doing okay. We are not further along than some teams because I think defensively we are not where we should be and our attention to detail is bad. But we’ve only been practicing for two weeks and I think our effort and attitude has been pretty good.”

On freshmen Tyrel Reed and Cole Aldrich:

“Cole needs to be a rebounder, defender and score with an angle. If he does those things, the scoring will come because he’s got some offensive gifts. Tyrel needs to make open shots, be another ball handler, feed the post and do all the things that he’s more than capable of doing. It’s great for those guys because everyday they’re guarded by Rodrick (Stewart), Sherron (Collins) or Mario (Chalmers). What’s a better way to get better than to face those guys? If they can handle what’s going on now, the games will be easier for them. I am very pleased with their attitude, their effort and their ability.”

On the anticipation of the beginning of the season:

“I am excited every year, but this could be a special team. Health is such a big part of it and having guys deliver in ways they haven’t delivered before. I am very excited about this team.”