Self, Players Preview Season Opener Versus Longwood

Nov. 11, 2010

Coach Self | Mc. Morris


Head Coach Bill Self

On Longwood:

“Well the first game to me is always tough because they (the opponent) may do something they haven’t done in years past. We have no tape on them except from last year. They’re well coached and return some good players from last year. And, like us, they’re likely waiting to see if some of their newcomers come through.”

On how he thought the team’s defense was against Emporia State:

“I think our intentions were good but our execution wasn’t very good. Emporia state was good in that they made us defend 20 seconds and usually when we broke down, it was late in the clock. I think that was something that was good for us because all great teams need to be able to defend the entire clock. We’re not quite disciplined enough for that yet. It will be a great teaching technique.”

On if Brady Morningstar can impact the team in other ways than his three-point shooting:

“There’s no question he can impact in other ways; he’s done it. But we need Brady and Tyrel (Reed), probably more so than anyone else that’s been in our program the last couple years, to step up and make shots. They’re performance isn’t determined by whether or not they make shots but it certainly gives our team a much better chance when you can stretch the defense.”

Junior Forward Marcus Morris

On how important it is to get the season off to a good start in the season opener:

“It is very important to get off to a good start. It’s important to get a good atmosphere in the gym and get the fans into the game.”

On if the team is more focused for Friday’s game since it is regular season and not an exhibition game:

“I wouldn’t say focused more because I think we are already focused and know that we have to get better day-in and day-out in practice. Any opponent that we go against we’re focused on our game.”

On his thoughts on junior point guard Tyshawn Taylor:

“He’s been very aggressive. After watching film I see that he’s really pushing the ball offensively trying to get the team moving fast. I think that’s good for us to have a fast point guard like Tyshawn because it pressures teams to get back on defense.”

Senior Guard Tyrel Reed

On Longwood:

“I know that they have some good players and some capable players. We’ll definitely have to play well. We’ll go over them a lot more at practice.”

On the keys against Longwood:

“Defensively we’ve got to get better. I’ve definitely got to be better on defense. I’ve got to slide my feet and keep my man in front of me. I think if we can just lock in defensively it will take care of any other problems. If we lock in for 40 minutes defensively I don’t think there’s a team out there that can beat us. Defense is Coach’s forte and he always instills that in us. So if we just keep getting better defensively we’ll be fine.”

On the team’s shooting:

“I don’t think it’s a big concern. We haven’t really talked about it much. I think we’ve got capable and proven shooters on this team. Shots weren’t falling those (first) couple of games, but I thought we did other things well besides shoot the three. Hopefully things will pick up in the next couple of games.”

Senior Guard Mario Little

On the goal for the game against Longwood:

“We just want to get better every day. We can’t take any team lightly. We just need get better and work on our stuff. This is a good team to execute that against. We need to stay aggressive. We can’t get lazy. We need to come out and play hard.”

On the nerves for the game:

“There are not any nerves. We need to just play like it’s our last game, and play hard.”

On Tyshawn Taylor’s leadership:

“Two years ago the game was probably real fast for him. Last year he had a lot of distractions and it probably still seemed fast. This year it’s easy for him. He can just concentrate on basketball and have fun. He opens his mouth more in the locker room just talking about what we need to and how we can get better every day. I’ve definitely seen leadership qualities out of him. To see the difference in him now and then is tremendous.”

On his own post play:

“I’m undersized and when I’m down there guys can easily block my shot, so I have to go hard and go strong. If I catch it in the post I’m going to try and step out a little bit and give myself a little time to operate.”