Bill Self Press Conference Quotes (Nov. 30)

Nov. 30, 2007

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

On the play of Rodrick Stewart:

“Rodrick’s played well. He’s doing what he can do really well. He gives us so much energy and usually great energy and toughness leads to playing well defensively and that’s the case with him. Because of all this, he’s scoring more because he’s not thinking about it. I’m very pleased with Rodrick and his play so far. I know this is a big game for him, going back (to USC), he’ll be very excited to play.”

On Stewart’s intensity:

“Yeah, I would say (he is an intense guy). That is the way he needs to be though. When you say intense, I think you’re talking about guys who look to be more intense when they play with more energy and he plays with the most energy of anybody on the team.”

On Stewart going back to USC:

“I know he is looking forward to it. Based on what I remember, he enjoyed the school at USC, the basketball deal didn’t work out great for him, but he enjoyed school there. I’m sure he’s still got some friends back there that were probably freshmen when he was a freshman, but he really hasn’t said much. (The USC) staff and the players on the team he doesn’t know because they weren’t around back then, but whenever you play against your old school, there is always some extra incentive there.”


“O.J. Mayo is pretty good and they are scoring a lot of points. They struggled in the first game, but I think Tim (Floyd) brought up some good points. You’ve got a guy on the cover of SI (Sports Illustrated), you’ve got Sporting News doing photo shoots, you’ve got all that stuff and all the hype surrounding O.J. and the team and they just don’t play as well in the first game. Since then though, they’ve been terrific. They have won fast, they’ve won grind-it-out games. The most impressive win of our college basketball season so far, by anybody, is their win over SIU (<?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>Southern Illinois). They’re good. By the end of the season they are going to have a chance to be one of the top ten teams in the county. No question.”

On the big guards at USC:

“With these guys, you’ve got size and speed. They are not your typical big guards that are not as quick as little guards. O.J. is as quick as or quicker than anybody on the court with his first step. That will be a big challenge for us. A very big challenge.”

On holding Brandon Rush to 20 minutes of playing time:

“I made a mistake. Before the (Arizona) game, I said that we are going to limit him to 20 minutes so if it’s a close game and he’s not in there late, don’t think that I don’t want him to play. So, they had the clock on him, but the doctors told me `Bill, he’s not fatigued; there are plenty of stoppages, play him.’ I don’t know if I want him to be out there for 35 minutes now because I don’t think that’s best for our team. I do think this is going to be a situation where unless something unforeseen happens, his minutes will not be determined by his health.”

On Brandon Rush’s work ethic:

“I think there are a lot of things that have picked up. He’s always been really good with me as far as how I’ve viewed of how unselfish and how good a team guy he was. He’s added elements of discipline and sacrifice. For young people, the reputation is that they don’t have the discipline to see something through long term because the see something short term. He’s grown up; he’s seen the big picture on how important it is to work today so that a year from now, he’s better. A lot of people get frustrated with that and he surprised me because that did not frustrate him. We’re real proud of him for a lot of things, but certainly his approach has been great.”