Men's Basketball Press Conference Quotes

Dec. 15, 2005


Head Coach Bill Self

On this week’s preparations:
“It’s been a pretty good week. Ever since the Cal game, we have practiced 90 minutes each day. We’re off today. Obviously, we aren’t going very long, but we are going hard. We’ve had everybody at every practice with the exception of Sasha (Kaun), who has missed two because of his illness. It’s been a good week. Tomorrow we’ll be back to going at the regular time, and we may even go twice on Saturday.”

On Sasha Kaun:
“He’s doing better. He practiced 50 percent of the time two days ago, and he went full time yesterday. He doesn’t have all his strength back, but he’s fine.”

On Rodrick Stewart:
“His grades have to be submitted and approved before he can play, and we’re hoping that will take place before the game on Monday. We’re hoping everything will occur on time. Certainly, some of the professors have been very cooperative in making sure that happens. We believe it will happen, but it’s not a lock.”

“In my mind, I have him as a guy who can provide depth and energy. I am still of the belief that Micah (Downs) and Brandon (Rush) need to get as many minutes as possible, and he plays a similar position. He’ll play some, but I don’t know how much. He’s going to have to beat one of the other five guys out to warrant any significant minutes. Right now he’s on the outside looking in. He will play though.”

“He’s a better shooter than when he arrived. I still think he’s a high-energy, loose-ball type of guy. He is certainly a better shooter and his skills have definitely improved since he’s arrived. He still has a ways to go to be sound defensively. He tries very hard, which is a good start. I’m anxious to see him play in a game situation.”

On Pepperdine:
“They have played Connecticut and Wisconsin very close. Connecticut broke open at the end. I don’t know a ton about them right now and won’t until tomorrow. I’ve just been worried about us the last three or four days. I won’t start watching tape on them until tonight. I know they’re a young team, but I don’t know enough about them yet to go into a lot of details.”

On Darnell Jackson:
“I see him being very much a part of the mix. We’re going to have some good days and not so good days with him. He’s been one of our most consistent performers in practice so far in practice. I can’t believe that it won’t be the same when the game starts.”

On the next four games:
“I’m hoping our young guys will get confidence. Three of the four should be real confident right now based on how they’ve played the last couple of games. Mario (Chalmers) had some struggles against Cal, but he’ll get his confidence back. He’s had some of his best days in practice recently. The goal is not to play guys certain minutes. Our goal is to win the game.”

On practice when finals are over:
“I don’t know if we’ll go a lot longer, but we’ll have a lot more walk-throughs and film sessions. Realistically, we’ll have four-hour days. We have needed some time. The great thing is that we have a month with this schedule. This will be a welcome time for us. The more home games you play, the better the practice schedule is for you. Hopefully this will be a time for us where we can get a lot of productive things done, which we really haven’t had since we left to go to Maui.”

On Mario Chalmers:
“He’s had some of his best days in practice. He’s been aggressive and had a good mindset. He’s a very talented young man. He’s going to be a real good player. He just has to keep plugging away and not let one performance be a big deal for him. I think he is taking that approach.”

If the team improved its aggressiveness against Cal:
“In the second half, yes. I thought we guarded harder and rebounded better. I certainly thought we ran a lot better as well.”