March 1, 2010
Opening comments on the final two games of the regular season:
“Our final week of the regular season starts at South Carolina, Senior Night for them. When you look at South Carolina’s team, Devan Downey, Brandis Raley-Ross and some of those seniors obviously have had an integral part in the success that they’ve (South Carolina) enjoyed over their careers. You look at the success that South Carolina’s had under Darrin Horn and I think it will be an emotional game. Obviously it should be a great environment so we’re looking forward to that challenge.
"South Carolina is a team that has had their difficulties as of late, but I think as well all know they’re very capable of beating anybody in this league on a given night with the games that they’ve had throughout the course of the SEC. Coming back here Saturday afternoon it’s Senior Night for us and obviously the rivalry game with Auburn. I think it will be an emotional game for a variety of reasons, so it should be a good week.”
On how the team has responded in the last couple of weeks with the SEC Tournament coming up in the near future:
“I look day-to-day. The thing that we’re trying to do is establish an identity, establish what our program is going to be about. Right now for me it’s more of making sure that we take care of today than it is looking down the road at anything.”
On defending South Carolina’s Devan Downey:
“We’ll do the best job we can of evaluating film and evaluating their team trying to see what allows us to have the best chance of success against their team. Obviously Devan Downey does certain things for their team, from scoring to defense to making the game easier for his teammates by getting other guys shots and other guys involved. I think he really ignites their crowd and that does a lot for their team. He’s a big part of the game plan but at the end of the day it’s going to be team against team, so we’ll try to limit his opportunities as much as possible within the framework of the team.”
On Saturday’s game against Auburn being Mikhail Torrance’s and Anthony Brock’s last in Coleman Coliseum:
“I would hope that it would mean a lot for those guys with Mikhail Torrance and Anthony Brock obviously ending their careers here. With Mikhail being a four-year guy I think he’s been through a lot the last year and a half having an opportunity to step up and play a bigger role. Hopefully for him it will be an ending to his career here on a good note. Anthony Brock is a guy that’s been here for two years and another guy I think that went through some adversity early in his career then had an opportunity at the end of the year last year to play more consistent minutes. I feel like he’s a guy that has really tried to buy into everything that I’ve asked him to do, playing the two guard or point guard spot over the course of the year. I would really like to see those guys finish their careers here on a positive note.”
On whether he’s pleased with the team’s performance this year and if it’s a step in the right direction:
“I think that’s probably something that I will evaluate at the end of the year when it’s all said and done. To say that I am pleased right now with where we are – no, I would be misleading you if I told you I was. I think we’ll evaluate at the end of the year what we need to do progress our team in the direction that we want to go.”
On whether or not he would do things differently this year if given the opportunity:
“I think as a coach you always second-guess and you always evaluate what you do, but for me I think there is a process that’s involved in being successful at anything you do. There is a preparation and steps that you can’t skip that you have to go through and for our team right now we’re experiencing some of that. Some of it is we’re repeating lessons over and over again and some of it is issues of character that we have to address.
"I don’t know if there is a different way of going about it other than what we’re doing and what we’re experiencing. I think for me it’s been a learning process over the course of the year to figure out who we are and who we aren’t. A good friend of mine told me a long time ago that sometimes it takes a year to get a book on someone. I think that’s true for a team. I think you have to learn what the mental makeup of your team is then you can evaluate going forward from there.
"So, I don’t know if there is a whole lot different that we could have done other than try to put our guys in the best situation to be successful and to learn how to win and what it takes to have a successful program more than a successful season. Our goal is program. I think we are headed in the right direction.”