Coach Mark Gottfried Preseason Press Conference


Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Coach Mark Gottfried

“It’s good to see everybody, obviously this is getting time for us to get started.  We’re going to practice Saturday morning, we’re not doing the midnight, or any fan-fare, we’re just going to work.  We’re going to start early at 6:00 a.m. and that will be our first day, this Saturday and we’re excited.  I know our staff is excited, getting ready to get in there, get in the gym with these guys, our players have worked hard.  Most of these guys have been here, pretty much throughout the whole summer.  Our freshmen and our newcomers have been here at least through the middle of the summer, so they’ve got a leg up in the weight room, conditioning-wise and are just ready to get started.”

On having two freshmen point guards:

“This is really just the second time.  When Mo (Williams) came in as a freshman and I thought did extremely well.  It’s not a position you want to be in, but we just kind of find ourselves in this one, really we have two freshman point guards.  That’s going to the be the biggest question I have about our team, this last year having two seniors (Antoine) Pettway and Demetrius Smith and now playing with two freshman.  That’s really my biggest question of our team; how quickly and consistent and how much to expect from that position.”

On Kennedy Winston’s health status:

“I’m hoping that he’ll be 100% maybe the end of November, into December and for sure by January.  He’s not 100% right now, I think when we start practice Saturday, I think Kennedy (Winston) is going to try and make it from start to finish.  He needs to do that as many times as he can from a conditioning stand point, just to get his timing and his rhythm, but I don’t know that he can do that for two or three days in a row right now.  We’ll probably go a couple days, get him off his knee for a couple days, we’re just going to have to manage that for the first month or so.  And just to make sure he doesn’t do anything that will make his knee flare up.  Really that’s kind of our best strategy right now, just to kind of manage him and at the same time try to get him into as good of condition as we can without doing too much.  I don’t know if there’s a number right, I don’t know if he’s 80%, I don’t know what number that would be, but I know he’s not ready to go.”

On Chuck Davis and Jermareo Davidson as post players:

“I think the first thing, they’ve worked really hard this summer, both of those guys spent most of the summer here.  I think their bodies have gotten better as far as with strength.  This year they won’t have the luxury of sneaking up on anybody, I don’t think there’s any question that they’ll get a lot more attention.  I think early in the year last year, nobody really knew who they were.  They’re in a completely different situation this year and they have to be ready to respond to that.”

“That’s another one of the questions I have.  Last year I felt our team was a post player short.  Evan Brock came in off the bench as an inside guy and he’s really not a post player.  We just felt like we really needed some body to emerge.  Akini Atkins and Shawn Taylor both redshirted.  The thing we have to remember is they’re still just freshman, they’re redshirted freshmen again.   They have a lot of basketball out there in front of them.  I’m anxious to see myself, to be real honest.  Another guy who redshirted who I think can figure in a little bit to what we’re doing is Justin Jonus.  I think he’s a guy that, last year he came in as a walk-on player, he redshirted, we had (Earnest) Shelton, (Kennedy) Winston and Emmett Thomas as wing-type guys, I think he made a wise choice in doing that.  He shoots the ball really well and I’m anxious for him to get out there because I think he’s got a chance to figure in.”

On Kennedy, can you talk about how often his knee flares up, just what he’s going through and secondly, Jean Felix, how does he figure in?

“I think Kennedy, probably a month ago, he was real frustrated because I think he still had a considerable amount of swelling in his knee and that was frustrating him.  ‘Why isn’t it getting better?’  I think since then, he’s done a lot better, I think he’s kind of managed how many games, pick-up games he’s played, how much he’s on his knee.  I think right now he feels pretty good, but we’re just being real cautious.  We’re not going to just have him go six straight days, two and half hours a day, we’re not going to do that to him.  Mentally he feels a lot better.”

“Jean Felix is a guy that I think is going to find his way into our rotation.  I think he can play some as a wing player.  He’s big enough that he can play a little bit around the basket, he’s not a post player, but he can help us at times if we play four perimeter players, he’s a little bit bigger and stronger than a typical wing player in our league. I think he’s pretty versatile in that role so I think he can get some minutes.”

Can you talk a little about the roles of Ronald (Steele) and Glenn (Miles), if they’re different types of players if you look for one of them to score, how you plan on factoring them in this year.

“Well, I think the best way with Ron and Glenn, two freshmen guards, is we’re going to start practicing Saturday and they’re going to start competing with one another.  I think that when they play together and I do think they’ll play together at times, I think they complement one another.  One thing about both of the two of those players is that they both really like to pass the ball, they’re a pass first, think score second player, both of them are and I like the way they play.  I think they both can play the point, as their careers grow, after this year, Earnest (Shelton) is a senior obviously and that will open things up the following year.  I think those two guys will play a lot together.”