Thursday, January 29, 2004

Paul Hewitt call in show

Here's some highlights from today's call-in show on 790theZone:

Many questions on rebounding. I will try to summarize all those answers into one.
PH: When guys like J.Jack get 5 rebounds it is because our primary rebounders are doing a good job cancelling out the opposition's primary rebounders. In the last two games, we have NOT cancelled out the primary opposing rebounders. When looking at the tape, we are letting the opposition initiate the contact on the glass, instead of the other way around. This is resulting it them being more "ready" for when the ball comes off the glass. We are just not winning the individual battles like we did early in the year. We are going to show our guys EVERY single offensive board from the NC ST / Clemson game and focus on them initating the contact on the glass. They need to understand that there is time to find a guy once the ball goes up. This will help us not get caught too far under the basket.

Q: You seemed to have embraced the GT tradition. How has Bobby Cremins helped with that and Wes, how has Al Ciraldo helped you?
PH: Growing up in NY, you know who Bobby Cremins was. I remember a game he came to see Kenny Anderson play. He was unmistakable with the white hair. The day I got the job, he called and offered his unconditional support and has been there all along. I would be foolish not to consult with Bobby on what he has done to be successful, because he still knows a lot more about this school than I do.
Wes D on Al Ciraldo: If you find someone else who did more in 43 years to help a program, let me know. Went on further

Q: McHenry had one of his best games of the year. Comment
PH: Anthony does a lot that does not show up in the box score and stats. He played a good game and we need him to have another strong one Saturday

Q: Duke has a 1 day turnaround - is this an advantage for the Jackets?
PH: I used to think the one-day turn around was a bad thing for the team that has to do it. But I'm changing my opinion on that. GT did it when we came out against MD and we played with energy. Clemson did it against us and played with energy, Duke has done it as well. Coach K knows how to handle that kind of turnaround and he will have his team ready.
Wes: It's almost like having an NCAA Tourament mentality

Wes: You're not a fan of Tues / Thurs night games with 9:00 starts
PH: No I'm not. I think they are bad for the sport. Sometimes we forget that these are students too. Traveling on the road and having exams the next day is very stressful. Luke had that situation last week and was run down.

Q: Grade Tarver so far
PH: He is rusty. We will know when Theodis is back again because we will see more blocks and he will hit the high % shots. He is getting some blocks but he has missed a few baskets close to the basket. Last year he NEVER missed around the basket. He has one more game left on the 6-game max before he would no longer be eligible for medical redshirting (if the NCAA enacts that rule at the end of the season). We will monitor his progress but the plan is to play him the rest of the season.

Q: What did you see in Will Bynum that Arizona was not able to? He seems to have blossomed at GT.
PH: I think we are just benefitting from Will's maturity. I told Will that he would probably be hearing a lot of the same things here that he heard at AZ, but he is more ready now to hear them. He has always been an explosive player but he is learning now how to progress and raise his game

Wes / PH got into a converation about the Knicks. Turns out Pat Riley will be at the game on Saturday. Hewitt said "Riley worked for the Lakers, but he COACHED the Knicks". I was a little nervous listening to this discussion, as we all know the soft spot in Hewitt's hear for the Knicks.

Q: Ball movement seems to have declined the last 4 games compared to early in the season.
PH: That is true. Some of that is attributable to scouting. Teams don't have the benefit of seeing you play early in the season. We were benefitting and scoring on our secondary break a lot early on. Now that teams have time to prepare, they are gaurding us much better. At this point in the season, half-court offense becomes more important. So now it is a lot like a QB in football reading routes. There are 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th options. We need to do a better job with the 3rd, 4th and 5th options when our intial cuts are denied.

Q: Comments about the team being better without Chris Bosh
PH: Paul was upset that Mike Gminski in a recent broadcast incorrectly quoted Hewitt that the team is better without him. He did NOT say that. Feels we might have been the best team in the country having a 6'11" guy who is unselfish like Chris who rebounds, scores, passes and can shoot the 3pt shot.

Q: Elder seems to score in bunches - reminded caller of Vinnie "Microwave" Johnson.
PH: No doubt he can score in bunches. He is starting to be more aggressive and we have felt all along he could be a 20 point scorer.

Keys to Duke: getting out quick. Guarding the shooters. If Duhon has truly found his shot like he did against Georgetown and Reddick and Ewing are hitting too, the whole ACC is in trouble.

Q: Will Moore play Saturday
PH: Probably not. Toe still bothering him. I would like to see him 100%. Unless he comes to me this week and says he's ready to go, he won't play