Thursday, October 13, 2005

Hoops - Great Team Preview

Ok, you can read the standard media articles that have come out recently discussing the team, OR you can read the entire transcipt of the media session by Coach Hewitt, which is where all these stories came from. Skip the media stuff and just read all of Coach Hewitt's direct quotes. Tons of great stuff in here, like this:

You've spoken about Dickey needing to learn the game of basketball. Have you seen him making some strides there?

"He's talented. He looks good some days in individual instruction. Some days, I see some baby steps backwards. He, probably more than anyone else, will be responsible for the success of this team, because he's such a presence in the low post. He can rebound the ball. He can score the ball. He's blocked shots. He's quick off his feet. What I'm anxious to find out as we get into practice, is whether he's mentally tougher than he was as a freshman. I thought he had a good freshman year given his role, but there were times when he didn't understand how you have to push through certain things. That's what I'm anxious to find out, how he'll push through whatever adversities he faces as he moves forward."

Are you worried at all about your size?

"I'm more worried about our depth, to be honest with you. I think our size is actually greater than we had my second or third year here. With Dickey, Tarver, Aminu and Smith, we've got big, strong guys who can block shots and run. Aminu has been a pleasant surprise. I would say he's been the surprise of our early workouts, because he seems to have a gift for blocking shots. He's got quick feet for a kid that's 6-10. He's put on 18 pounds like that. Of all the freshman so far, he's been more than a pleasant surprise. So I'm okay with our size, but because of the way we like to play, there are some issues with depth."

How would you assess D'Andre Bell?

"He's coming along. Of the freshmen, defensively, he's probably the most ready to contribute right now. He looks like one of our guys. He's a big, strong kid with long arms, a big perimeter player. He has good feet. He looks like one of the guys we would put out on the floor, especially to dog the ball defensively. He's been well taught on close-outs. I've been happy with what I've seen out of him defensively."

On Zam Fredrick's size:

Size is something you've always valued in your point guards.

"He's got long arms. It's one of the reasons we made that choice to recruit him. He plays bigger than he is. He has a great wingspan."