“We’re not doing very well. We’re 0-3 in the league. It’s not where we wanted to be. I’m sitting here trying to decide if it’s good to have the whole week between games or if I’d rather play this afternoon. But it is going to give us some time to let our guys rest up a little bit, heal a little bit, because it’s been a pretty demanding schedule, and at the same time, we need some time to work. Hopefully we’ll find a great balance.”
How was Miami able to limit what you wanted to do on both sides of the court?
“Well, they did want to control the tempo. We like to run. They wanted to control the tempo and they did control the tempo in the game. In their offense, they used clock unless they had a great shot, and if they had a great shot early, they would take it. But if not, they would use clock until they got the shot they wanted and very often they were able to capitalize at the end of the shot clock, which is even a little more difficult, so you have to congratulate them. And at the same time, the zone gave us problems. We didn’t do as well as we wanted in our movement, [both] ourselves and the basketball. It played right into what they wanted because we didn’t shoot the ball very well, either.”
What will your biggest points of emphasis be this week?
“It’s really hard to say because we just need to get better in so many different areas. We are going to work defensively; we’re still trying to get better there. We’ve got to get more movement on the offensive end, especially against the zones, but we need better movement against man-to-man as well. This would be the equivalent of taking your car in for a tune-up where they check everything. At the inspection, they check everything.
“You’re not going to just to get your teeth clean, you’re going to go get some work done on every tooth. If you’re taking the car in, you’re going to get some work done on every part of the car and make sure that you’ve got it in position that it can work effectively and that’s what we’ve got to do.”
How are your guys handling this mentally and are you worried about a crisis of confidence?
“Yes, I think we are shook a little bit. But there’s no way to hide from it, so we talk about it. ‘Hey, we haven’t done as well as we wanted to do, but it’s no time to panic. The only thing that panic can do is make it worse.’ We talk openly about it and we realize there’s some stress, but the only thing you can do is lose yourself in the game and give 100 percent. You can’t control what’s going to happen, you can’t control – to some extent – what the other team is going to do. If they play well and make shots, then even if you play well, you may not win. We just try to control what we can and talk openly and not try to hide from it.”
Can you talk about recovering from bad starts and how difficult or how easy that is?
“Well, it’s easier if you really have a team that you know is really good but that’s just made some mistakes. Right now, we know that we have a chance to be much better than we’ve played and we know that we’ve made some mistakes.
“In ’09, for example, when we lost the first two with Tyler [Hansbrough] and Wayne [Ellington] and Ty [Lawson], we knew we were pretty doggone good. In ’03 I guess it was at Kansas, we started out losing three of our first four and we ended up playing for the national championship. We knew we were pretty doggone good, so it depends on the makeup of your team talent-wise and the makeup of your team mentally. Are they tough enough to handle some adversity, put it behind them and go on?
“I think that’s our challenge to make sure that we can learn from these mistakes, learn from the problems that we’ve had, figure out how to correct it and then do it. Every coach can look and give you a blueprint for success – if we do this better, this better and this better – but the players have to accept it and then they have to be willing to change. And the coach and players, everybody together, figure out how to make that happen against very good teams. That’s sometimes a factor that you don’t really think about because the other team does have a chance say how the game is going to end, too.”