Did this team give you a little better challenge tonight?
Yeah, I think so. Also, we just started off slow. We didn't do the things we knew we knew we could from the beginning, so Coach yelled a little bit and we got going.
You guys have to play the first game without Raymond. What does that mean for the rest of the team?
We have to step up--everybody. Everybody has to play their role and a little bit more. Playing without Raymond will be tough, but we have to step up to the plate and accept the challenge.
Does anybody in particular have to step up?
The point guard position--Q and Wes definitely. Q or Wes probably will be thrown into the starting position, so they will be out there a whole lot, running the team. They will be quarterbacking just like if [Raymond] got hurt in the middle of a game and they have to come in unexpectedly. They have to do it, accept they have a little extra time to compare.
What is the most amazing thing you've seen Marvin Williams do, so far?
This summer, we were playing pickup. He grabbed the ball, swiped through, and just jumped. He jumped from probably behind the dotted line and just dunked for game point. I was like, 'Man, this boy is serious.' From that point on I knew he had it in him. It is just up to him to show it, and he is showing glimpses of him tonight.
What happened in the first few minutes when you all were out of synch?
It's been a long week, and we just couldn't find our rhythm, getting adjusted to that type of team, turnovers on a lot of fast breaks. I think we were just anxious to play. Once we got settled down, it was good for us to go through a little bit of adversity. They got up on us, we didn't fold, we kept our composure. Coach switched line-ups, and we were ready to go.
Did you need that first time-out to settle yourselves?
I think, once we had the line-up change, got some fresh guys in--Marvin really came up and he sparked it with the dunk from David Noel. Then he had another dunk and another free throw. That's what we needed. I think that time-out gave us a chance to get a change in players.
How would you rate the half-court offense at this point?
We're B-minus, B-range. There is a lot to work on. Turnovers are killing us. We know our sets. We just put in a lot of new stuff a couple days ago, and we struggled with it, but we are fine. We just have to stop turning the ball over, and we'll be all right.
Was it new stuff you hadn't run last year?
Yeah, but Raymond was out in the second half; Q was running it. And Marvin was getting certain calls mixed up. Once you are up that much, you want to play. We run one play--I dive to the post, Marvin isn't supposed to come over, but he has his man beaten. He just has to learn to be disciplined and run the sets. They are going to work regardless, so it doesn't really matter.
With Raymond out, what do you think of the point guard situation?
Q will be fine. Tonight, he didn't play all that well, turned the ball over a little bit. And then he got rattled once Coach got on him a little bit. He's fine. Wes, he's solid. He's doesn't really make too many mistakes. And any time we have trouble, we have Melvin who played some point guard his freshman year and last year some. We'll be fine. Rashad will hopefully be back, and we'll be able to pick up the slack. We'll be OK.
You overmatched this team in talent, but do you think you were able to get better tonight?
Yes, I think we did because we got Quentin some experience, and we got Wes and Melvin more experience at the point guard spot. We are going to have to have those guys to win a game. But we have a lot of things to work on, also.
If Quentin is asked to play a lot, what can you share from your freshman year to help Quentin?
To play his game, and just don't let the pressure get to him, especially going to his home town. Don't let the family get to you and do the things you do in practice.
How does Marvin Williams being on the team help you?
He's a big physical guy. He can go down and bang. It takes a load off of me having to play in the post. But, if I'm called to do it, I'll still do it for my team.
How are you all better on defense this year?
It's personal now, if anything. There is no reason not to play defense. If you don't play defense you won't play. We have enough talent and depth on this team that if you are not getting the job done, you will sit down. So I think that is pushing everybody a little bit more. It's personal now.