On how practice went Sunday -
It was a really good practice. I didn't have to do a lot. I think the fear of the unknown sometimes is a bigger fear than something that is known. But they really practiced exceptionally well, exceptionally hard. I told them if they practiced like that all the time, they would build such great habits that they wouldn't put themselves in the position that they did with our defensive play. The last four minutes are just so magnified for me because I'm sitting there and saying I challenged the team to try to hold them under 80, and they scored 28 points in the last 3 -59. I'm pretty good at math; that's 140 points in a half. That just magnified it a little bit for me, but I wasn't pleased with what we'd done defensively the whole game. It made for a very restless, fitful Saturday night, and I'm sure it was the same way for them because I didn't have to practice for them. They had to come back and practice for me.
On how the pace of the Pfeiffer game fits what he envisions for the season -
That was a little bit faster than I think we'll be able to get because the other teams won't run back at us. But I'd like to play that fast offensively, but we'll never get - I shouldn't say never - but, most of the time, you won't get that many because they won't allow you to. They'll take more time on the offensive end.
On if he's decided on a starting lineup -
No. I'm trying to think - probably three spots - Reyshawn [Terry], Tyler [Hansbrough] and Brandan [Wright]. I think those three have, in my opinion, separated themselves a little bit. So I think those three and then it's really been a big-time competition for those other two spots. Probably see who smiles at me the best at pregame and make the decision then.
On if he prefers to have a set starting lineup throughout the season -
I've had years where I've started five games the first game and they've started every game. Last year we started Marcus [Ginyard] the first 12 or 14 games and then made a change and put Wes [Miller] in, and he started the rest of the way. For me, there's not many things that are in stone with me except that you're going to play hard and play unselfishly. I think the biggest thing is getting in that mix where you get time, whether you start or don't start. Marvin [Williams] didn't start, but he knew he was going to get major minutes at major times. I told him I was going to make darn sure that he was important to our team. That was fine with him. I think every coach changes a little bit; it just depends on what you're comfortable with.
On who is fighting for those spots -
There's some big-time competition at the point between Bobby [Frasor] and Ty [Lawson] and Quentin [Thomas] and at the two spot between Marcus, Wes and Wayne [Ellington]. There's really been some big swings from who I think played great one day and who I didn't think played as well, but the good news is I think they're all going to be able to help us. So that's a pretty comfortable feeling in case somebody gets the flu or sprains an ankle or has a hangnail at a bad time. You have somebody who you have confidence in.
On the adjustment of Alex Stepheson and Deon Thompson -
They've done okay. They haven't done it as quickly or as easily I don't think as Brandan has or I would have mentioned their names instead of Brandan's. Neither one of them had a very good defensive game on Saturday - putting in mildly. But the reason we coach is you want to see big, young kids that want to play and want to be good players and see how much they improve and work with them every day. Deon yesterday - that's the hardest he'd worked in any practice on a consistent basis all year long. So I might get mad at him every day. It's going to get tiresome, but as long as he keeps working like he did yesterday, it'd be worth it.
On what it's like coaching such a young team -
It's fun. It's exciting. You're ready to pull your hair out at times. I was about as frustrated after the game Saturday as I've been in my entire life during an exhibition game. Seeing the kids develop - and like Deon yesterday just working his tail off and he's hurting a little bit - everybody this time of year has little aches and pains - and he's trying to push through it. The essence of coaching is trying to get somebody to be better than they really think they can be. So it's a lot of fun. You'd like to have experience, especially if it's experienced talent. That's by far the best. But if you can't have experience talent, just take talent. I don't mind saying that. This has been a fun team to coach. It will be a fun team to coach. It's got a few wacko characters in it; that makes it better too. I think that part is really good. There's not many guys who say, "Hey Coach, why did the skeleton go to the party by himself?" I say, "OK, why?" He said, "He had no-BODY to go with him." That's Bobby. Coach Holladay asked him if he Googled "bad jokes." I told him I didn't do it because I don't know what Google is. So that part of it is fun.