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On Quentin Thomas’ progress -
He’s had injuries, one after another; and tough performances in bouncing back. Everybody forgets ‘Q’ played 24 minutes in the ACC Tournament game versus Virginia last year when Bobby [Frasor] was in foul trouble. Back to about mid-season last year, he really struggled. But I think he’s bounced back from some adversity, and he’s handled very well. He handled the injury at the most inopportune time – just before the first game when nobody knew who was going to start at the point guard spot for us. But, he enjoys the university. He really enjoys his teammates, our program, and he’s really done a good job for us.
On Reyshawn Terry’s play -
Yesterday at practice I said something about Reyshawn didn’t score a field goal, and he was not the defensive player of the game – Marcus [Ginyard] was. But, Reyshawn had two or three of the most impressive defensive plays or sequences of anyone. I just told him I appreciate him. I don’t think he has a role that he’s not going to be a big part; it’s just the last two games he hasn’t scored as much. And I may be wrong, but I bet you he was the defensive player of the game in one of those two ACC games. He’s doing good things. He had seven rebounds one night. His role is everything. We need him to score; we need him to defend; we need him to rebound; we need him to run the floor.
He’s worked extremely hard. Every success that he has really makes him feel good, because I know how much he’s worked in the off season. That’s one of the true pleasures of coaching is to see youngsters do that.
On the emphasis of rebounding on his coaching philosophy -
When you look back on my 19 years, probably everybody would want to talk about how we run, how we defend or different things. But I think one thing, we’ve usually been a pretty good rebounding team, and it’s not because of great coaching. It’s because emphasize the dickens out of it. Last year we were very small, and I think we led the ACC in rebounding margin with a four-man at six-four-and-a-half. There are some guys that can do a great job with the full-court press, but I cannot. There are some that can do a great job and coach the zone. I cannot. So I coach what I’m comfortable with, and one of those things is emphasizing the rebound part of it and how important I think that is.
Comparison of Brandan Wright to Marvin Williams -
Well Brandan is doing a really, really big-time job for anybody much less someone just coming out of high school. He definitely has the mobility that Marvin had. He has the ability to put the ball on the floor that Marvin had. He doesn’t have the outside shot that Marvin had, but he has the ability to get there. He made one from the baseline right in front of me one time and I told him, I knew that was going in as soon as it left your hand. He had a big smile on his face. He’s that kind of individual; a sponge, that want’s to soak up the coaching. He wants to get better, and that’s the way Marvin was.
Marvin could easily be a three-man or even a two-man, depending on how quick the two-man was and stopping his penetration.
What impresses you about Virginia Tech?
Their tremendous leadership. Everybody talks about their guards, but [Coleman] Collins gives them another fantastic player and a leader that has improved so, so much, not just in basketball but in life. I see a group that’s never going to get befuddled, that’s never going to get frustrated. They’re going to be able to handle adversity, and they’re very good basketball players, too. In the preseason I always thought they should have been in the mix when everybody was talking about the top four teams in the ACC, because they did have everybody coming back, and everything that could go wrong with the team did go wrong, still were a very good basketball team that lost some close, close games. So I thought they were going to have an outstanding year.