“We’ve had two games since we spoke last. Wednesday night against Duke we competed pretty well for about 32 minutes and then all of a sudden the last eight minutes they more or less dominated the game. We didn’t score. When you only score 54 points and you’re trying to score, it’s not a very good sign. Still, I thought we competed harder and were more aggressive than we have been recently.
"And then Saturday against N.C. State, we were a little bit better in that game and were able to continue doing it the last eight minutes of the game. We made some shots, made some plays and yet we know we caught N.C. State on a day in which they missed some shots they make a lot of times, too. So we’ve got a win as our last game, so that makes you feel good, but it’s a difficult week in front of us.”
"Tyler Zeller will practice today. I really do not see him playing tomorrow. This will be the first practice that he's had where he's gone more than one possession in any segment. Today we're going to try to get him through 50 percent of the plays. I really do not see him playing tomorrow night.
“Travis is not going to do anything today, so I definitely do not see him playing tomorrow night. Then on Saturday, it depends on how ‘Z’ progresses through the practices and then we’ll just have to wait until we can get Travis into some practice."
What did you see in John Henson during his recruitment that made you think he could play in the 3-spot?
“What I saw is that he does have a nice feel for the game. He handles the ball better than you think and he passes the ball better than you think. I’ve seen him get the ball off the board and bust out on the break and dribble the ball down the court and make a simple bounce pass to a guy for a layup. He hasn’t shot it well from the perimeter this year, but I think he’s going to be a good shooter. And his size and lack of bulk made you think that he was going to really struggle inside and that has been true. Because if it’s a physical game – a lot of times he can go up and get a rebound and not end up getting possession of it at the end.
"So after considering all of those things, we said, ‘Well, why don’t we try and see if we can do that?’ And I think he got better, but still, he didn’t have as good a feel for the game out there and wasn’t as comfortable out there as he was getting some chances to be inside more. John and I have been discussing things all year, so we decided 4-5-6 games ago to try to get him inside a little bit to let him get a better feel.
"And then all of a sudden with the injuries, it’s a situation now where we’re just trying to play him in there strictly. I think in the future he’s going to be a 4-3, and what I mean by that is that his primary position will be a 4 but I do believe he’ll be able to play the 3-spot, and regardless of what number you put on him, I think that we have to put him in some situations where he can be out on the floor and we have to put in some situations where he can post up, because I think what’s best for the team and best for him individually is to allow him to do both.”
How do you balance what’s best for the team against what’s best for a player at the next level?
“I think it always takes care of itself if you do what’s best for the team. That sounds corny, but I mean that sincerely. What was best for the team last year was to play team basketball and all of the individual players were rewarded for that. It’s what was best for us in’05 for Marvin [Williams] not to start and Jawad [Williams] to start, and both of them are in the NBA. I think if you keep that goal in mind, it takes care of itself. The problem you have is that sometimes is that guys tend to put one goal before the other and then it never works out.”
Do you still see some problems that really have to be addressed this season?
"Well, we have some areas that we still have to get better at; we can't just pat ourselves on the back and say, 'Now we're rolling.' We have to continue to get better. I think when we played State last time we had a chance to grab some momentum at that time and didn't do it, so I'm hopeful that we'll do it better this time."