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Head Coach Ed DeChellis Media Day Transcript

Q: In what ways do you think last season changed the program? What evidence have you seen of that since practice started over the summer and anytime since the last season?
A: I think it's changed it in terms of recruiting first and foremost. We're heavily involved with some kids in the 2011 and 2012 class. Some of them made official visits this fall, some are going to make official visits for the Ohio State game coming up. I think every year we've tried to upgrade recruiting, and I think last year really helped us. The games on national TV really, really helped us. The bus loads of people from Centre County and the students coming to Madison Square Garden and that whole great TV venue for us was extremely important. I think kids had an opportunity to see our team, see how we play and see the energy and enthusiasm of our students and of our fans. You can only describe it on the phone so much to a young guy, but when they see it in person, it's a whole different world. So, I think it's helped us in that area foremost.
 
Q: What are your expectations of Talor (Battle), especially from the leadership perspective?
A: I think Talor is one of the best players in the country and I think, most importantly, he brings it everyday. He plays hard everyday, and I think when one of your best players plays hard everyday the other guys feed off of him naturally. I think that's the first the thing. The second thing is, he's become more vocal. I'm trying to give him more opportunity to do that in huddle situations and off the floor and so forth. So, I think it's important for him to - you know he plays at a high level, his confidence is at a high level and I'm hoping that that confidence, like Jamelle [Cornley] did last year, rubs off on other guys and gives the other guys some confidence as well. But Talor is very important to our leadership as well as some of the other guys, like a D.J. Jackson and Andrew Jones, I think they provided good leadership as well this summer and coming into the fall. But, I don't think you really know about leadership until things get tough, until you start playing games and things get tough in game situations, then you kind of find out what kind of leadership you have. You know if you stub your toe and you lose a couple of games, then you find out, I think, what kind of leaders you have.

Head Coach Ed DeChellis


Q: With no seniors, does that change the dynamic?
A: I don't think just because you have "SR" next to your name means you're a leader or not-leader. I think leaders are guys who can do it and I've never really been one to care if they're a senior or a sophomore or a junior or a freshman. I think that's not important what initials are next to your name, what class your in. I think it's just the person you are and what you can bring to the table leadership-wise. So even though we don't have any seniors on the team, per se, D.J.'s really been around for three years, this is his fourth year. I think both of those guys [Jackson and Jones] have been through the wars enough of practice and games and tough situations, they understand what it's all about as well.

Q: When you were hired you were talking about getting the program off the ground and back to the basics. A few years later are you there yet? Is there still more to go?
A: Well, I don't think as a coach you are ever satisfied. We want to make the NCAA Tournament and win the Big Ten Championships. We're so much further along then we were two years ago

Talor Battle


just because recruiting has been very good for us. We're now at the point where we're recruiting sophomores and juniors in high school on a consistent basis. We're done with the senior class, having had those kids visit campus. Now we can focus on the younger kids. I think, from that standpoint, we're way ahead. Facilities wise we're ahead too. We've redone all the facilities in the past two or three years, so our facilities are state-of-the art. Those are things that are very important in the league. Marketing-wise Loren Crispell has been our full-time marketing guy for the past couple of years now. Three years ago we didn't have any marketing guys. Greg Myford came on board and got us straightened out in that regard and put in a lot of time and energy with us in that regard and now we have our marketing going in the right direction. So, basketball wise there have been some things that we've been able to do, but there have been some administrative things that have really helped us as well.

Q: Following up on the question about how last season changed the program, how do you think it changed it from a perception/fan standpoint since they saw some success and now maybe they have some expectations?


A: I think expectations are good. I want our team to have expectations. We do as coaches and I want our fans to have them. We won some games. We won some great games here at the Jordan Center. Our students have really caught on and are excited. They've bought a lot of season tickets already. They went on sale last week and already the students have bought more season tickets then they did last year. When we traveled around the country this summer, and you're at these different recruiting camps, coaches have commented on our team last year and how we played. I think we had a sense of confidence and toughness about our team last year. People commented that nobody goes to Florida and wins. It was not heard of - a non-conference team going down there and winning. Then we went to The Garden and played a BIG EAST and Big XII team and were able to win those games. A lot of our colleagues recognized where we've been and where we've come from. Now, we have unfinished business and work to do. We haven't reached our goals. Believe me, I don't sit here and say "we've arrived." We've gotten better and improved our program, but there's always room to improve. We have a football coach here that says "you get better or worse, you don't stay the same." We either get better this year as a team or we're not. We're going to try and get better and that might give us more wins in the big Ten. I think we have an opportunity to get better. I like our kids.

Q: Chris Babb showed great signs of potential last year, but kind of received some inconsistent minutes from game to game. Where should we expect to see him play this year?
A: I don't know. I don't decide who plays, players decide who plays. When guys do things that they are supposed to do consistently and they do them hard and they're productive in practice, then they play. If guys are not consistent, then they don't play as much. That's up to them. Whoever it may be, it's all 15 guys. They all have an opportunity to go out there everyday and show us what they can do and put themselves in a position to play. They really determine that. I know that sometimes there are tough decisions to make between two guys and explain that decision with the two of them. If there is not, then those guys will make that decision through their performance.

Tim Frazier


Q: Can you talk about how the freshmen have looked at practice and how you plan on getting them into the lineup throughout the season?
A: The freshmen have done a good job. They're freshmen. This is all new to them. I think they have adapted well in these first four practices. We have them moving well from point "A" to point "B" pretty quickly. I think they're starting to understand the schemes defensively. Offensively they are trying to feel their way and pick their spots that they are not uncomfortable with. I expect them not to be (comfortable) just four practices in. I think they all had good summers. Jermaine Marshall had mono this summer that put him a little sideways, but he is back and he is finally getting some strength back in that knee. He is just starting to come around in his zone. I think Bill Edwards and Tim Frazier have done a nice job as well, along with Sasa Borovnjak. They are a really high I.Q. group. They've really done a nice job of understanding and blending in with everyone else. We don't have a freshman coming in with a huge ego and thinking he is going to do this or that. They fit in really nicely, which is a great thing to see.

Q: Last season, Stanley Pringle and Jamelle Cornley picked you guys up when Talor Battle had an off-game. How do you expect this unit to do this year, say when Talor has an off-game?
A: Well, we will just have to find ourselves this year. That's the part of practice. That's the part of going through this process, finding out who could do what. Talor is one guy and he is a really good player. In my discussions I tell him, "You have to play the way you play." There may be some nights where it's not human nature and there are some nights where you are not going to make a shot. I think Talor has a lot of trust in the players on this team.

Cammeron Woodyard and Billy Oliver


I think we have good young players. The trust factor is really important. Those guys need to elevate their games. I think Drew (Jones) and D.J. (Jackson) have got much better. I think Jeff Brooks has greatly improved. So, I think we have to find some other guys to go with Talor, and we have a lot of possibilities, which is kind of exciting at this time of the year.

Q: Can you talk about the schedule this year and some of the places you will be going to play? What are your thoughts?
A: The league is the league. I think it's going to be an outstanding league again and I think it'll be if not the best league in the country, it will be the No. 2 league. There are a lot of good teams. There are a lot of guys coming back for everybody, which is impressive. Our non-conference schedule I think will be very challenging. I think we are going to play good teams. The tournament in Charleston will be very good for us. I think going to Virginia will be a challenge for us. We have Virginia Tech here and we're at Temple. It's a good schedule, a fair schedule, and one that we have to look forward to and we have to win some games in it. Our non-conference is very important. You have to win games non-conference wise. There are some games on there that we have to circle that are very important for us. The Charleston tournament is important for us as well.

Jeff Brooks


Q: How do you think Billy Oliver will benefit from the redshirt season?
A: Billy has had on-going things this fall in a sense that he hasn't practiced a whole lot for us. He's had the flu. He's had some symptoms that he's had to try to work through in terms of headaches and so forth. Billy I think practiced Friday and then had some flu-like symptoms again. They were coming and going, so Doc is on it and trying to figure what is going on with Billy. On Friday, he was tremendous in practice. I hope this doesn't hold him back from practice. Last year he had a concussion early and another one, and he was out for most of the year. I'm hoping this year that he gets back out there.

Q: How are you guys health wise?
A: I think we are pretty good. Chris Babb had the flu. He didn't practice yesterday. I'm not sure how much he is going to do today. That's kind of the thing that's going around, and how long it lingers is what we're concerned about and how it goes around other guys on the team. In terms of injuries, we are okay right now.
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