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
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.