Press Conference Quotes

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
APRIL 03, 2002

April 3, 2002


On Oklahoma:
"We're very excited to be hosting the NCAA's this year. We have quite a bit of depth in that we've posted the three highest scores in the nation for the season, with the highest coming out of the conference championship. We're looking forward to having a big crowd to help us along. We're also looking to have Daniel Furney as one of our all-arounder's to help pull the team through. Our team strength is probably on the still rings where we have the No. 1-ranked team in the country. We're hoping that with that and a consistent performance across the board that we'll be in the Friday night meet and will have a chance to win the national championship."

On OU's individuals:
"As I mentioned Daniel Furney was ranked as high as No. 1 in the all-around at one point in the year. We'll expect a lot from him this weekend. Jock Stevens was ranked first in floor and vault and has a tremendous chance to be a national champion in those two events. Josh Landis is a two-time All-American on the pommel horse and has been putting up big scores, so we're looking for big things from him as well. Brett Covey was an All-American last year on still rings, and he also has an opportunity to be a national champion in that event.


On California:
"It's been a pretty amazing season. At one point, we were practically in a position where we almost had to forfeit our meets. We were four on four count for a large portion of the season and maybe five guys held us together who wouldn't quit and kept battling. We thought that if we got some people healthy, we could have a deeper team. We're probably more ready right now than any time during the season and our goal as always is to advance to the team final and have an opportunity to compete for the national title."

On California's individuals:
"I want to publicly express my gratitude toward the four guys that held us together this year: Tom Kutz, Aaron Floyd, David Eatgon and Cody Moore. Without them, our whole season would have been lost. As far as our strongest performers, David Eden is the all-around champion of Great Britain, Cody Moore is a U.S. Senior National Team member and finished third in this meet in the all-around last year. Jin Jing Zhang is the three-timed all-around champion from China who is capable of winning three or four events."


On Illinois:
"Our team was doing very well this season. We were ranked fourth going into the last part of the season and were actually ranked second at one time. In the last two weeks, everything happened and we are pretty banged up right now. We have six guys that have been hurt in the last two weeks, but we're going to be doing the best we can to pull together."

On Illinois individuals:
"We have three seniors that are doing very well right now. J.G. Ketchen has been ranked high on the high bar. Watching the rings competition this year is going to be incredible with all of the teams competing. We have two of best in that event with Sean-Paul Crawford and Ketchen, who can compete with other schools like Stanford and Oklahoma. Jonathan Plante is the Big Ten pommel horse champion, and he is doing well and we expect big things from this week."


On Michigan:
"I think the key to our success is our consistency. I think that we're putting a good team on the floor and if we can hit all of our routines, I think we will do really well. We had a real rough year this year. We were ranked last in the Big Ten going into the Big Ten Championship and we came out second which surprised quite a few people. We still had a few problems in the Big Ten Championship and if we can eliminate those, I think we'll do fine."

On Michigan's individuals:
"I don't know if we have an exceptional guy anywhere. Daniel Diaz-Luong is the U.S. champion on high bars and Kris Zimmerman was the runner-up on high bars as well as the returning national champion on parallel bars. Our strength will be in the all-around."


On Ohio State:
"We are a very young team and we rely a lot on our freshman. They have really amazed me with their progress and learning ability. This year has been a very good one for us. We are ready to give a run at the national championship this weekend."

On Raj Bhavsar:
"He is excellent. He won the Big Ten all-around championship. He has had a lot of rest this season and will be ready to go tomorrow."

On Freshman Class:
"Cody Trobaugh, Randy Manahan and Kerry Adderly have really made our team deep. they are better than I imagined they could be at this time. Their progress is amazing.


On Penn State:
"Our team graduated six athletes from last year, but we have really had some people step up for us this year. It really surprised me and my staff. We've had more depth than we figured. We are prepared to do a better job this weekend, than in the Big Ten Championships."

On Kevin Donohue:
"He came to Penn State as a walk-on and it is amazing how far he has come. Kevin is an amazing athlete. He has really stepped to the forefront on the floor and the high bar. He is a tremendous leader for us."


On Iowa:
"Our goal is to make it into the top six on Friday and to do that we must put everything together, which I feel we have yet to do. It is very important that our floor and pommel horse be consistent."

On Senior Class:
"We have a strong senior class with good leadership. Don Jackson is very strong on the pommel horse and Brian Christie and Shane de Freitas bring a lot of experience. Andy Thornton is strong on the vault and has a great opportunity to compete for the championship."


On Massachusetts:
"We are currently ranked 10th heading into the championships and our goal is to move into the top six and make it to Friday's session. Anything can happen once you make it to Friday. We start off with one of our strong events, the pommel horse, and end with the floor exercise, our other strong event."

On Darren Morace:
"He is our top all-arounder and has been ranked all year in the top ten. He has a great chance to qualify as an All-American."


On Stanford:
"It is my 30th year as head coach and it is my last year. I am excited to be in the position we are currently in as my last year as head coach. We have been very consistent all year and after today's practice we will be ready to compete for a national title."

On Marshalll Erwin:
"He is very strong on the rings. Throughout the year he has scored a 9.95 a couple of times and has a very good chance here."

On Keys to the Weekend:
"We were the only team to beat Oklahoma and we must compete this weekend like we did then. It is very important to perform up to our potential on both days, but most importantly, on Friday. Our top four guys must hit everything for us to do well.



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