|Head Coach Lon Kruger|
"For an opener I thought there were stretches of a lot of good things and certainly a lot of things we need to continue working on. I thought we took a lot better care of the ball today. We didn't have as many turnovers and we rebounded the ball; those are two areas where we did much better than we performed in the two exhibition games. They continue to improve a little bit defensively in practice every day. We have a ways to go in all of these areas but the good thing about these guys is it is important to them. We have about a week of practice here now in preparation for Friday."
On getting off to a slow start:
"We didn't open it up really sharp. I thought we were on our heels defensively; we were kind of watching as opposed to dictating. We did create some opportunities with our steals and traps which seemed to get us jump-started a little bit after getting off to a slow start."
On rotating a lot of players in the game:
"It will be a continuous experiment to see who is playing their minutes well and who is getting the job done. We just have to keep grooving defensively and keep taking care of the basketball, moving the ball and making good plays for each other. We are not set on anything by any means because players will determine that and dictate that as we get on deeper in conference and non-conference play."
On Steven Pledger's shooting ability:
"Steve is an excellent shooter. He is always going to make shots. It was good to see him get some down tonight and really it is good to see him get more opportunities."
On the freshmen taking better care of the basketball:
"They took much better care of it. Again, we don't play zones ourselves so when we see zones it's not like we work against a lot of it in practice. We work against some zone in practice but it is not a committed zone; it's not a good zone in practice. So teams that play it play much better than what we see in practice every day."
On the production of the team's seniors today after a lot of pre-season talk about the newcomers:
"It is important because a lot of times guys don't stay around for four years and we have five seniors. That experience, whether it be starting or coming off the bench, is valuable. I think this is a group that is motivated to do what they need to do to get to post-season play. They haven't played in the post-season and we talk about that a lot. In the offseason, they used that to work hard in the spring, summer and fall in preparation for the season and they keep working to get better throughout the year."
|Senior F Romero Osby|
On the large number of players who are seeing quality playing time:
"This year we have a lot more depth. We've got a lot of young guys that are quick with the ball and off the ball. We have some returning guys that are able to do some different things, so it's a mixture of that and just more depth. It gives us a boost. I think that's a thing Coach (Kruger) does a great job of -- keeping us fresh. Coach already told me not to hold anything back, saying we can get someone else in there for you, so just play hard with those minutes you're playing. That's something he's trying to focus on, and I think we have the depth to do it.'"
On wearing the opposing team down:
"It felt good to be able to be out there and play as hard as we possibly could, come off the court and see somebody else go in and there not be any (dropoff). Guys were coming in and speeding it up, and we'd pick up right where we left off."
|Senior G Steven Pledger|
On getting into a flow with all the new players on the team:
"It's definitely different trying to figure out when and where to meet the ball with two new guards. Last year, I knew where Sam (Grooms) was going to give it to me, and we talked about it a lot. I talked to the young guys and they are still trying to get a feel for things, so I just pick my spots."
On having senior experience:
"From a guard standpoint, I talk to Buddy (Hield) and Je'lon (Hornbeak) a lot, since we are the off guards. I talk to them a lot on different aspects of offense and what Coach wants us to do on the defensive end like switching and other things like that. It's definitely good to know the young guys are picking up on things fast."
|Senior F Andrew Fitzgerald|
On his six rebounds and getting more involved on the boards:
"It's attacking the glass hard. We put emphasis on going to the boards hard during practice and I think it's just becoming a habit for me now; getting more on the offensive and defensive end. That was one of my focal points from last year, focusing on getting rebounds to help my team out."
On the depth of the team and him now coming off the bench:
"Coach (and I) had our meeting and (he) said I would come off the bench some games. I took a great approach to it, have been real positive about it. He still wants me to be aggressive and help this team out scoring wise. I'm just here to help my team out and be a positive leader for us with a team-first attitude. Whenever they need me to be aggressive, just be aggressive. It's a team-first concept."