Lon Kruger, Romero Osby and Amath M'Baye travel to Kansas City to preview 2012-13 season.
Oct. 17, 2012
NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma head men's basketball coach Lon Kruger and forwards Romero Osby and Amath M'Baye left for Kansas City, Mo., early Wednesday morning to participate in Big 12 Basketball Media Day.
The trio spent more than four hours at the Sprint Center meeting with print media, as well as reporters from the Big 12 Network, Big12Sports.com, ESPN, Fox Sports Net and Sirius/XM Radio, to discuss the upcoming season.
Select quotes from OU's representatives are below, and a video recap of the day's activities is above.
The Sooners now have five practices under their belt as they prepare for their Nov. 2 exhibition opener against Washburn. Kruger, who is just six wins shy of 500 for his collegiate career, and his team encourage fans to attend Saturday's 2 p.m. intrasquad scrimmage at McCasland Field House prior to OU's football game vs. Kansas. Scrimmage admission is free and doors open at 1:30 p.m.
|| Head Coach Lon Kruger Quotes
"It's a great time of year; delighted to be back in Kansas City. Through five days of practice, guys are anxious to get started. They'd like to play tomorrow, of course. From a coaching perspective, we need a lot more time. But this is a fun group. It's a fun group that's working hard. They've had a very good offseason and excited about getting things started soon."
On 88 percent of the team's scoring returning from last year:
"It's great to have experience. Any time you have a lot of guys coming back, you feel good about that. They've got a better idea of what it takes. The big key is our five seniors have not played in a postseason tournament, so they've been very much motivated during the off-season by that. They've worked hard. They want to play in the postseason, and they should have that as a goal. That's allowed them to prepare well for the start of practice. And again, anxious to get the year started."
On expectations being established heading into year two:
"I don't know that they're established, but certainly farther along. The starting point is different now than it was a year ago. Guys have a much better idea of what the goals are, of what our expectations are. Again,
they've worked really hard in preparation. A year makes a big difference, for sure. No question about it. Hopefully we'll see that translate into better results. We were in a lot of ballgames last year. We just didn't quite get the stop we needed or bucket we needed late in ballgames to get us in the right column, but guys continue to work hard at that."
On Preseason Big 12 Newcomer of the Year Amath M'Baye:
"Amath M'Baye is a terrific young guy, first of all. He's very genuinely motivated to be great at whatever he does. He's a terrific student. He had that year last year to sit out as a transfer. He worked extremely hard on his game. Yet, while he did that from an individual standpoint, he was always interested in helping the team prepare for the upcoming opponent. He's a guy that has the respect of his teammates. He's very interested in doing whatever he can to help the team. But he's a guy that will be on the floor for a lot of minutes. He can play you inside, outside, and that versatility allows him to stay out there a little bit longer."
|| Senior Forward Romero Osby Quotes
On if he's improved since last season:
"I feel like I improved every day over the summer, just trying to add some stuff to my game. At the end of last year I started to get more confidence and started to feel more comfortable out there in Coach Kruger's system. I think that's going to carry over to this year."
On if he feels like this is his team:
"I like to say we've got a lot of guys who are leaders. I try to step forward and do what I can every day. But Amath M'Baye's a great leader, Andrew Fitzgerald's a great leader. We've got five seniors and all five starters coming back, so we've got a lot of guys who can lead -- if not vocally then by actions. So I guess you could say it's 'our' team."
On if being a husband and father helps his leadership skills:
"Yeah, I think so. When I'm not on the court being a leader I've got to be a leader at home. My wife and daughter need me to be the man of the situation and guide them in the right direction. That comes from my parents being strong. But I think that does help me on the court."
|| Junior Forward Amath M'Baye Quotes
On sitting out last year after transferring from Wyoming:
"It makes you see the game differently and you study it more than you would as a player (who's competing in games). I'm really glad it's over, but I wouldn't do it any other way. I'm glad to be where I am and that was the price I paid to be a part of this program. I'm happy to have paid it."
On his improvement since his sophomore year:
"My first two years in college I think I specialized in the mid-post and post areas. Once I got to Oklahoma, the coaches talked to me about playing outside the 3-point line more and working on my shot. That's something that I really worked on last year during workouts and practices. I feel way better about that than I did a year and a half ago."
On sneaking up on people this year:
"I always love to be a sleeper or an underdog, whether it's personally or as a team. Particularly with us being picked to finish seventh in the conference, that's something I see as an advantage. People maybe don't see us as a major (threat) in the Big 12, but we do. We're really looking forward to putting in the work and to showing the whole country that we're going to finish higher than that. It's always good to be a sleeper and come from nowhere and make some noise."