Paul Hewitt Interview

Nov. 3, 2010

On what fans can expect to see against Clark Atlanta on Friday:
“Well, you’ll see a little bit of a different alignment. You’ll probably see Brian Oliver start at the four. That gives us an added dimension offensively. It can stretch the floor out. I think the guys are picking up the new offense very well. It will give us the opportunity to take advantage of our ability to break people down off the dribble and create a lot of inside-out shots, where we kick the ball out to the three-point line. I’m also looking forward to seeing how much Daniel Miller can play. He returned to practice yesterday, Tuesday afternoon, and looked good. He looked a lot better than I expected him to be, considering he’s coming off that viral illness and missed about two weeks of practice, so I would anticipate he plays a little bit more. But overall, I just want to see us continue to make progress offensively and to be more consistent defensively.”

On team’s inside players:
“The bigs have been a pleasant surprise. As I mentioned, Daniel [Miller] looked a lot better than I expected, considering he missed two weeks. Nate Hicks has been to me the biggest surprise. He really struggled in preseason conditioning but I give him credit, the kid hangs in there. He has a toughness to him that says to me that he’s going to be successful over the long haul–very good shot blocker, very good rebounder. Kammeon Holsey continues to make great progress from his ACL injury from last year. Brian [Oliver] brings a different dimension to the front court. He doesn’t mind going in there and banging and boxing out and rebounding, but now you’ve also got a guy who’s a threat to make a three any time he’s open, so he’s going to put a lot of pressure on the other team’s four man to find him in transition in particular.”

On big men screening and passing:
“Personally I think Derrick and Gani are very good at [passing and screening]. It’s just that they were just so strong around the basket that we had to play to their strengths. By the end of the year, I think everybody saw that our guards were able to mesh with them and we had a very strong close to last season. With that said, I think Daniel [Miller] and Kam [Holsey] bring a different set of skills, Brian Oliver brings a different set of skills, with their ability to play on the perimeter a little bit more effectively, possibly. Daniel and Kam in particular are excellent passers. Now Brian’s gotta improve his passing. Brian’s a very good shooter, but he has to improve his passing. Nate is strong with the basketball. But I think with Daniel and Kam and their ability to facilitate offense – and quite frankly aren’t as good at scoring around the basket as those guys were last year – we’ve had to make a necessary adjustment. But if you look at our team this year, you talk about guys like Iman Shumpert, Glen Rice, Jason Morris, Mfon Udofia, and Moe Miller, who are all very good off the dribble, getting in the paint and finishing around the basket, so it just makes sense for us to change our style.”

On who will be the point guard:
Iman Shumpert will be our starting point guard. You’re going to see him play more of the wing because of his ability to score and the way we’re playing, post up some. But we want to play fast. We want to get out in transition and score, so whoever gets that outlet pass, the other two guys, we expect them to fill the wing and then run our break. If we don’t get a run out basket, then go right into our secondary break and keep the pressure on the defense.”

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