Paul Hewitt Press Conference

Nov. 9, 2010

On the overtime win over Clark Atlanta being a motivating factor:
“The strange thing about Friday is that we had been practicing really well. We looked a little lethargic, and that’s not what I expected. I don’t expect our execution to be cold and crisp right now, but I didn’t expect us to seem like we were kind of slugging through mud–in the first half especially. In the second half, I thought we picked it up. I thought our pressure defense in the half-court and the full-court were much better. We missed a couple of rotations, but that’s just going to come with time, we’ll learn it a little better. But the first half, that was a head scratcher.”

On the expected starting lineup:
“Daniel [Miller] is getting back into shape. He had probably the best practice of the year yesterday. As a matter of fact, a high school coach that’s been coming to practice hadn’t seen us practice with Daniel at full strength. He said `Wow, that kid definitely makes a difference.’ With that said, he could be in the starting lineup. It’s a good problem to have. You’ve got Brian [Oliver], who got 13 rebounds the other day, who’s adapted well to the inside. [Kammeon Holsey]’s obviously an inside player. And you’ve got Daniel. Those three are going to share the minutes. Who starts, I don’t know, but they both are going to play over 20 minutes a game. But that’s a good question, I’m not quite sure who will be in the starting lineup yet. The backcourt will be Mfon [Udofia], Iman [Shumpert] and Glen [Rice, Jr.]. That’s set in my mind.”

On Daniel Miller’s fundamentals:
“He’s a good facilitator of offense. As I told him yesterday, I said, `Look, you got five rebounds in eleven minutes. You’ve done your job well.’ Now it’s about him really pushing himself to get himself back in shape because he definitely lost some conditioning over those two weeks. Yesterday, again, he was a factor in practice. I mean, blocking shots, rebounding, scoring, running the floor. It definitely was a big step in the right direction for him.”

On re-adopting the motion offense:
“That’s all we ran before last year. That’s all we ever ran. This is more of a dribble-drive like what Kentucky runs, but it’s predicated on a lot more of attacking off the dribble. I think with Mfon [Udofia], Iman [Shumpert] and Glen [Rice, Jr.] in particular, I think you have three guys that can create off the dribble pretty well. And Moe Miller, too.”

On how well the team is picking up the new offense:
“Depends on the day you watch them. If you watched them in the first half on Friday, we didn’t pick it up well at all. I didn’t think we screened well, I didn’t think we cut well, particularly in the first half. When we did the edit , we showed them a couple of plays in the second half where they caught it and reacted properly. You always try to teach guys the value of moving the ball, swing it from side to side and get the defense moving, and take advantage of when the defense is shifting. I didn’t think we did a good job in the first half. I thought in the second half, we did a better job, but not to the level that we need to be.”

On rebounding performance against Clark Atlanta:
“We’re going to have to be really sound in terms of boxing out. We’re not going to get some of those rebounds where we just out athleticism somebody to get it. It’s got to be a rebound by committee type thing. With that said, can we do as good a job on the boards? No question. Iman should be able to get some rebounds. Glen should get some rebounds. Brian is proven, Kam, Daniel. We have enough guys, but it’s going to be a case of us making sure we all box out and not give up any of those where somebody leaks out and give up a second shot.”

On different box out approach without Gani Lawal and Derrick Favors:
“When you have two guys like [Gani Lawal and Derrick Favors], guys tend to say `Oh, they’ll get it,’ as opposed to making sure they cover their assignment. The equivalent in football is that if you have a great cover corner, the safety sometimes might fall asleep and start doing things that they don’t need to be doing. We don’t have any great individual rebounders on this team. I think Daniel has the best chance because he’s got great hands, he’s got great size. We don’t have a guy that can go out there and get 20 rebounds in a game, whereas last year we had a couple guys that could conceivably get 15 or 20 rebounds. With that said, if you do it right by committee, it’s not going to be a factor. It shouldn’t be a negative factor at all.”

On relationship with Moe Miller:
“I would say [our relationship] is very good. Point guards tend to hear a lot from their coaches, I don’t care what team it is. Sometimes it ain’t all good. He’s definitely grown from it. He came in as a young man who I thought was very talented, especially on the offensive end of the floor. But when you got on him about pushing himself harder and getting himself in better shape, that’s always been one of the issues I think has held him back. Early on in his career, I don’t think he understood why I was on him so much. As the point guard, you’re the guy who has to pick up 94 feet. You have to run the team. You have to bring the ball up and down, you have to get it in the right position. You have to be in better shape than everybody because you have a lot of responsibilities. As he’s gotten towards the end of his career, I think he has a much better understanding and he’s doing a better job with it. He knows what needs to happen out there, and we’re counting on him. Right now Mfon’s going to start, but he could end up back in the starting lineup. Both of them are going to play a lot of minutes. The other night, Mfon started, but Moe played 27 minutes. At the end of the game, Moe was in the game. It’s not about who starts the game, it’s who finishes the game. Instead of fighting to hear your name called at the beginning, you want to make sure that you’re in the game the last three or four minutes. The other day, he was the guy that was in the last three or four minutes.”

On deciding between Moe Miller and Mfon Udofia as a starter:
“I think we’re a team that’s going to have to depend on pressure defense and being disruptive. I think Mfon, right now, gives us the best chance to start the game off doing that. He’s a very aggressive defender.”

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