Oct. 26, 2011
ATLANTA – Head basketball coach Brian Gregory held his second press conferencw with the local media, nine days into pre-season practice. Here’s what he had to say.
On three players who have stepped up:
Daniel Miller has done a very good job. Obviously, one of our points of emphasis is getting the ball into the post more. He’s shown the ability to get the ball into the basket plus he has a very good feel of passing the ball out of the post if he doesn’t have a quality shot. For a guy of his size, he can move his feet well, which is very important in our defense. I’ve been very pleased with him. I could go down the list and say positives about every single player. I talked about Mfon [Udofia] earlier, and he’s starting to do some really good things and is starting to grasp that challenging position of being a point guard. A lot is demanded of that position, both offensively and defensively, and I think he’s done a very good job of understanding that role. That job description is long and detailed, and I think he’s done a very good job of that. Some of the young guys have made hits. Julian Royal has made strides. I think we talked about Kam’s health. I think because he’s healthy, he’s done some good things. As I said, I could pick every single player and pick some improvements that I’ve seen that I’ve been impressed with.
On having former players involved in the program:
One of the things with this NBA lockout, the rules allow those guys to go through some practices with you. We just talked about Daniel Miller. I think he’d be pleased to see Derrick Favors out there in practice. I think that would be a great challenge for us. I think that would be great to get some of these guys back. I know Jarrett Jack is excited about practicing. It’s about 11 years later than when I wanted to coach him. Having those guys around has been good. It’s not just that they’ve played in the league. One thing that I’ve been excited to see with our former players is that there’s a professionalism about each and every one of the those guys. That’s good for our guys to see in terms of how they go about handling their business. I would venture to guess that every one of those guys is putting in more time now than they did on the way up. That’s a testimony to what kind of character those guys have. One of the things I always say is that you can talk all you want, but I can’t hear what you say because your actions speak so loud. Well, those guys’ actions are very positive for our guys to see.
On walk-on search:
Our walk-on search has been good. We’re finalizing some of the details for that right now as we speak. Obviously, one of our biggest concerns is just the depth of our roster, not just in terms of game situations but also the day-in and day-out grind of college basketball. We can’t just look at October and November. We want to continue to improve, so we have to look down the road at January, February, and March. Although our guys have done a great job of responding to limited substitutions in practice, as the season progresses that’s going to be important. We’re in the process of solidifying a couple additions to the roster. I think those guys will help us in terms of day-in and day-out practices. You need a great scout team to prepare for opponents. A lot of times we try to give our scout team their own identity in order to bond them together. They have to be rock solid and they don’t get any subs. Sometimes they’re crawling out of the gym after practice. But those guys take great pride in that they are a big part of our success. They may never score a basket or sometimes they might not get in the game, but we can’t be successful without those guys doing a great job for us on a daily basis.