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Brian Gregory Press Interview - November 19

Nov. 19, 2012


On using the upcoming trip to build team chemistry

“It’s important. This is probably going to be one of the longest trips any of these guys have ever been on. We’ve got an opportunity to play some really good teams. The games are very important, but they’re going to be spending an awful lot of time with their teammates. Team chemistry is so important, and we’re going to be spending a lot of time trying to build that. Many times, the best teams gain their strength on bus trips, in hotel rooms and in training table meals on the road. It’s an opportunity for our guys to understand that we’re in this together, and it’s important to know that those bonds are formed all the time, not just during practice and in games.

 

On playing three games in four days

“Hopefully, that’s where our depth will help us some. You play back-to-back Thursday and Friday, then again on Sunday, and then turn around Illinois in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. It’s going to be a great challenge for us. This four-game swing is going to be very important in terms of getting a good read and evaluation of where we are at this early juncture of the season.”

 

On preparing for the next team with little or no time

“We do a lot of walk-through stuff in the hotel. You have to make sure your bodies are ready to go, so you do a lot of recovery stuff, rehabbing and stretching and different things like that. You don’t get a lot of practice time in between, so it’s important through film work and walk-throughs, especially with a younger team, they get a good fell for how we need to play without actually going out and performing in practice.”

 

On the first road trip for Tech’s three freshmen

“Everything’s new to them, the intensity, the preparation. You don’t have to just know one guy, you have to know everybody on the other team. When a switching situation comes up, Robert’s got to know what their point guards like to do. That’s just an example. What you like to do with these early-season games and a tournament like this is to prepare for the games that are going to come fast and furious come January and February.”

 

On whether the freshmen have gained something by traveling with AAU teams

“The travel is never an issue, but the intensity that the games have to be played with, and the importance of the games is always an adjustment for freshmen. They travel with AAU, but the different is, you lost at noon, then you play again at 4, and it doesn’t matter. There’s always the next game.

 

“Here, every game is important. You can play in some of those AAU tournaments, lose every game in your pool and still be in the best bracket for the tournament game. You lose the first game here and you can’t be crowned the champion. You play 30 of them the whole year, so the magnitude of each one is important.”

 

On the high IQ of the freshmen helping them adapt

“We hope that they can use that basketball knowledge will help then in their preparation for the next game with quick turnarounds. Our preparation changes a little bit when you play the next day; you can’t get as detailed, so you really streamline the objectives of the next game.”

 

On Rice and how they’ve struggled out of the gate

“They’re a much different team than they were two months ago, with two starters transferring out. They’re a much different team, not as big, much more guard-oriented. They’re going to play four guards a lot. So our defense is going to be tested, our principals of guarding the basketball and our help defense and so forth. They’re averaging just under 23 threes a game, so they’re shooting a lot from the perimeter. Our big guys, where we might have an advantage on the other end, are going to have to do a good job guarding on the perimeter.”

 

On the other teams in the DirecTV Classic

“Cal has a great tradition and a great coach. They’re very, very good. Drake’s had some great success over the last few years. I haven’t really looked at the other side of the bracket. The assistants are preparing for the other games. We need to make sure we take care of the nest game.”

 

Looking ahead to Illinois and the ACC-Big Ten Challenge

“They have a lot of good players coming back. They’re a team that never connected together last year. It wasn’t for lack of talent. They’re in the same position now (as we are). Their coach is someone I’m familiar with, has done a great job and had some NCAA Tournament runs at Ohio U. I don’t think any of our guys have ever played an a Big Ten arena like they have in Champaign, so it’ll be a great experience for them.”

 

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