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Paul Hewitt Presser - January 5, 2011

Jan. 6, 2011

On Brian Oliver’s recent shooting slump:

“It happens. As long as he keeps taking good shots, he’ll be fine. Brian’s a good shooter. I think if you’re going to go through something like this, this is the time of the year to do it because we’re not in class. He can get in the gym and get extra shots up. He’ll work his way out of it. I think we saw signs in the second half [against Charlotte] that he’s breaking out of it.”

On what the team needs to do to succeed in conference play:

“Just keep improving. I think defensively we are making real positive strides. We’ve lost some tough games where we haven’t shot the ball well. If you look at the games that we’ve lost, maybe outside of the Northwestern game, it’s come down to just making a shot or two here and there.

One of the things we were really focusing on was trying to score in the paint a little bit better, not only with the big guys but some of our other guys attacking the basket–you know, a little less reliant on the three. We shot the three very well against Charlotte the other night, but if there’s been one thing, other than the Northwestern game, in all the losses, offensively we haven’t shot the ball. We haven’t made shots at the rate that we’re capable of.”

On team’s poor shooting:

“It’s part of the game. It’s a different world when you go from being the fifth and sixth guy in the scouting report to one of the top three guys. It’s a totally different world. It’s something that you can talk about in the spring. If I’d say one area where I’ve fallen down, it’s not getting these guys to understand the difference, starting with the summer–and there were a lot of conversations in the summer with the main three guys–that, hey, it’s a different deal now, and you’re the guy that they’re game-planning against. It takes a different level of conditioning. It takes a different level of concentration. It takes a different level of preparation in terms of what the defenses are going to try to do.

“It’s almost like a quarterback. You always hear stories about how quarterbacks spend extra time in the film room watching tape and understanding so when they see a coverage they know what to do. That’s kind of what some of these guys are going through. Again, if there’s an area that I should have done a better job is that getting them ready mentally for – `Hey, they’re trying to stop you. They’re going to throw multiple things at you.'”

On rewarding Kammeon Holsey with playing time:

“He had been playing well in practice, and in the game against Mercer, he played very well. The tricky thing with him is every so often, when he goes a number of days in a row, his knee will get a little sore. I think what we saw against Charlotte, he just didn’t have any bounce in his leg. We had a day off on Monday. We had an individual instruction yesterday. We’ll go somewhat light with Kam and see if he has that bounce that he had against Charlotte and a couple of other games.”

On keeping the current lineup:

“We’ll see how guys perform. We’re trying to do it based on merit. Glen [Rice, Jr.] went from not being in the starting lineup to working his way back in. He’s playing very well. But I told them all, it’s got to be based on merit. We’ve got to start closing some of these games out better, and if guys aren’t performing at a level that we need to perform at, then we’ll make changes and see what happens. I think they all understand that. I don’t think anybody’s ego gets wrapped up in it. We realize we’ve lost some very close games that we certainly had chances [to win]. We’ve got to find ways to avoid those situations for the rest of the year.”

On starting the ACC schedule on the road:

“It’s fine. The key for us is to play the defense we’ve been playing. We’ll give ourselves a chance wherever we play.”

On the team having something to prove:

“That’s been the thing the whole year. But we’ve still got to prove it! We’ve been close, but what do they say about horseshoes and hand grenades? That’s the only time close counts.”

On Boston College:

“They’re shooting the ball really well. Reggie Jackson, Joe Trapani, those guys are really shooting really well. They’ve got a kid Corey Raji coming off the bench and adding some spark to them. It’s interesting, Biko Paris only made 10 threes last year, and he’s made over 30 three’s already this season. They’re shooting it really well. It’s going to be a good test for our defense, and especially our three-point field goal defense which has been improved over the last few games.”

On production from big guys:

“I think they’re doing okay. If you break our games down, the guys who have had the games on their hands, you want it in those guys’ hands. Now again, that’s a whole different level of inexperience. Guys going from being the fourth, fifth, sixth guy on the scouting sheet to, now, the other team when they look at our team, they say `Well we’ve got to stop A, B, and C.’ But I think the big guys are doing okay. They really are. Now, do they understand that they can do more? I don’t think they understand offensively how good they are yet. A guy like Daniel [Miller] could be a much better scorer. There are times when he’s not aggressive attacking the basket. He’s so pass conscious, as opposed to – I don’t care if he gets a shot blocked – go at it. He had a couple of shots blocked against Charlotte, but to me, that’s a sign of improvement.

So now, the next step is, `Okay, How do I avoid that shot getting blocked?’ I shot-fake, or I use some sort of post move to get myself a little more separation. But I like the fact that in the last two games against Mercer and Charlotte, he’s been attacking the basket. Like I said, granted, he’s had a couple shots blocked, but I don’t take that all as a bad sign. What is it, 13 games into his freshman year?”

On Iman Shumpert’s play:

“Iman’s playing well. He just hasn’t been shooting the ball well until the last couple of games. But he’s been playing really well. He’s been filling the stat sheet up in all columns. If his shooting percentage stays consistent from this point forward, he’s going to have an All-ACC type of year.”

On who can step up when Shumpert is having cramping issues:

“[Shumpert]’s been so good. You saw it offensively in the Georgia game and [Charlotte] game. When he steps out, it just grinds to a halt because they get used to feeding off of him. Then all of a sudden for six or eight minutes, bam, he’s out of there and everybody kind of looks around. Now, the same thing happened against Richmond, and Glen Rice just took over. He took over passing the ball, scoring the ball, but it was also a product of how they were playing defense. We saw a couple of things we thought we could exploit, and Glen was the perfect guy to do it. But it’s something we’ve got to get better at, because it’s got to happen. We’ve tried every remedy known to man.”

On how important rebounding will be against Boston College:

“They have some guys like [Corey] Raji and [Biko] Paris who will sprint to the glass, and [Joe] Trapani’s a good athlete. [Reggie] Jackson’s having a great year, but Trapani’s a real matchup problem. He’s a great three-point shooter, but they have him playing the five. We’ve got a couple of different thoughts [on how to match up with Trapani], and we just want to kind of see how it looks in practice.”

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