Comments From Henry Bibby At Basketball Media Day
Oct. 16, 2001
HENRY BIBBY - 10-16-01:
'It was a great experience to be in the Elite Eight. I've never experienced that feeling as a player or coach. It was the greatest moment I've ever had in basketball. The closeness, relationships you get, that's what's exciting about it.
'The expectations for us will be high and they should be. We set a level of play where we want to go. My goal is to get back there. It'll take a lot of work and sacrifice. A lot of things have to fall into place.
(On his impressions of the newcomers): 'The Cravens (Errick and Derrick) have really shown me a lot. They're hungry kids and they play hard. They're both good players. Rory O'Neil is a smart player. He picks things up well. He understands what we're doing. Jerry Dupree is super athletic. He's all over the floor. He reminds me of a 6-7 Jeff Trepagnier. He runs well, jumps, blocks shots. Nick Curtis has surprised me. He's a very good rebounder and he has shown a lot of offense I didn't know he had.
(On replacing Brian Scalbrine): 'O'Neil reminds me a lot of Brian. He can shoot outside. He'll get even better down the road. Bluthenthal will play some of Brian's positions. (Kostas) Charissis will be a presence in there. He's big and takes up space. Dupree can be an inside player.
'Because many teams will give Clancy a lot of attention, it'll open things up for the others.
(On Sam Clancy almost turning pro after last season): 'I told Sam to go if it was right for him, if he was a Top 10 to 15 pick. If not, I told him to come back.
(On Kostas Charissis' 15-game ineligibility because of NCAA amateurism rules): 'I'm not sure if it will be reduced. It'll be appealed.
(On Desmon Farmer): 'Farmer has gotten stronger. He'll be a better defensive player. He has worked hard and is bigger. And he has a good attitude.
'Getting to the Elite Eight last season was a taste of honey. The players saw all the hoopla. Now, they want to do it again. I've never seen three seniors work so hard in the off-season as Brandon Granville, David Bluthenthal and Clancy have. A light came on. That's part of growing and maturing.
(On Brandon Granville): 'He can't get any more confidence from me. I let him play. It's up to him, what he dictates during the game. We have a good rapport on what I want done, more than any player I've coached. Brandon's destination is up to Brandon. He has the green light from me. He'll benefit from the weight program. Hopefully, he won't have those up and down nights.
'Hopefully by the start of the Pac-10 season, our young guys will be contributing. We'll have a better feel by then.
'The Elite Eight put us on the map. Every recruit saw us. It has gotten us into recruits' homes. It brought us out of the dark ages.
'Last year is last year. We can only live on it for so long. It time to think about what we can do this year. People forget you quickly. We have to come out and establish ourselves.
'We've been a target all along. People are really concerned about is and what we do and how we play. They've been thinking about that the past three, four, five years. They know our games will be a dogfight.
(On the Pac-10): 'I hear Oregon and Arizona State are going to be good. Those are two teams you don't expect going in. UCLA is supposed to win it, Stanford is going to be good and Arizona is always good. The Pac-10 is good up and down. If our young guys develop, we can give people a run. It also depends on how good our seniors are going to be.
'I'll play whoever plays well. I don't look at a rotation. I'd rather have a tired Brandon Granville out there than a guy who's not good. That's why they have timeouts, dead balls and free throws, so you can rest. That's why you have to be in condition. That's why you have to be in better condition than the other team.
'The gap throughout our roster has really closed. Everyone is very competitive. Something I'm looking for is maybe we can sub Granville five or six minutes more than before. Robert Hutchinson is a solid, steady player. He doesn't make many mistakes. He had great confidence in his game at the end of last year. One of the Craven's can play point, too. I'm looking for Dupree to play inside because he can be a shot blocker.
'We'll run a lot of defenses, like last year. We have 10 different ones we can run.
'At the 1, 2 and 3 spots, we have Granville, both Cravens, Hutchinson, Farmer and Bluthenthal. We're solid there. At 4 and 5, we have Sam. And Kostas can play 5. I'm pleased with all positions. We're solid. But we'll be young if we go with Curtis and O'Neil. The key is how we blend together and play together.
'The off-season conditioning program was more determination than anything. Going to the Elite Eight did that. Through the lifting program, they all got bigger and stronger. It was dedication they put in to get bigger and stronger.'