Quotes From Rob Evans At Media Day

Oct. 16, 2003

Read what Coach Evans had to say about his team on Media Day (Oct. 14), as practice opens Oct. 18 at 8 a.m. at Wells Fargo Arena. ASU's first exhibition game is Nov. 12 at 7 p.m.

(ON THE TEAM)'This is a very young basketball team, we have eight new guys. The good thing is we have a couple of guys that have been played in some big games, Jason Braxton and Ike Diogu, but Ike also a young guy. I really like this basketball team, we have a lot of different pieces that I always talk about, like having people that can do a lot of things and these guys can do a lot of different things. Wilfried Fameni is a guy I think everybody is going to like. He is 6-7, about 230 pounds, he can score, he is really quick, and he rebounds the basketball. Keith Wooden (6-8), another freshman, is a very versatile basketball player, he can step inside and outside which will allow Ike to move out some. Chris Low is a guy who is 6-8 and can play the three position and he really shoots the basketball well. He will be a very good basketball player as he gets bigger and stronger. Tron Smith is a high jumper that can shoot the basketball and Steve Moore is probably farther along than anybody. He is 6-4, a lefty, kind of like Curtis (Millage), not as quick as Curtis, but nobody is. But he is probably a better shooter, better defender, and a better rebounder. So we got some pieces out of the puzzle that as we get more experience we should be a good basketball team. We lost a lot of experience last year, so it is going to take us some time to get some experience, but once we do then I think we are going to be a very good basketball team.'

(ON THE STYLE)'We are going to run, I don't want to say run and gun because we want to run and be disciplined in what we do, but we like to push the basketball. We want to get the best shot we can get, the quickest shot we can get. If that comes after the first pass that is fine with me, if we have to work a little bit to get it I want to be as disciplined to get it because I want to get a good shot. We will push the basketball, we are going to put pressure on them defensively and try and create some turnovers. We should be deep if we stay healthy, enough to where we can play a lot of different people so we can get into some other people's bench and hopefully that will help us win some ball games.'

(ON IKE PLAYING THE PERIMETER)'We are going to move him out, we started doing that a little bit late in the season last year. We tried to bring him along with different stuff as the year went on. We didn't want to hit him with everything because I don't think he would have come along as quick as he did, but we want to move him out. Allow him to step out along the perimeter. He has really worked hard on shooting the basketball out on the perimeter, putting the ball on the floor and attacking the basket, and getting to the rim from the perimeter. So there will be difficult match-ups for some people because we can bring him inside with some mismatches and be able to get him the ball inside.'

(ON IKE HAVING BURNOUT)'No not at all, I have had that before. I've had kids that have played in USA basketball, played in this tournament before and what we have done is, is when they get back we control what they do and Ike is the type of guy that enjoys playing the game of basketball. I don't worry about that at all. Some people nationally asked me the other day if I worry about him having a sophomore jinx and I don't worry about that either because generally when you have a sophomore jinx it is because you fell like you have already arrived, you feel pretty good about yourself. Ike doesn't feel good about himself as far as big headed. He understands it is a team game and he is going to come to work everyday, which is what he does. So I think he will be better than he was last year. He may not have the numbers because we have some kids that can rebound the basketball and some kids that can score so that means our team is going to be better.'

(ON IKE GETTING DOUBLE-TEAM)'It is going to be tough to double-team him from 15-20 feet outside, if they want to do that, that is fine. He can put the ball on the floor, we didn't get into that last year because he was scoring 20-25 a game inside. It would have been unwise on my part to take him outside and do that last year, but this year because he needs to do it and because our team needs it, we have some guys that can play inside, Wilfried Fameni, Keith Wooden and people like that, that can do that. We will move him outside and he can put the ball on the floor and he can do some things with it when he puts it on the floor.'

(LEADERSHIP)'Jason Braxton is a great leader. He has worked extremely hard this year. You will see a little bit different Jason Braxton. He will score a little bit more, but he is a very good leader. Kenny Crandall is a leader, a quiet leader and Ike Diogu is a very good leader. He led us last year some in a quiet way, but I think we have great leadership on this team.'

(ON Serge Angounou)'Serge has been working out, he is getting his knees stronger and as he gets his knee stronger hopefully he will come back. When that is, we don't know until the doctors tell us, but he is pain free as he tells me, and he is starting to lift weights. He has been lifting weights upper body and now he is trying to lift some weights on his lower body so the doctors tell me he is coming along. So hopefully we will be able to play him, but we are only going to play him if that knee is completely healthy. We are not going to sacrifice the kid.'

(IS IKE THE BEST PLAYER IN THE NATION?)'If he is not the best player in the country, he is certainly one of the top three or four players in the country and I think everybody in the country understands that. He is a tremendous talent, so he is one of the best players in the country. His personality is unmatched. I've never seen in the 36-37 years I've been coaching anybody like him that has had that much publicity. What did he make, four, five, six preseason first team All- American teams? Yet when you ask him about it he will tell you 'I got work to do.''