Quotes from Jay John after Saturday's season opening victory over Prairie View

Nov. 22, 2003

Corvallis, Ore. - QUOTES FROM OREGON STATE MEN'S BASKETBALL HEAD COACH Jay John AFTER THE BEAVERS' 70-53 VICTORY OVER PRAIRIE VIEW SATURDAY AT GILL COLISEUM.

'It's nice to be 1 and 0, I couldn't say that last year at this time. Our team is starting to figure some things out, but there were times when we were a little sluggish. I'm going to have to live with that a little bit as we sort things out at game speed. We held together on the defensive end pretty well tonight. Prairie View played like conference champions; they battled the whole game. I think we gave them the feeling like they could get back in the game by playing a little scattered the last few minutes of the first half, and as it turns out they did.

Talk about your defensive play.

'We've got to be able to play defense, and have some control of the game. Our defense certainly created some offense for us tonight.'

Is it difficult for you to know what to expect from players due to the inexperience?

'It is difficult. I don't know what the tolerances are for our team. I don't know who and when people get fatigued and who can battle through it. It will keep me on my toes, no question about that, especially during the first few games of the season.'

When did you pick your fifth starter (Kenny Hooks)?

'I made my decision right after the shoot-around earlier today. I look at our team and I need to figure out how can I maximize 200 minutes. Every player comes with different levels of energy and different things they can bring to the team.'

Is David Lucas becoming the player you can count on to get the tough points when you really need them?

'David did a good job, particularly in the second half when we were struggling. He made three baskets in a row that settled some things for us on offense. David can score, there is no question about that. Angelo (Tsagarakis) hit some big threes for us tonight in the second half, and that was a huge thing for us when Prairie View got close. David and Angelo did a great job getting us some offense when we were struggling.'

Are there some things you can point to that you would like to see improved?

'We are trying to push the ball, and when we have leads we are trying to execute certain things. At times we can only seem to get four people on the same page at the pace that it needs to be, that's something we need to try to improve and I think we will throughout the course of the year. I also go back to what I mentioned earlier about letting a team think they're back in the game at halftime after we had them down.'

How would you characterize your team's play tonight?

'We still aren't capable of playing a 40 minute game, and that might take a month or six weeks before that happens. We played with good effort tonight and when we made some shots we had some energy, but when we struggled we didn't have that same energy. We have to be a high-energy team to be successful. We have to have a great effort on both ends of the floor.'

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