Quotes From Henry Bibby Press Conference

Oct. 19, 2004

USC coach Henry Bibby, who has led his teams to three NCAA tournaments in his eight years as the Trojan headman, sat down with the media on Tuesday to talk about his Troy's upcoming season.

(On who this year's starting lineup is)'We don't have a starting line up, we try to come in every year and say that.'

(On the difference between last year and this year)'I'm a totally different person than I was last year, I'm very happy this year. The attitudes I feel are a lot better this year, the chemistry seems to be really good this year, the kids are kind of buying in to try and get to know each other on the basketball floor, so I'm very optimistic about the guys we have returning, I don't think we've had anyone whose really stood out really big. Gabe Pruitt has been a very solid point guard for us in camp so far.'

(On who has stepped up this year)'We've had a few guys step up. We've had Nick Curtis do it to a certain degree. Gregg Guenther has done that. Rory Neil has done that. Those three guys have taken over the team to a certain degree. Not as much as I would like them to, but its much better than it has been in the past and that's a big plus for us'

(On having Guenther for the entire season)'He's our best free throw shooter. It should help us. It should help our inside game with Guenther there. It gives us a solid four guys that can play inside and it makes a better team for us. If a guy goes down, we're still pretty solid at those two spots up front.'

(On his seniors)'I think they've gotten better. You can tell there is some urgency in how they're playing. There's more urgency from Eric Craven. I think the guys realize this is their last year of college basketball and how do you want to leave your legacy at USC? You want to go out on a winning note. I think they [the seniors] feel that pressure of wanting to put together a pretty good basketball team.'

(On the differences between this season and last)'It's a different basketball team than it was last year. The Cravens and the Stewarts were kinda going after each other last year because of the twin thing, but I think that's kinda settled now, so much that you don't even notice it any more. I think the guys realize its more of a team effort. It's been much better coaching this year, the guys are excited, the guys are competing, there's very little selfish play. That's the difference of a year. Its not about 'I,' it's about the basketball team. I don't think there are guys that are looking to be NBA players, I think they're are guys that are looking to be good college players. We have six to seven guys that can give us 8-10 points and probably make us a better basketball team.'

(On the off-season conditioning)'We cant do anything in the summertime with them. Rory Neil came in outrunning the guards. He had a great, great off season. He and Guenther worked out the whole off season. Guys like Nick Curtis, who took the summer off to get healthy, are now healthy and that excites me...Now, we're looking at hopefully a healthy Nick Curtis and that's gonna make a big difference for us.'

(On coaching)'This is probably the most fun I've had coaching since I've gotten here. This year has been exciting and we wanna play basketball and we wanna have fun. We're trying to put together the best team we have had here.'

(On the freshmen)'Gabe Pruitt is a very good player with a lot of potential. Nick Young could be a special player. Emmanuel Willis is very athletic, like another Jeff Trepagnier. When you can bring in better guys in your program than guys in the past, its good competition out there. Kids are pushing and playing for playing time. That's what makes coaching fun, when kids are buying into what your trying to do.'

(On how his team will do in conference)'I like our chances. If we can stay injury-free and if we come to play every game then of course we can be as good as we can be. We just have to stay focused on the team in front of us.'

(On the schedule)'You like the challenges of playing back East and seeing how your team looks on the road. We kinda see what we're made out of and how deep our bench is gonna be in those games. I think we can give some people different looks. I think we can go small or big. I think this year with the edition of Emmanuel Willis and Nick Curtis, we can play small but we can play big, but be athletic. When we play the big kids we can match up well with them. I think we have a couple of different teams we can throw out on the floor. We've rectified that problem by bringing in some of the kids that can play.

'We have a chance to go all the way to the Final Four. I'm optimistic about being one of those teams that can be there at the end of the year. When we go and play some tough teams, we gotta find a way to beat those basketball teams.'

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