Quotes From Men's Basketball Weekly Press Conference
March 17, 2009
Coach Herb Sendek:
On the Temple Owls:
'They're obviously playing exceptionally well right now, having just won their conference tournament, including a big win over a No. 4 seed Xavier, the regular season champions. Really, going back to non-conference, they have put together an outstanding season. There 16-point win against Tennessee really stands outs. They're an experienced team, they have been here before, and you can't help but be mesmerized when you watch Dionte Christmas play. He makes shots that are indefensible. I've seen him make shots with defenders are draped over him, doing everything short of tackling him. So, he's a guy who is extraordinary and capable of brilliance. But he is not alone. They have a very complete team and a good balance, inside-and-out. It's going to be a good challenge for us.'
On Temple forward Lavoy Allen:
'He's a veracious offensive rebounder. He's getting over four offensive rebounds per game and I think he has 13 double-doubles on the year, so he is a real force inside. It's not a team that is a one-man band. They have tremendous balance and have guys that come of the bench and contribute and produce. So they're a team that has productive depth.'
On Temple coach Fran Dunphy:
'I know him through the years. He did a great job at Penn and has continued the Temple tradition, certainly.'
On the challenges of having to fly across the country to Miami:
'I'm sure most of us have done it one time or another. It's a long trip and what you have to do is obviously get yourself adjusted to the time difference. We should be able to do that, leaving tomorrow morning.'
On what defense the Owls will use:
'From what I have been able to gather so far is primarily man-to-man, but they have also shown zone.'
On what the Devils are focusing on before the game:
'I think its very much what we always do. Go get ready to play a basketball game, so we have to focus on our preparation and the things we always do. Our players have played in big games; our players have played in good competition. I think our focus needs to be on preparation.'
On the similarities between his old N.C. State teams and this current ASU team:
'Obviously, it is a first time for these guys, but I just don't see a lot of value in trying to contemplate what that means or doesn't mean. Our investment needs to be in preparation and hopefully, we'll play well on Friday. That's what it's going to take for us.'
On whether or not Ty Abbott will stay in the starting line-up:
'We'll see. We'll go through practice this week and continue to re-evaluate Jamelle (McMillan), but suffice it to say, with Ty really playing so well right now, it's given our team a tremendous lift.'
On Jamelle McMillan:
'He didn't do anything yesterday. He did some shooting, but he has not practiced yet. We'll continue to evaluate him and see how he improves over the week.'
On what McMillan's return will bring to the Sun Devils:
'I thought our press offense against Arizona was really good. I think it was horrid in the second half against USC, not because of anything other than the fact that I didn't think we did anything well in the second half against USC. I think we played like a very tired basketball team. Jamelle not only helps us with our ball handling and our press attack, but he helps us across the board. We just went through a weekend where we went six and sometimes seven players for three consecutive games. To get him back in the rotation is obviously important and good for us.'
On Derek Glasser:
'I think he is playing his career-best basketball right now. I thought he had an outstanding tournament. I think he really stepped up for our basketball team. Derek's a guy who came into a situation where he had a great opportunity out of the gates and he has a sizable amount of experience under his belt as he comes down the home stretch of his junior year.'
On the importance of making the NCAA tournament:
'Anytime you make the tournament, it's great exposure for your program. You'd like to think it would continue to have implications in recruiting. Like I've been saying all week, as much as we went to project what it means, as much was want to put it in context historically, as much as we want to try to find a really nice place on the shelf for it, for us it is important for us to stay in the moment. This team, this year, today's practice, this game against Temple. I don't have any great need to try to put it in some nice context and try to project what it means a year from now. I think this kind of situation demands all of you right now; just stay in the moment. All those other things will come another day, in due time.'
On what it will take to win the NCAA tournament:
'I buy into talent, I buy into preparation, and I also know that they call it March Madness for a reason. I really believe the day after the tournament ends, if you replayed the entire thing, 40-45 percent of the games may have a different outcome. There's going to be a lot of close games that could tilt either way. Whoever is the best team doesn't also win because it is a single-elimination tournament. I think there is that much excellence and balance in college basketball. You look at the NIT that is starting tonight, and those teams have had really good years. Most of them have won an excess of twenty games, and most of them, if they had received bids to the NCAA tournament, could conceivably advance to the sweet sixteen. There are teams in the NIT field that for several weeks during the regular season were ranked in the top-ten in the country. That's where I think college basketball has evolved to, just in terms of the breath of excellence and the balance that exists.'