Quotes From Men's Basketball Weekly Press Conference

Jan. 19, 2010

Herb Sendek

On Jamelle McMillan’s injury:

“He continues to receive as much treatment as possible, but there really hasn’t been a lot of shift yet. Hopefully he’ll turn the corner here soon. He will not practice today.”

On the players handling success after consecutive wins in Oregon:

“There’s a lot that goes with that. There can be great challenges in handling adversity and we’ve had a sample of each here early in the season. I think our guys have historically been pretty even-keeled. They’ve been resilient and bounced back when we’ve been punched in the mouth. They haven’t gotten too carried away with themselves when things have gone our way and so I expect the same from them moving forward.”

On the team’s defensive success so far this season:

“I do think our assistant coaches have done a really god job of preparing our team through scouting, and we continue to work hard to improve on defense. Every time we watch tape, it’s so obvious to us how much better we have to get. The guys have made improvements and it’s important for us because we’re not a team that has big margin right now. We have to make sure we do our best on that side of the floor possession by possession.”

On the state of the Pac-10 Conference:

“There’s a lot of balance. Literally, there’s one game between first and last place. That’s incredible, mathematically. Everybody is very capable. There are no easy games in our conference right now. I think more and more college basketball reflects that. There are competitive games across the board in every conference. Obviously were taking a dose of criticism for not having a team ranked in the top-25, but I think everybody acknowledges the transition the league went through with so many players lost to the NBA recently and some of the terrific seniors graduating. I also believe as much as we were a league in transition in November and December, that we are a conference that is gaining footing. Teams are playing much better now. Teams had guys injured that have returned. As teams try to re-identify themselves having lost guys to the NBA, you can see the level of play getting better and better. I think our league will stack up much better than the early season perceptions might lead one to believe.”

On the impact winning five straight games against Arizona has on the upcoming contest with the Wildcats:

“I don’t think it has anything to do with Saturday at all. It’s a new game, a new team. These two teams haven’t played each other yet, so I think that would be a real stretch. It’s a different season.”

On Derrick Williams, a freshman forward at Arizona:

“He’s really a talented young player. I know from when he was in high school he’s a terrific young man and a high character guy. He’s having a really good first year at Arizona.”

On facing Sean Miller at Arizona, a former assistant with Sendek:

“I think you’ll find the both of us will be focused on preparing our team. We won’t have the luxury to take strolls down memory lane. We’re focused on our teams and trying to help our teams be as prepared as possible for the game, regardless of who our coaching opponent may be.”

On what improvements need to be made on the defensive end:

“You’re only as good as your fundamentals. There’s not any area that is polished and in the trophy case. We have to continue to get better across the board.”

On the importance of team communication:

“Communication within the zone, outside the zone. Communication is important in everything we do. That’s one of the cornerstones to team sports and that’s not unique to our team or our defense. It’s important to all of us. Regardless of what we do, there are not any of us who aren’t better if we don’t engage in good communication. It doesn’t come easily. Stressing and empathizing communication and getting guys to communicate the right way can be quite challenging. Harder than you might ever think.“

Derek Glasser

On facing Arizona Saturday in Tempe:

“Every time we play U of A we know it’s going to be a battle because it’s our rivalry game. We’re going play our best and they’re going to play their best and we just have to hope its good enough to get the win.”

On the importance of beating the Wildcats Saturday:

“I think this is a huge game for us just because there are so many teams with three losses. If we can stay at two losses for another week, it would be huge for us. This year, the conference standings are so close that one loss could put you back at sixth or seventh place. We just have to take it one game at a time and keep playing defense the way were playing and that should take care of itself.”

On the effect the Sun Devils defensive prowess has on the opposing team:

“I don’t know if there’s a moment that we can look at them and say we got them now, but you can definitely see frustration set in at periods throughout the game when they go three or four minutes without scoring. Just as much as we value the ball on offense and not turning the ball over and getting a good shot, we try and get a stop every time on defense.”

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