Can you discuss any injury updates?
“Luke [Davis] is not going to play and not even dress. I’m more doubtful about Leslie [McDonald] but not more doubtful than I am about Luke. I’m more doubtful about Leslie than I was earlier in the week. We just don’t know. He hasn’t gone through a whole practice yet. He tweaked it and it’s not comfortable.”
How much of an emphasis is there on outrebounding your opponents?
“It’s been a point of emphasis of mine since the first day I ever coached. We’ve had some great rebounding games this year. We’ve also had some spells where we didn’t rebound the ball very well. It’s a little more of a team rebounding thing this season. We’re having to get help from more perimeter players. I think it’s a simple game. You get the ball, and then I get the ball. The only way to get the ball more and get more shots is to rebound it more. My first year at Kansas I had a prospect come in and he said he thought there were just ten commandments. But there must be an eleventh, ‘Though shall box out.’ I really do believe it is that important.”
How much of a battle will it be this weekend with Maryland over the rebounding edge?
“Well, they’re a really good rebounding club. They’ve got a definite advantage with the length of Len. He gets a lot of rebounds that a lot of people can’t get. We had that advantage with [Tyler Zeller] and John [Henson] last year. Without them, it’s got to be everyone rebounding. We want to run. You can run easier after missed shots. We work to run after made shots but it’s much easier after misses so we’ve got to get some of those rebounds.”
Can you comment on Marcus Paige’s growth over the past month?
“I think it’s a day-by-day thing where he’s learning more and more about the college game. I think he’s getting a little more comfortable being offensive minded and not just trying to get us in the right offense or right defense. I think experience is the biggest factor.”
Can you remember a team that has so heavily depended on rebounding from perimeter players?
“No… I can’t think of any one team but it also has something to do with the make up of this team. The post guys are all splitting minutes. There’s more people involved in the rotation up front than any team I’ve had in a long time.”
How many times have you expressed playing with a sense of urgency?
“Four million times.”
Did you emphasize staying focused this week knowing Maryland is coming off of a big win over N.C. State?
“No, we didn’t talk about that. We talked about trying to get healthy. We gave them time early in the week to rest up but we went pretty doggone hard yesterday and we’ll go pretty doggone hard today. We’ll start talking about Maryland today. If you can’t understand that you’re in the ACC and you’ve got fifteen of them left. All we’ve done is left the starting line.”
The first three teams in ACC play shot 45 percent from three. Are there certain things to focus on to help lower that percentage?
“I don’t like it. There’s no question about that. It’s something we emphasize but I don’t know if I can give you an answer... All I know is that it ticks me off and we’ve been working on it. I guess I can say if I knew the answer then I would have already fixed the doggone thing.”
Is a team with quality depth like Maryland the toughest match up for you guys?
“Yeah because we’re still searching to find the great play from our post. I don’t care if it’s one guy or all four of them. They need to score more, shoot a higher percentage and keep opponents from shooting high percentages in there.”
Would you characterize Dexter Strickland as the leader of this team?
“It’s strange. I don’t think there will be one leader on this team. I’d say Reggie [Bullock] has been our best leader so far. Guys like Dexter and James Michael [McAdoo] have the experience and Marcus is getting better at leading with each game.”