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Gillispie’s comments from today’s SEC coaches teleconference

On what Josh Harrellson needs to do to get on the floor more …

“I think he’ll probably continue to get a few more minutes as we go. The problem that we have is the matchup we have defensively. The other night we thought that Perry (Stevenson) would probably do a better job on a guard. Sometimes it turns out the way you think, sometimes it doesn’t. We need to get him more minutes. He does produce points and produces rebounds and I do think he’s a very, very good shooter. We’re definitely not shooting the ball (as well), and (opposing teams) are definitely giving Jodie (Meeks) a hard time now, so we need to stretch out the defense a little bit and help Pat (Patrick Patterson) out inside. I would assume that as we go along, Josh will get a few more minutes.”

On how to get more production in transition …

“We have to get some defensive stops first. That’s always culminated by the defensive rebound. We’ve not done a good enough job of guarding and we’ve not done a good enough job of rebounding when they do miss. We do need more transition. The other thing is I don’t think that we’re playing man before the catch nearly enough. (We’re) not being disruptive defensively and not causing any turnovers so that we can get some easy baskets at the other end.”

On the power of the Southeastern Conference this year …

“I’m not in denial on my answer. If you ask me I’m going to tell you what I truly believe. I think that it’s been talked about way too much. I think there are a lot of really good teams. When you have a team that gets into postseason play, you have to defend and you have to shoot the basketball and you have to score, and there are a lot of teams (in this league that can do that). I think one of the things, if you were to just look at the general profile of a lot of teams that are supposed to be great teams, they would probably have two or three real big strong, tall, athletic guys inside and they would have a true point guard. If look at our league, there are so many teams that can spread you out; if you don’t guard them, they’re going to make a lot of 3s. I don’t believe I’ve ever been in a league in a particular year where there were so many perimeter shooters that you had to guard all five positions the entire time. I think that the profile of a team, the physicality of a team, or the lack of physicality has no difference in what great teams are supposed to look like. But I think when you get an opportunity to play through 16 games and also into the postseason, I think these teams are much better than people are giving them credit for.”

On how much tougher it’s been for Jodie Meeks to score without another scoring threat on the perimeter …

“It’s been that way all year for us. It hasn’t changed a whole lot. What I’ve always said was everyone always wants us to proclaim that you’ve got to have that third scorer, and I’ve never thought that was the case. My whole deal the entire year was I wanted to make sure we could maintain what Jodie and Patrick have been able to get us and they’ve been awfully good at doing that, but some of those things are being taken away from us in the conference and we’re getting a few less points from those positions. I think that’s really hurt us. Teams, to their credit, with their defensive philosophies and the defensive way they’ve been playing us, that’s what you should do against us. But I don’t think it’s always a third guy. I think it’s our third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth guy scoring six or seven points because that’s more realistic for our particular personnel. I would like for us to get back to Jodie and Patrick getting about 20 points a game, and Jodie has been above that all year long and Pat has been real close to that. But when you get and 15 and 15 then we’re definitely hurt and it puts a ton of pressure on Jodie and puts a ton of pressure on Pat, but it also puts a ton of pressure on the other players as well.”

On if Ramon Harris returned to practice and how his health is …

“We were off yesterday, but he’ll be back today. They said that he was available to come back into the game the other night after he hurt his shoulder. I would assume he’s going to be fine.”

via Cat Scratches

Article written by Thomas Beisner