Yesterday was Monday and that means that the SEC men’s basketball coaches were back on the line for their conference call. All in all, it was a pretty boring, uneventful session, but here are a couple of things I thougth were of interest:
– Gillispie said the Cats are looking forward to what he called a “difficult game” because Andy Kennedy’s team plays as hard as anyone and hasn’t let things like injuries be excuses
– When he was asked about the emotions he went through seeing Ramon Harris collapse, Clyde said that basketball is extremely important to everyone involved with it, but it’s not nearly as important as the people and a scary situation like that makes you step back and gives you a better perspective on what’s important. He also said that the Alabama staff did an unbelievable job with their care in a timely fashion and they were all very appreciative of how they handled the situation.
– When questioned about whether or not he expected Ole Miss to play a 2-3 zone and if it would mean a big night for Jodie, Gillispie shrugged it off in typical fashion and said no matter the defense, he needs other people to step up and help score the ball. He said that a zone wouldn’t make a big difference for them because Meeks is the only player who has proven he can hit a three, but said “we are not executing offensively” and that they must start executing and not turning it over if they want to “be the team that they can become”.
– When asked to touch on the overall play of Jodie Meeks in SEC play, Gillispie said he’s done a “fantastic job” of not forcing things, especially when the team is having problems scoring. He said that he tells the whole team that “if you play hard on defense and rebound, there aren’t many shots that are bad” on the other end.
Billy Donovan (Florida)
– When asked about teams not holding serve at home over the weekend, Donovan attributed the lack of home court advantage to youth across the conference, which makes consistency tough for most of the teams
– He said that his current Florida squad is a very good passing team because of their size and they’re all willing to pass up a shot in order to get someone else a better look. He specifically singled out Nick Calathes as a guy who “gets a lot of pleasure out of passing the ball” (make your own joke), but said the whole team is strong in that area
– As far as his team’s blowout at Vandy, Donovan did not directly mention Tim Tebow, but said that he thinks shooting well like they did against the Commodores can change a young team’s mindset for the better and would like it to continue throughout the year.
Darrin Horn (South Carolina)
– The coach of UK’s weekend opponent was asked a couple of times about being able to come into a situation where talent was already there, which is not always typical for a first year coach. Horn said that although there was talent there, it was a bit of a double-edged sword because they were talented players that hadn’t learned how to win yet. He thinks they’ve done a very good job of learning how to do so.
– Jerry Tipton followed up and asked how they were able to win and Horn chuckled and said “luck”. He went on to expand by saying that they work hard and don’t take shortcuts so they can be in the position to make those “lucky” plays to win games at the end and he’s very proud of how hard his players have worked
Trent Johnson (LSU)
– He said that Tennessee is battle-tested after playing one of the toughest schedules in the country
– Johnson also said he thinks Tyler Smith impacts winning more than any other player in the conference and maybe the country. Feel free to discuss below.
– His voice is very, very sultry.
Bruce Pearl (c’mon, you know)
– Pearl still not a fan of the three-point line moving back and said that it has impacted his team’s ability to shoot the three and affected them in close games. He said he was not in favor of it when it was brought up originally in an effort to open up the lane, and he thinks that it has failed in its desired effect to do so. Sounded irritated.
– Coach Pearl also said that because of personnel changes in the off-season, the Vols aren’t really a very good pressing team at this point in the season
– He also said that he’s hoping that the strength of schedule (3rd in the nation) will help them as they move throughout the conference
– totally sounded like he was going to coach this week