Oct. 28, 1999

Head Coach Jim O’Brien
How are the newcomers progressing?
“They are picking up on a lot of new things, things that they have never seen before. This is where having an experienced team helps out a lot because they know what is going on and the new guys can pick up quicker by watching them. In general I am very pleased because everyone comes to practice ready to play.”

Are you ahead of the game?
“I think we are ahead of where we were last year because last year we did a lot of things differently. Having guys returning with a year under their belt they understand the goals and teaching techniques of this coaching staff.”

Ready for the first game?
“It has surprised us by how fast it has approached, but I think it is good because you have guys that are getting tired of playing their teammates in practice scrimmages. It will be good for us to play against someone who hasn’t seen us. Plus this gives us an opportunity to play in front of a home crowd.”

Any goals for the preseason games?
“We just want to get the opportunity to play the young guys, so we can see where they are in their development. We will try to tighten everything up before we hit regular season play in the preseason NIT. “

Has anything surprised you?
“No, everything has gone according to what we had planned. We know we are a little thin up front, but we will have to play and adjust accordingly.”

Michael Redd
“Everybody knows the system very well, unlike last season when some teammates were blind to Coach O’Brien’s coaching. Everybody is coming in on the same page.”

“We would be ready to play tonight if we had to compete. Everybody has come in here knowing what they have to do to get the job done.”

“We can not predict that we will be in the Final Four, but no other team can. That is completely unpredictable. You just have to go out and work hard every day and that is what we are doing.”

“We have not had one bad practice. The freshmen have come in here and played well. I am very impressed with the way they are picking things up.”

Scoonie Penn
“I am very happy with our practices. Every day we are working out the wrinkles. We are becoming more and more comfortable with each other.”

“We are gelling well, because everybody knows the system. We are almost on the same page. People are picking things up well, but we still have to work out some things. It will come together very soon”

“I don’t feel any pressure on the fact that we can’t sneak up on teams anymore. We are going to keep the same approach we have had every day and that is going out and working hard in every practice.”