November 29, 2022



Coach Holtmann and players Bruce Thornton and Sean McNeil met with the media after practice to discuss team progress as they prepare to go on the road to Cameron Stadium to face Duke on Wednesday.

Coach Chris Holtmann

On playing Duke:

“We obviously play a terrific program. They’re talented, well-coached and we have some familiarity with them from playing them here last year, but they have a number of new faces. It will be a great challenge for us here on the first true road environment and we’re looking forward to it.”

On the strength and height of their opponents:

“They’re as big as any team will play all year and it’s not necessarily at one particular position, it’s more across the board. They’ve got great depth. They’re number one in offensive rebounding percentage in the country right now. So to say that’s a concern going into the game is an understatement.”

On a successful offense:

“You know I think it’ll be interesting to see what those numbers look like as the year goes on. I think we’ve we’ve had some good offensive moments. We’ll see how consistent we can be with that. We can touch the paint a little bit better than what we were able to last year, but we also lack some things that last year’s team had.”

On the environment at Cameron Indoor:

“I’ve never coached in Cameron Indoor before so I cannot spell out what it’s going to be like. We’ll do typical things we do preparing for really loud environment like noise machines and making sure our communication is more visual versus verbal. As much as anything, we’re looking to see how they respond to this environment and it’s gonna require great poise.”

Bruce Thornton

On playing at Duke:

“For me just from watching basketball playing at Duke is a big thing. It’s top 5 program and I’m very excited to play there.”

On what concerns him the most:

“The main thing is that they have the best offensive rebounding team in the country. Getting multiple offers around you is dangerous. There’s a lot of second chances for wide open threes so it can be very detrimental to our team if we don’t box out and let them get multiple rebounds.

On settling into the team:

“It was just gaining confidence, the first three games is how you get used to the team and used to the field but I feel like when the competition rises, that’s when the pressure is on. We’ve gone two and one but the whole goal is to win it all.”

On team progress:

“I feel like we’re in a good space right now. We’ve been sharing the ball and we don’t really care who has the most points that night. For me personally I really don’t care about the most points at the end. If we win I’m happy.”

Sean McNeil

On getting on the court in Maui:

“It was big for me and took a little bit longer than I would have liked to get going a few games in. I just had to stay within myself and play within the system and shots started falling.”

On playing in a crazy atmosphere:

“Maui was the hardest place I’ve played probably up to tomorrow. I’m an experienced guy and I do know what these games are like and I try to tell the younger guys about it. It’s about not getting too rattled by the atmosphere and the environment. It’ll be loud, it’ll be a lot of people in there, it’s a smaller place to play, but it’ll be a lot of fun. I’m sure it’s probably easier said than done handling that in the right way.”