Cuonzo Martin Press Luncheon Transcript 2/11

Feb. 11, 2013

(On how the team closed against South Carolina)
"In every road game, we have been right there. At Arkansas I thought we let it slip, but in every other road game we have been right there hovering around that two or three minute mark. It comes down to which team makes the most plays. Which team makes their free throws, and which team does not turn the ball over. We did that. Even though we had 18 turnovers it did not feel like it. When I look at the stat sheet at the end of the game, Jarnell had six and it did not seem like he had six turnovers until I just finished watching the film. I thought he was aggressive, I thought he was active finding shooters. It was good to finish a game like that but also have Trae Golden out there as an extra ball handler and extra scorer, so now double teams cannot come as easily when you have an extra scorer out there when you have guys out there that can make plays and make shots. I think that really helps Jarnell. In the process Jarnell is still finding ways to score the ball. Also, congratulations to Jarnell Stokes for getting the SEC Player of the Week. I think that is a great honor for him with the work he has put in."

(On Trae Golden)
"I said it when I took over the program, I do not want to be Phil Pressey. Phil Pressey is great at what he does but Trae Golden is a guy who has been scoring all of his life. There is no need for him to stop scoring now. I will never put the pressure on him to out and get ten or eleven assists. Like I tell him and all of our guys, if two guys are on you that means someone is open so you find the open man. I tell our big guys the same thing. I want him to play basketball the way he plays basketball. In order for Trae Golden to get a lot of assists he has to be a scoring threat. That is how he gets his assists, when he is aggressive and scoring."



(On Jarnell Stokes recent success)
"I think in my mind and my opinion that offensively on the rebound he is rebounding balls outside of his area. He is going and getting rebounds. He is keeping those balls alive, which I think is something he really did not do last year and something he did not do early in this season. I thought he did in the UMass game but just going and getting big rebounds, keeping it alive whether he gets it or not. Also he has improved with his ability to score with his back to the basket. He has a pace to his game and that is who he is. Some guys make very quick moves and layup and over you, but he has to get a feel for the game. I think for him that is fine. The guys have learned to adjust to that because now it gives him the opportunity to see where the double team is coming from, whether it is coming or not, now he can make his moves. From that standpoint he has been good, but also facing up. As a coaching staff we had to find other ways to get him the ball. You cannot get him on and off the blocks where he is getting the ball at the top of the key and making plays. Picking, popping, and attacking from the wing like last night against the zone. We had him at the high post because he is good passer and now he can attack from that way and if they collapse you find your shooters in the corners and up top. Him being locked in and open to the fact that we have got to find ways to get him involved in the offense because it is not as easy as it looks for him to just say throw it inside to him while guys are hovering around him."

(On Quinton Chievous and D'Montre Edwards getting into the rotation more following the USC game)
"To those two guys credit they continue to work hard in practice. I knew there were reasons those guys were not playing but it is hard when a guy continues to work hard you have to reward them at some point. I just thought it was time. They stayed consistent. I always tell those guys after every game to be ready, be ready your time is coming. It is the same way with Brandon Lopez, he did not play yesterday but be ready. Keeping those guys locked in during practice. But Quinton, as you watch (USC's Michael) Carrera, he is a 6-5 guy with long arms and is very active around the rim. Plays a tough style of game and I knew Quinton Chievous would be a guy we had to go to from a physical standpoint. That is up his alley, just competing. That is how Q plays in a lot of ways so I knew he would be ready to play. I knew he would get his fouls and he would get his money's worth on those fouls and be aggressive. In D'Mantre's case, with Jordan McRae and Josh Richardson playing so many minutes, and when we played Georgia, and give Georgia credit for winning that game, I just feel like we were bogged down and looked a little lethargic and I just said we have to have fresh legs out there. I thought those two guys gave us that as well."

(On returning to Memorial Gym)
"It is one of those deals where you obviously have to be good to win in that environment. It is a differnent environment so your players have to adjust especially in the first half going away from the bench on offense. I think in those environments you obviously have to have talent but I think you have to have a good point guard. The reason I say that is because those guys need to be able to direct traffic for you. When you are away from your bench and your coach is not right in your ear you have to be able to direct traffic, call the plays, run the offense and get you where you need to be offensively in order for you to have success on the offensive side of the ball. I think from that standpoint, being in a unique situation which you have not seen as a basketball player you have to have leadership on the floor to get you over the hump in that first half, or at least the first ten to fifteen minutes."

(On whether the importance of communication is placed on offense or defense with Memorial's set-up)
"In the first half it is obviously offense. In the second half it would be defense. I think in the first half you have to do a great job communicating offensively, executing what we are trying to do and get into a flow and a rhythm making sure everybody is on the same page."

(On limiting the production of Kedren Johnson)
"We just watched film on him this morning. I do not think we did a good job of keeping him in front of us in the second half (of the last game). He did a good job of using his big guys coming off those screens but I thought we gave him angles to much to get to the rim, as opposed to fighting through that ball screen and going shoulder to shoulder with him and keeping him in front of you and forcing him to shoot over you. He will have opportunities to penetrate because of the Princeton style offense they run they have shooters out there. The key is that he has to shoot jump shots over you. If Josh and Jordan and those guys defend him then opposed to him having angles to laying the ball up and putting our big guys in potential five situations."



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