Cuonzo Martin Press Luncheon 3/4

March 4, 2013

(On when it "clicked" for Jordan McRae)
"He's always had the mentality to score but there were certain things he had to work on, like what he's doing a good job of, we work with him a lot on. He shoots a lot of leaners looking for fouls. Probably the past few weeks its just up and downs, then I talked to him about it. He's 6'5'' with a 7' wingspan, get to your spot on the floor and shoot your pull-up. If you can't get to the rim, not many guys are going to block your shot and he's done a really good job with it. Even with his three point shot, catch and shoot, because of his ability to get to the basket, you have to respect his three point shot, you give him space, you get up on it if it goes around you. He's just been really efficient when he gets the ball, making his moves, looking for his shots, being aggressive. I don't think he's really hung shots or taken bad shots, I think he's doing a good job of taking what's given to him. Now he takes some tough shots, but even in the tough shots, in my opinion, his shoulders are still square when he releases the ball. He's done a really good job of scoring in a variety of ways and like I say, he's put himself in position to win that award."

(On McRae's consistency with his confidence)
"I think so, without a doubt. I think that's for any player. You play with a level of confidence, and for me, I tell them to score the ball. You have to score, play your game, look to attack the rim, get to the free throw line, next face rim are the things that we work on, posting up a little more, that's another way for them to get some baskets. He's done a good job really improving his basketball game, coming off ball screens, attacking the rim, he finds his big guy dive, he finds his shooters. I think confidence has a lot to do with it."



(On Jordan McRae as possible SEC Player of the Year)
"I think if I had a vote, I would vote Jordan McRae. Caldwell Popes is a very talented guy, you look across the boards, you look at the numbers, the percentages, the production, I'd vote Jordan McRae. I'm not just saying that because he's my guy and I really like the way Caldwell Pope plays the game. I think both of those guys will be at that level if they continue on the pace that they're on, have a long career. I just wanted two years in there. Jordan McRae, when you're shooting at the level he's shooting a three point shot at, with pressure shots, guys hovering around him, he's my vote."

(On Ole Miss losing to Mississippi State)
"We'll talk about it, but more about trying to beat an Auburn team that's a hungry team on a senior night, not necessarily what their RPI is. You lose a game, it doesn't matter what the RPI is. For us, it's going to win a basketball game, being locked in from start to finish of a game, because anything can happen in league play."

(On Georgia neutralizing Stokes)
"I think it was more of a case of missed shots. I think Trae was one for 10 if I'm not mistaken, Skylar one for 8. I thought there were decent looks, but you have to give Georgia credit for winning a basketball game. I think it was more of a case of key guys missing shots. I thought they had great opportunities and they weren't forced shots. I think what they were doing, they left a couple guys to see if they could make shots, so they were giving up some and it worked out for them. Then, I guess you can say it worked, because other guys didn't make shots. I don't think it was necessarily leaving Trae and Skylar, Trae and Skylar just didn't make shots. I think they were hovering off of Armani and Josh in that case. It was effective because it won the game."

(On being on the bubble last year)
"You're just winning ball games. I don't know that there's anything you can learn from outside of winning basketball games at this point. However you win them, just get Ws and keep moving forward. I thought down the stretch guys competed, guys played hard, just came up short. The biggest key, if you learn anything, you don't want to put yourself in that position. You want to start out the game strong and then go from there, but this time you just have to win ball games."

(On Auburn)
"You watch them on film, I just watched the game when they played against Vandy, they play hard, they compete, they take charges on dribble penetration, they have guys that can make shots, they have Chubb in the middle who can make post moves, Frankie Sullivan who can score the basketball. It's one of those deals just getting over the mental hump. It's not one thing I can say where they struggle with this. I don't see that. It's just, I can tell you more after the game, but it's hard to say right now watching them on film."



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