WKU basketball – McDonald talks St. Joe’s game

10 11 2010

WKU coach Ken McDonald

– On the anticipation of starting out the season:

“This has been an important week, and I think we’ve had some very good weeks of practice in terms of effort and there’s a lot to do in a short amount of time with a game of this caliber. We’re trying to put the pieces together and continue to work hard. But obviously there’s a sense of excitement with a game right around the corner.”

– On whether or not his team is ready for Friday’s opener at St. Joseph’s

“It’s a relative term – I think St. Joe’s has had the same amount of time to prep, they’ve got the same amount of new guys pretty much and we’ll see. I think if you’re gauging how we’re doing and whether we’re improving, then yeah, we’re improving. Leadership’s important this time of year with guys that have experience at this level. You have to continually talk to your team about what it’s going to be like on the road, what to expect, so that we don’t come out not ready to play or have a bad half or don’t understand how to finish. You’re hoping the message is getting across.”

– On what he took from the team’s two exhibition games

“I think it’s hard to read exhibitions from a competition standpoint. You can gain some confidence or get a feel for who’s trying to do the things you want done. It’s more effort and whether guys are listening. But from a competition and understanding standpoint, it’ll be a game-to-game experience. You just hope guys grow up sooner rather than later. But we’re trying to make it hard on them so when situations come up, they can handle it. We’ll see come gametime. You hope the initial game jitters gets out of their system and they can work it out on the court.

“I think a lot of positives (have been gained over the exhibitions). We made progress, that’s the big point of emphasis. Improvement, progress, continue to work on teamwork and pride, continue to get tougher and understand that we don’t have an easy road with this schedule. I’m happy with the improvement, but there’s a lot to work on. … That’s part of having a lot of new players. It’s important that I practice patience.  I’m trying. That’ll be the case with the staff, we need to be patient. And that’ll be the case, hopefully, with the fanbase – understanding that we are making progress.”

“I think if we’re talking about competing, we’ve put a lot of stuff in and we’ve started to build our defensive philosophy, if we go out and understand the competing part from an energy standpoint and really start to get better at the mental focus part then we’re doing Ok. We’re getting there. That’s what you want to see this early. Some energy, some enthusiasm, some execution, those are things I’m going to gauge in terms of success.”

– On the opportunity to start out strong on the road after struggling away from home quite a bit last season

“It’s a great opportunity to put a lot of things behind us and look into the future. Regardless of how this game goes, we’ve got a lot of potential, but potential’s nothing unless you’re reaching it. It is a process, we have to work, but it’s a great opportunity. … I think there’s no better opportunity than (winning) on the road, it proves a lot about yourself.”

– On what he expects from St. Joseph’s

“They’re not going to give up anything easy. Their freshmen are talented and can compete just like ours can. They’ll have moments where they look really good and moments where they look really bad – probably similar to us at times. But I know their coach will have them ready to play.”

– On longtime St. Joe’s coach Phil Martelli

“Well hopefully this doesn’t come down to a coaching contest,” McDonald laughed. “We know how that might go. No, it’s one of those things where I have a lot of respect for what he’s done – he’s a heck of a coach, good motivator and good X and O’s guy. He’s also trying to develop young guys at a faster rate than they’re supposed to because they’ll have to also rely on some new ones. And they’re trying to get back to where they were. They’re not going to give us anything, no question about that.”

 

– McDonald also added Wednesday that the team is in good health, as is senior forward Sergio Kerusch. Kerusch has practiced full-speed the past two days after sitting out the Xavier (La.) exhibition with a sore foot. McDonald said he’ll be ready to play come Friday.

– As far as official signings go, WKU says that McDonald will not discuss the class until all the anticipated Letters of Intent are in hand. So it may be a bit of time before all the necessary transit of letters becomes complete.

Again, we’ll have more on all of that, when it becomes official.

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2 responses

10 11 2010
Topper12

We’re on pins and needles over Cezar Guerrero. Why didn’t he sign today?

11 11 2010
Nick Baumgardner

Your guess is as good as mine Topper12. I haven’t been able to reach him, and I’m not the only one. But whenever we get word, one way or another, we’ll be sure to pass that along.

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