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January 16, 2012

Tony Bennett

COACH BENNETT:  Watching ACC basketball, you see how every team's going to be a battle.  You prepare the best you can.  When you go on the road or at home, it doesn't matter, you're going to have to be sharp.
So we're obviously getting geared up to go play at Georgia Tech, and hopefully we'll continue to improve.  With a bye week after the Duke game, just trying to, you know, find the areas we need to get better at.

Q.  Sammy looked pretty down after the Duke game there in the locker room and stuff.  I was just wondering, do you say anything to him or have you said anything to try to perk or lift his spirits at all?  Or is the fact that he's a fifth year senior guy with so much experience and stuff under his belt that you figure he can just kind of get through that kind of thing on his own?
COACH BENNETT:  I think you definitely say something to him.  We just talked.  He said you bounce back.  He's a significant reason why we've gotten off to a strong start.  He's helped us in a lot of games.  He'd be the first to admit he had an off game.  We just said all is well, and let's get back to it.  You find ways.  Make some mental notes and find ways to be ready and more prepared for the next game and see where we're at but not to dwell on it.
There is some wisdom in just moving on.  Glean from it what you need, but move on as a player and be ready to play in the next practice.

Q.  In looking at the film and everything, was there anything fundamentally wrong with his shot?  A lot of them looked like good looks he was get ting?
COACH BENNETT:  No, he took some.  He just was a little out of sync and maybe out of rhythm.  Maybe one or two he took where they got a piece of it.  It's just sometimes whether you put it on the deck more, try to get into the lane ask create.  But he did some good things defensively.
As a shooter, you're going to have some cold nights.  It's just the channel always is to impact the game in other ways.  He did do some good things, but he had a couple of careless turnovers.  Don't let off shooting affect the rest of your game on both ends of the floor.  That is always the challenge, because he provides value more than just his shooting.

Q.  He had the five assists there too, actually?

Q.  Continuing with the long range shooting with all the guys, when you've had a chance to review it on the phone, especially and specifically with the past two games, have you been pleased with the shots that they're getting from the perimeter or would you like to see them get better looks, more open looks in areas?  What have you thought about the quality of the shots they've been taking from the perimeter so far?
COACH BENNETT:  The majority of them have been quality shots and good looks.  There have been a few that have been too contested or a force or a rush, but the majority have been good looks.  You know, it's those that you take with confidence.  Again, hopefully, you start knocking those down.

Q.  I was just wondering, you talked about the bye week.  We talked about it earlier and Coach Hamilton was talking about the fact that they had a week to get ready for NorthCarolina may have contributed to what happened Saturday.  I just wonder how you use that bye week?  Do you think it's a big advantage in the middle of the conference season?
COACH BENNETT:  Yeah, but not in the middle of the conference season.  I think you use it to its fullest from a rest standpoint and a preparation standpoint.  Those are the two pluses for it.
After our Duke game we took off Friday, practiced Saturday, and then took off Sunday.  So there were two days out of three where we had off.  Certainly you have a little longer stretch to maybe address some things about your own club.  Yeah, in preparation for Georgia Tech, but even more, this is somebody we'll take a little more time on, because we're not hard‑pressed and we don't have a game the next day or two days out.
We can clean up a few things that maybe time would allow us to, where if it was in the normal flow, you wouldn't spend as much time on.  So I think that's positive to be able to address some things and take the time to correct them, and then the rest part of it.  Certainly you get an extra day or two of preparation.
So those things combined are hopefully a positive.  But when you're playing well, it's not all bad to keep on rolling too.

Q.  Looking at Georgia Tech, it was a team that was really struggling in pre‑ACC, and they've actually played pretty well since conference play.  You say you have an extra day of maybe preparation for them.  What is your focus on going into that?
COACH BENNETT:  You mean coach is doing a good job.  They're probably getting more accustomed to him and what he wants in his system.  But it seems that's been the case with a lot of teams in the league.  Either guys getting healthier or hitting their stride.  It's competitive.  They've got some talented players.  They defend hard.  They run good offense.  They make you earn your possessions on offense.  So when they're playing well, like most teams, they're well rounded.  They have some size.
Like I said, you're just going to have to be solid.  I don't think there is any one key area with them, but you're going to have to be solid because they play a pretty complete game, a game when they're playing good basketball.

Q.  Coach, I guess you're in an interesting situation this week where you have two kids that transferred at the beginning of the season, and you have a player that's actually going to join you this week.  Have you ever had a situation like that in the past where you had a guy join your team mid year right in the middle of the season.  Talk a little about how you kind of massage Teven Jones into things both on the practice floor as well as academically and into the University?
COACH BENNETT:  Sure.  Yeah, I've had over the last‑‑ a good guard transferred mid year, Taylor (Indiscernible) when I was at Washington State.  Actually he was recovering from an injury when he transferred, so he wasn't able to step in and work out with the team as much right when he got there that semester.
But I think it's a positive for us, and it's a positive for Teven.  His prep school coach called us and told us I've got a player who is going to be doing this at another school or is planning to.  He said this would be great for Teven to get used to your system.  He can work with your strength coach, compete against your guys.  He said, and I know your numbers are a little low, would this be something you'd be interested in?  And absolutely I said we would, because I do.
From a basketball standpoint it helps give us some depth in practice.  He can't play in the games, but it will just get him more ready for the following year.  Plus in the process it helps us having another guy.
From the academic side of things, he won't be traveling, so he can really focus in and try to get off to a solid start here and get some quality credits and start his academic career on the right foot as well.
So, again, for us, this is a win‑win, and I appreciate it that Coach Huckaby would be unselfish enough to say this is going to help you guys and help him, and he allowed us to have him because he had obviously graduated from high school.

Q.  Coach, could you talk about the play of your two freshmen there now?  Playing?  And tell us how they're doing?
COACH BENNETT:  I thought they did a solid job when they got in the game against Duke, then even some games before against Miami and obviously Paul has just sort of come off his red shirt and missed the first number of games, so he doesn't have as many minutes under his belt.
But I thought that was a good sign for them and for their future.  I think all these minutes they get, they help us with depth.  It means we're nine deep when Paul and Darion are playing.  And we have coming off the bench are Akil and Malcolm and those other two.
So that helps us with our depth.  I think it's very good, again, for them and for their future to be in those settings and get some minutes, important minutes.  As they continue to play well, those minutes certainly could expand.  It's all, again, about helping the team, and I think that's a positive.  So I'm happy that it's early in the conference season and they've given us some quality depth.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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