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November 13, 2012

Bob Thomason

Q.  Like to get your comment on how preseason has gone and practices and the games so far.
BOB THOMASON:  Our team is pretty rusty.  We had a lot of guys back from last year's team, which we had a whole brand new team last year.  We had a tour this summer going to France.
So our team is making strides.  Our defense is getting better.  We are taking care of the ball in better time and we are sharing the ball and we are playing quite a few players.  So it's been positive so far.

Q.  What players have stood out for you in the preseason?
BOB THOMASON:  We have two 4 men that right now are playing for each other.  They played together quite a bit last year, Ross Rivera and Travis Fulton, and both of them have been playing very well at that position.  So you know, combining their stats, it's been over 23 points and about 11 rebounds a game from that position.  So that's a real strong position.
I think our point guard play has been a lot better.  We have three players that can play point guard but also play two guard, so we have two of them in the game a lot of times.
And then our centers are making strides.  Khalil Kelley is a junior, started last year.  He's fast and a pretty good athlete.
And then Tim Thomas, 6‑10, 250, gaining experience and played well the other night.  We expect him to continually grow as the season goes on and that will give us a presence inside.

Q.  What are the strengths that you see for your team so far?
BOB THOMASON:  Well, one is depth.  I think we have 12 players that can contribute to our team.  I think we will play Tim every night and I think that we can get to the point where we don't have to play as long of minutes and I think that will help our defense and our rebounding effort.
I think we have a lot of balanced scoring, guys that can score the ball from different positions on the court.  I don't think people can just focus on stopping one or two people.  So those are probably the two main areas right now.

Q.  You're going to play Xavier in the first round.  I know you have some games prior to that at Fresno State and Oral Roberts, but have you looked at Xavier yet on film?
BOB THOMASON:  No, you know, when they scored 117 the other day, I didn't want to look at that game.  My kids in two games didn't score that many points.
I've watched them over the years.  Tremendous athletes, play extremely hard and really good defense and they really crash the boards.
But I don't watch teams until we get ready to play them.  So I'll work on Fresno State, and then on the bus ride home, I'll work on Oral Roberts.  We coaches that work on them early.  It's something that I don't like to ever get in front of myself, so I just take one game at a time.

Q.  What do you think about the format, play two days, off a day and then play on Sunday?
BOB THOMASON:  Well, I think that's fantastic.  It's tough to play three games in three nights this early in the season, although you have to do that at the postseason events.
But I think it gives us a chance to not only rest a little but then also to enjoy the time down there in Disneyland and be with family and friends during Thanksgiving.  So I think it's fantastic.

Q.  Could be your last season coaching at Pacific; thoughts on entering your final season?
BOB THOMASON:  People ask me that a lot.  I'm really enjoying the coaching aspect of what we are doing right now.  I want to give everything I have to this team to being the best they can be.
I know as we go through the season we are going to have a few ups and downs early, but I think this team has a chance to really mature and be an effective group.  I'm just really looking forward to it and giving everything I have, and then when it's over, it's over.
And I've really enjoyed my time at Pacific and living in Stockton.   I think 25 years in the Big West, while they are going to a new league, is going to be fantastic for Pacific.  I think it's the perfect time.
So everything is positive from my standpoint.  I didn't know how good coaching could be with you didn't have to recruit.  It's been good for me.  My assistants have done a great job recruiting for the future and I think the program is in good hands.

Q.  You have St. Mary's in the second round and first of December you play at Gonzaga, so you are getting a taste of some of those West Coast teams.
BOB THOMASON:  We have played quite a few of them over the years.  Have not been able to work on Gonzaga but we are playing at Gonzaga this year and I wanted to give the team a chance to play there in that environment with those good players and a well coached team before they actually entered into a league.
Same thing with St. Mary's, we have played them in the past, might have a chance to play them a couple times this year.  Those teams are outstanding and are really good, and I think it will elevate the program at Pacific. 
We had teams four or five years ago that could compete with those teams and do a really good job.  I think now being back in that league will help in the recruiting and also the games and I think it will be a great excitement to Stockton and Pacific.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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