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PACIFIC-12 CONFERENCE MENS' MEDIA DAY


October 23, 2014


Andy Enfield

Nikola Jovanovic


LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA

THE MODERATOR:テつ At this time I'd like to introduce USC coach Andy Enfield and student‑athlete Nikola Jovanovic.テつ We'll have coach make an opening remark, then take questions from the audience.
COACH ENFIELD:テつ We're happy to be here, especially with our starting power forward Nikola.テつ He's had a great off‑season.テつ We have six new players, four freshmen, two transfers.テつ Exciting time.テつ We have a young and energetic team with great chemistry.
We're looking forward to the season.
THE MODERATOR:テつ We'll take questions.

Q.テつ Nikola, tell us about playing in China, how that helped you grow as a player.
NIKOLA JOVANOVIC:テつ Well, first of all, I would like to say it was a big honor to represent USC and PAC‑12.テつ It was like a big cultural experience for me to explore China, especially Shanghai and Beijing, also a great opportunity to meet other players from the other teams.

Q.テつ What was it like playing for Coach Krystkowiak, being able to meet some of the other players from around the league?
NIKOLA JOVANOVIC:テつ It was really good.テつ Good thing to play for him, first of all.テつ I needed to gel in their system.テつ I need to give credit to him.テつ He was the guy who actually let me play, show what I can do what I was working on previously in the summer.

Q.テつ Andy, second season at USC.テつ Are there some things you learned last year that are making this preparation different or easier?
COACH ENFIELD:テつ I think every year is different.テつ You have different personnel.テつ We have six new players.テつ Last year our staff came to USC, we had a roster that was pretty much set.テつ We had to adjust some of our philosophies on the offensive and defensive end of the court.テつ This year we have to change.
We have more athleticism, better shooting.テつ We have an elite freshman point guard we recruited.テつ We'll be able to do more things this year.
But it is an adjustment year to year.テつ Hopefully we'll make the right ones.

Q.テつ Nikola, back to your experience in China.テつ What did you feel you were able to show on the court?
NIKOLA JOVANOVIC:テつ I was able to show my post moves.テつ Going forward in the season, I knew I was going to be the tallest guy on my team.テつ I used the opportunity back at home, got a program from USC, from Kevin, Jason, how to improve my game, what to work on.テつ I was following the program, improving individually.
I was trying to be better in the post moves and also to be a more consistent shooter.テつ I think I proved it well.

Q.テつ Coach, what have you seen from Jordan McLaughlin so far and what sort of role do you envision for him this season?
COACH ENFIELD:テつ Jordan is a terrific student‑athlete.テつ He's a student of the game.テつ He understands where his teammates need to be.テつ He leads by example.テつ He's a very hard worker.テつ He has an amazing attitude.テつ People follow him because they like him.
We're expecting big things from him.テつ I think he came to USC for that opportunity, to be relied upon as a freshman.テつ He'll have that opportunity.テつ We're excited for him.

Q.テつ Coach, you said this off‑season Katin Reinhardt has gotten in some of the best shape you've seen him in.テつ Do you see Reinhardt as another guy that can solidify that backcourt?
COACH ENFIELD:テつ Sure.テつ Katin had a big off‑season.テつ We tried to get his weight down to 200.テつ He's there now.テつ He lost about 18 pounds this summer.テつ He's in great shape.テつ He shoots the ball at an extremely high level.テつ He's working on the other parts of his game.テつ He's learning how to come off ball screens, put the ball on the floor.テつ He's working on his shot selection and of course his defense.テつ He played some of the best defense I've ever seen him play the last two days in practice.
If he can keep that up, I think with Jordan, Katin, the other guys we have on our roster, we should have a pretty good backcourt.

Q.テつ Do you have any feelings about how the league may shake out, what may need to happen for you guys to contend for a top spot?
COACH ENFIELD:テつ The PAC‑12 is an excellent conference.テつ Last year, six in the NCAA tournament, 2 NIT teams.テつ Reloaded this year with some very good recruits around the league and actually in coaching.
Last year it was a tough game every night on the floor.テつ This year no different.テつ We start on the road at Utah and Colorado, who are probably both top 25, 30 teams pre‑season in the nation.テつ We understand how difficult it is.
That's what we're here for.テつ We brought in some young, talented players, guys like Nikola, Julian Jacobs, who played a lot last year as freshmen.テつ That's what it's all about, competing at the highest level.テつ We need to take that as a challenge and elevate our program to where some of the other teams in the league are.

Q.テつ You were talking about the great off‑season that Nikola had.テつ He talked about the program you put him in.テつ Could you give us some specifics as to what you had him doing in the off‑season.
COACH ENFIELD:テつ Well, no program works unless you have a player that's dedicated.テつ Nikola is one of the hardest working players.テつ This is my 20th year of coaching.テつ I started in 1994.テつ Out of all the players I've coached, he's in an elite group of the right attitude and hardest working players.テつ He deserves a lot of credit.
Kurtis Shultz, our strength coach, has done an amazing job with his program.テつ Nikola gained 25 pounds of muscle in the last year, 14, 15 months.テつ He is now able to hold his position, finish in the lane, elevate, rebounding.テつ Also has worked on his perimeter moves.
Our assistant coaches do a great job of player development.テつ As soon as our season ended last year in March, we got on it.テつ We knew we had to have big improvements.テつ Nikola deserves the credit.テつ He took the coaching, especially from our strength coach, and really transformed his game.

Q.テつ You look at your roster, you see a lot of youth, a couple of seniors.テつ Where is your leadership going to come from on the floor?
COACH ENFIELD:テつ Leadership is by example in my eyes.テつ It's always nice if your best players are your best leaders.テつ You can be a leader by example, whether you play 40 minutes a night or two minutes a night.
We have a lot of guys that do that by committee.テつ We do expect our old sophomores to step up, like Nikola and Julian, to lead us.テつ Julian Jacobs is our captain right now.テつ He played a lot of minutes as a freshman.テつ You don't need to be a junior or senior to provide leadership.テつ Our players understand that.
We'll wait and see.テつ Once we tip it for real, we'll get a true feeling for who our leaders are.テつ It's easy to do it in the pre‑season, but once the season starts, that's when you need it.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Gentlemen, thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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