home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


October 20, 2005

Aaron Bruce

Tim Bush

Scott Drew

Tommy Swanson


COACH SCOTT DREW: It's always great coming to Dallas. Every coach likes to talk about progress with their teams and after back-to-back years, 6 scholarship guys now moving up to 10 scholarship players and having a chance to practice with 5-on-5 with scholarship players we are very excited about that. It's a situation where I think we're definitely heading in the right direction. Most of the scouting services had a recruiting class reigned in the top 20, 25. We are very pleased not only with the talent level but with the character and the people that we're bringing into our program.

Q. What kind of challenges are you facing with the schedule?

COACH SCOTT DREW: I think right now it's basically like a normal situation, when you start that first week of practice everybody is excited to get out there and get after it. I know as November approaches and other teams are playing games and December approaches it's going to be a little more difficult on our players. But at the same time our coaching staff has really tried to focus more this three months of practice that we have been giving into individual development, skill development so that hopefully each person will improve in the weight room and improve physically then improve on their passing -- passing, shooting, rebounding, dribbling skills like that that they normally might not get a chance to spend a lot of time on.

Q. Almost give you advantage because you will see your opponents have already played by the time they come to you they won't have any film to review?

COACH SCOTT DREW: That would be an advantage. There's advantages and disadvantages. We like to focus on the advantages, so thank you for pointing that one out.

Q. I think everybody knows you stepped into a difficult situation. What have the first two years been like and where do you think you are at right now?

COACH SCOTT DREW: Well, I know one thing, I didn't think I was going to go bald at an early age, but the last two years definitely have sped that process up. But as far as it's been great seeing the transformation of the team in the first two years from the standpoint the group of individuals that we have been able to coach those two years really had a lot of pride about how hard they have played and how they represented Baylor, really taken a personal interest in trying to make that be a positive and show everybody else even if we don't win on the scoreboard we are representing Baylor in the right way. That's what we're very pleased about the type of student athletes we are bringing into Baylor and representing Baylor.

Q. Can you all address -- of course you don't know what it will be like during the nonconference season, can you address maybe some of your trepidations, concerns about what that might be like and also the possibility that then you can turn it -- sweep through the Big 12 undefeated and force the N.C.A. to take you in their tournament?

AARON BRUCE: Well, obviously we have no control over what has happened, so we are just at the moment focused on coming together as a team, like Coach said, working on the individual aspects that's going to make as great a team in the Big 12 and help us through the season. We're just looking forward to it, looking forward to getting on court. Next few months will be hard, but I think the start when we have got a new group like we have, the start of getting together and learning is hard for any group. I don't see it as a great negative. I think that's something to work through and something to deal with.

TOMMY SWANSON: Kind of see it as just extended summer. Like Coach said, it's more time for individual work and kind of brining it all together come late November, December, and I guess for that time period. I mean, where we will be at in December is where most teams will be preparing right now. Just more time to get ready for the season, more time to prepare ourselves. I see it as an advantage.

TIM BUSH: I see it as an opportunity to work on things that you probably didn't improve on over the summer as you did -- definitely free individual game. But I think as a team we have a lot of time to grow and build some chemistry over the course of the three months because we have so many freshmen and I think it's going to be fun. It's been great so far.

Q. The second part of that as far as what you can do in the Big 12, allow yourself to dream?

AARON BRUCE: Absolutely. I think everybody does. Everyone starts the season with a dream. As we're no different than any other team. The Big 12 is such a great conference that you have an off night and you are sure to get better. And you have a great night and you are in a chance with anybody in the league. We're just going to work as hard as we can at the moment. We're not going to look too far down the track and get ahead of ourselves anything like. That we have got a lot of work to do, and we're willing to put in the work. We have a great coaching staff. Great training staff, and the people that we have playing genuinely want to work and genuinely want to get better, so that's definitely a positive.

Q. Generally if you practice, practice, practice it could be monotonous. Any plans to break up the monotony?

COACH SCOTT DREW: Most definitely. We are going to have more days off, more days structured maybe on just individual development where it's just not the rigorous wear and tear. I think every coach realizes you can't practice three, four hours a day for three months and then prepare to play a season. We're hoping to gear in a way that when most teams hit those dog days in February we don't hit them because we are fresh. With that you have to remind yourself as a coach because you always want to do more and more, we have got to make sure we tailor it back so that we don't wear them down or put them in that situation. We'll definitely do things different because of it.

Q. Kind of unprecedented thing you are dealing with. How did you go about the process of figuring out just what you were going to do at least next three months?

COACH SCOTT DREW: First of all, you pray about anything, so we put prayer in there. The second thing, talk to coaches in the profession you represent and say if this happened to you, how would you handle it. Get their opinions. Then after that, spend some time with different strength coaches and people in the NBA asking them as far as rejuvenation, as far as weight training, what is the best way to prepare in the next three months so that we can improve physically and not peak early, but be able to peak when it comes game time when we need them to peak. That's basically what we did is a lot of research and then after you get everyone's opinion kind of put that together and phone in your opinion.

Q. When coaches yesterday were asked what they would do under your circumstances, they really didn't have an answer. They figured it would be a bigger nightmare for the players than the coach?

COACH SCOTT DREW: They didn't have to do the research. I think most coaches will tell you practice is something we enjoy doing, we love it practices; players will tell you that the game is why they practice. It's a situation whereas coaching -- as a coaching staff we will try to make sure in the next three months they have an opportunity to improve not only our team but improve themselves. And like I said, normally you can't spend the amount of time on individual development that we're going to be able to spend, so hopefully in the next three months each of our players are better individually because of it.

Q. In your creative way to prepare for this, is there any way to play -- I am just wondering, any way to play a game that's outside an intrasquad situation that would be in N.C.A.A. guidelines, stage a game against another --

COACH SCOTT DREW: Unfortunately, no. We have explored every option, basically you could do something with our students. What we will do is have a couple of maybe innersquad scrimmages where now we'll play 5-on-5 in front of our fans and one of the Baylor teams is going to win so that's good. But that way you let them experience what is right with the crowd atmosphere and make it simulate the game. The other thing is you are allowed occasionally to have alumni come back and practice. Maybe we will have a couple past players come back occasionally and practice, do some things along those lines. Unfortunately we can't bring in any other teams. We have explored those options.

Q. It sounds like this is not going to be a bunker (sic) mentality, your players probably won't have to deal with a lot of press for a long time. Is that a good thing? Is that something you are not going to have a media day for scrimmage, are you?

COACH SCOTT DREW: No. I do think, though, when games especially start to be played, I would assume they will be asked questions like, now, how are you feeling after you have been able to practice but everybody is playing and you are not playing? So I think they will still get some of that. At the same time I think it's a great way, as Aaron talked about, bonding as a team and on the way up we have talked about it different times also, guys getting together and watching other teams play and let them do their own scouting reports.

Q. Not going to shut the team down?

COACH SCOTT DREW: No. No not at all.

Q. Getting to on-court matters, talk about some of the new guys, how you think they are going to have an impact, especially the guards?

COACH SCOTT DREW: I think start with the new players, first of all, Henry Dugat is somebody that -- actually I even have a better idea. I will let each one of you describe one of the new guys. Tim, why don't you describe Henry Dugat.

TIM BUSH: Henry, he's kind of like the -- like Shaq calls, the Duane Wade flash. I guess he's kind of the flash of our team. Really athletic, a slasher, extremely quick, great with the ball. Won't ever turn it over. He's going to be a great, great player some day. Definitely looking forward to playing with them.

COACH SCOTT DREW: Curtis Jerrells.

AARON BRUCE: He's made a great impression on me so far. I am very impressed with him. He's already has a big solid body. I think he's one of the strongest guys on our team. That's a plus. Also one of the hardest workers on the team, so add that on to the body that he already has and you have got sort of a method for greatness. He has a great body, great work ethic, great skills. And he can shoot the ball from the outside. Very safe with the ball. I think his body helps him with pressure and stuff like that, so when we get into the Big 12 season, I'd say I don't see him facing too many problems in the sense of dealing with pressure stuff like that.


TOMMY SWANSON: He's just an amazing athlete. Can jump out the gym, very good floor speed, foot speed, just -- he has a good, for his height and his body type, great training, what else can I say about him. His post moves are past his time or before his time because he's just a great athlete, just great person to be around. Hard working. Great guy to be around. He's like all our other freshmen, just looking to get better and learn. I think that's one of the biggest aspects of our entire freshman class, that they are willing to learn and take everything in.


AARON BRUCE: Jari is another foreigner in the group. He's from Finland. He brings a great different dimension to our team. He's a big guy, 6-10. He can step out and shoot the three. Be very much 50/50. Can go back in on post, when you got somebody like that it's a very handy tool to have I guess. He poses a lot of matchup problems with teams.

TIM BUSH: Mamadou, a 7-footer, he's a great guy. Definitely a hard worker. His profile speaks for itself. Came in weighing about 197, now he's up to about 246, 245, something like that. Getting stronger in the weight room. Has a great (inaudible) game. I always tell him, man, you can be better than Hakim Olajuwon. He's just great. He's improving every day. He's really, really young, but he's improving every day and I love him to death. Love him a lot. Great guy.

Q. A lot of players in the Big 12 were really impressed with you last year. What were your impressions of your first year in American ball?

AARON BRUCE: I was just put in a very fortunate situation. I knew about the coaching staff at Baylor and that's the main reason that I chose to come to Baylor. Just I can only talk about my season last year. I have only been able to do as much as my teammates and my coaching staff have allowed me to do. Honestly, without them, I could have played at other places and had a horrible season, who knows. But I just thank my teammates very much for their support and coaching staff's support. They have trusted me and put a lot of work, time, and trusted me with leading a group at a very young age, something I think I have adapted to pretty well. Just very thankful really. And hopefully this year we can put things together as a team and come Big 12 season really turn some heads.

MODERATOR: Final words.

COACH SCOTT DREW: Make sure you got some dessert. It was pretty good.

End of FastScripts...

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297