|Browse by Sport
|Find us on
March 17, 2012
THE MODERATOR:¬† We'll start with the student‑athletes.
Q.¬† How long did it take‑‑ because it's one of Rick's recurring themes about not playing backward, about putting mistakes behind you‑‑ and obviously that was a big thing for you yesterday.¬† But how long did that take you coming into the program to learn?
BRIAN CONKLIN:¬† Probably about halfway through junior year, maybe.¬† I feel like that's when everything started to click.¬† Coach, he just hammers home points, point after point.¬† I think it was about halfway through junior year that really just all of it at once sunk in, and he does a great job teaching.
Q.¬† How important was that?
BRIAN CONKLIN:¬† Super important.¬† Eight turnovers, just knowing you had to still make plays and go to the free‑throw line and knock down big ones and put what happened in the past in the past.
I knew I could go back and play defense and box out and rebound.¬† Not worry about the turnovers, not worry about the missed lanes, but I always could play defense.
Q.¬† Kwamain, I'm sure you got to see video of Michigan State now and kind of get a look at them.¬† Would you analyze their guard play for us?
KWAMAIN MITCHELL:¬† They're very up‑and‑down transition.¬† They play in transition.¬† Point guard, No.11, he's very athletic.¬† Also great shooters.¬† Like No.30, Wood, and No.13.¬† Their guard play is very good.
Q.¬† Brian, after watching film, could you give us some thoughts on Michigan and their bigs?
BRIAN CONKLIN: ¬†They love to pound it inside.¬† I don't know what their numbers, is but they might have had 40 inside the paint against Brooklyn.¬† They love to get post up in transition.¬† They do a great job pressuring Draymond.¬† He'll come in, trail spot, knock down a jumper.¬† He'll create.¬† He's a great passer.¬† He gets it in the high post, he's able to create for himself or dump it down to their big.
They're big, long, athletic.¬† They definitely crash the offensive boards.¬† We'll have to get a body on them.¬† Kwamain, Dwayne, Jordair.¬† Rebound down and get a couple easy ones in transition like we did yesterday.
Q.¬† Brian, the comparison on Memphis, it was like UMass on steroids, but Michigan State has to be a whole other level, whatever your next‑‑ human growth hormone or something, this has got to be a tough defensive assignment for you guys.
BRIAN CONKLIN:¬† I guess they're going to be Xavier on steroids.¬† They've got two bigs.¬† They've got great guards.¬† They're just a great team.¬† It's a team we haven't played, a team‑‑ we never played a team like that before.¬† Just like we never played a team like Memphis before.¬† Coach has played teams like this.¬† He's got a great scout for us.
We're going to put it into play, and we're just excited to get out there.¬† Had a good walkthrough/practice out there, and the guys are ready.
Q.¬† Either of you, do you feel like by slowing the game down and playing defense, like you guys do that, you can frustrate a team like Michigan State at all?
BRIAN CONKLIN:¬† Definitely.¬† You saw that Memphis got frustrated yesterday.¬† They weren't able to get the early offense, the early touch.¬† Barton wasn't able to come off and curl into his shot, kind of get in the lane.
That frustrates teams.¬† After 40minutes that really wears on you.¬† It might not show the first half, might not show through the first couple medias, but when you get to the third media at the 12‑minute mark yesterday, when we went to work, just that constant hammering, Jordair has a body on Barton every time, we're boxing out a big every time, picking up cheap fouls because it's frustrating to get in the team and kind of be up there with them, you know what kind of toothpaste they use because you're in so close.
It's a fun defense.¬† We love playing defense like that.
Q.¬† It's never easy to knock off a No.1 seed, but we've already seen in this tournament that anything's possible.¬† Could you just talk about both of those things?¬† You sort of have to pull up an upset tomorrow.¬† But seeing all the wild stuff that's happened so far, does that give you more hope, more belief that anything's possible?
KWAMAIN MITCHELL:¬† Yeah, Coach always tells us we take a game at a time.¬† And Coach Harri talked about how teams, how some teams are just happy to be here and we're here to win.
But looking at Duke and other teams going down, I think that gives us confidence also.¬† But just playing our game helps us get us where we are here.
BRIAN CONKLIN:¬† Yesterday was an upset, supposedly.¬† Everyone said we weren't going to win that game.¬† We've already done one, so why not a second one.¬† They're a great team, but we know we have a great team in that locker room, too.¬† We're going to muck up the game like we did yesterday and play dirty basketball, but it's going to be fun and we're excited.
Q.¬† How do you not get caught up in the emotion of that win yesterday?¬† How do you turn the page and move on?
BRIAN CONKLIN:¬† They're such a great team.¬† It makes you turn the page.¬† You can't dwell on we just got our first tournament win.¬† It doesn't matter now.¬† You're here to win.¬† You're here to get business done.¬† And you can't dwell on the past, the past wins.¬† Now once we stepped in that film room and we got the scout on Michigan State, it was totally focus on them.¬† You enjoy last night with family and friends in town, but now it's all business and tomorrow we'll have to come out and play a great game because they are a great team.
KWAMAIN MITCHELL:¬† Like I said, after the game, the players was happy, clapping and stuff like that.¬† But this morning, like Brian said, we put that DVD in, it's a whole different world now, because they're a great team.
Q.¬† Brian, you mentioned mucking it up.¬† How do you muck it up against a team as big and physical as Michigan State?
BRIAN CONKLIN:¬† It's going to be with putting a body on them, definitely, rebounding‑wise.¬† It's going to be scrapping for loose balls.¬† It's not going to be myself getting a bunch of rebounds.¬† It's going to be me getting Draymond off the board, and having, like I said, Kwamain and Jordair those guys swoop down and get those rebounds and start transition.
It's going to be really playing inside/out, having‑‑ packing the paint with their bigs, building out to shooters, making them put the ball on the floor and dribble.¬† And hopefully we got‑‑ taking charges, we have hands everywhere getting in the passing lane, getting deflections and being able to get on the floor and get that loose ball and get out in early transition.
Q.¬† After the game yesterday Coach Majerus talked about players improving, and he talked about the Conklin summer.¬† What was the Conklin summer?¬† What did you do last summer that showed the improvement into your senior year?
BRIAN CONKLIN:¬† Well, being here from three years prior, I was just‑‑ I knew where I was going to get shots on the offense, so I was able to get to those spots this summer and work on my touch from there, just work on just kind of seeing what the game was going to come to me.
Having played three years already, I knew what to expect and just go to those spots on the floor, be able to kind of make plays from there and just take multiple shots from each position.¬† And a lot of free throws.¬† Shot a lot of free throws, and just visualized being in the NCAA Tournament knocking down free throws.
That's how I stepped to the line yesterday.¬† I said that's why you did all that work in the summer, for this moment right here.
So it was just really knowing where I was going to get shots and just putting in the time.
Q.¬† The Conklin summer supposedly involved 85 steps from the gym from where you guys live.¬† Majerus talked about how important it was to utilize your facility.¬† What did you do?¬† Were you in there a lot?¬† How did you take advantage of that?
BRIAN CONKLIN:¬† Oh, definitely.¬† I'm in my master's program right now.¬† Everything's at night that I have.¬† I go to night class for three hours in the some summer, and I was able to just get in the gym afterwards.¬† I know the security guards really well, just kinda knock on window, give them a little wave, they know it's me, let me in, let me in the locker room, and I just kind of go in there and shoot because I don't have to get up really early in the morning because all I have to worry about is night class.
So it was all a bunch of night shooting, because I love to shootaround when we have game times and visualize.¬† It was a lot of visualization and getting in there and getting the shots up.
Q.¬† Were you usually by yourself?
BRIAN CONKLIN:¬† Yeah, normally by myself.¬† Sometimes I try and drag a guy along.¬† Kwamain would come in there, Jordair, Cory, so it was whoever was feeling it at that point in time.¬† A lot of guys, they're working on their undergrads.¬† They have a lot of homework and stuff.¬† I just have to worry about presentations.¬† So I didn't have as much work to do as they do.
Q.¬† Brian, how have you visualized‑‑ and Kwamain‑‑ how have you visualized this team coming along?¬† This school hasn't been in the NCAA Tournament in 14years, I think.¬† You've seen it grow.¬† You guys have seen it grow. ¬†Did you do the same thing with the NCAA Tournament that you did with free throws envisioning this happening?
BRIAN CONKLIN:¬† Definitely.¬† Kyle and I‑‑ Kyle's a senior this year with me.¬† We've been together since freshman year, and we sit in the room and we talk about‑‑ we watch the Selection Show.¬† When we're not in it, we're like, dang, we need to be there.¬† This is that fun time.
Coach Moser would talk about it.¬† When he was here, he would say it's the greatest feeling in the world.¬† You guys are missing out.¬† Every year he would end the season in the locker room.¬† He said you guys missed out on another opportunity.¬† And it was true.¬† Every time we missed out on an opportunity.
This year when we had the chance, it's something that Kyle and I dreamed about, visualized, talked about.¬† This team was coming together.¬† Should have had a big one junior year, but we didn't.
Can't look back, can't dwell.¬† But we're excited to get the chance this year, and it's definitely something that we visualized.
Q.¬† How does it compare with the way you thought it would be?
BRIAN CONKLIN:¬† You visualize it, but once you get the reality of it, you can't compare.¬† Last night was amazing.¬† It was really fun.¬† But now it's time to get that happiness out of the way and get ready to play a tough game.
KWAMAIN MITCHELL:¬† In my opinion, I look at Coach Majerus, he's a great coach.¬† Our coaching staff is great.¬† They go out and recruit great guys.¬† And once you get guys that want to get better, want to learn, I mean, stuff like this happens.¬† And I know with Brian and Kyle and me, our leadership, throughout all four years, gave us the opportunity to be here.
Q.¬† Brian, I missed part of this.¬† So hopefully this isn't a repeat question.¬† Can you talk about your master's studies and how they're going for you?
BRIAN CONKLIN:¬† They're going really well, actually.¬† I'm in a sports econ class on Wednesday nights that I haven't been to too much because of the tournament and everything.¬† But it's a really fun class because all I have to do is open up and read ESPN, Sports Illustrated, and I'm able to kind of catch up with class.¬† So that helps.
I'm in the capstone class.¬† I'm going to finish up my master's this semester.¬† So I'm in a capstone which is a culmination finance, marketing and management and all kind of wrapped in one.¬† And have a midterm on that on Tuesday.¬† That should be fun.¬† Monday I have an executive decision‑making class.¬† So just helps me be a leader, kind of learn how to manage different personalities with employees you're going to have and whatnot.¬† So they're three fun classes and hopefully I get to enjoy it more when the season's over.
Q.¬† Brian and Kwamain, so many upsets yesterday, which makes the tournaments great, but in recent years we've had real signs of parity with Butler and VCUs, for instance.¬† Do guys from the Atlantic 10 and Saint Louis, is there any difference in your mind between so‑called big‑name programs and the level that people say is a mid major?¬† And in your mind what is an upset anymore?
BRIAN CONKLIN:¬† You know, I really don't think it's an upset anymore, just because you saw Richmond last year make it to the Sweet 16, Xavier has made some deep runs in the tournament.¬† Temple is always in there making a run.
We've sent teams every year.¬† We've got more than the Pac‑10/Pac‑12.¬† The last fouryears we've gotten more bids than them.¬† Every big conference team we've played this year we've beat.
You can't call it an upset because I think this year might be the most that we've had mid majors in the tournament.¬† So they're in and they're getting the job done when they're in it.
So upsets nowadays can be such a loose term because there's so many good mid majors out there.¬† Players are realizing they can go to schools and compete with the big schools.¬† It's great Cinderella story.¬† I loved watching Butler and VCU over the years, and having played VCU my sophomore year and see what they did last year, that was really special.¬† That was fun to watch.
KWAMAIN MITCHELL:¬† Brian hit the spot.¬† You really can't call it an upset because I think when games, outcomes like that happen, it give other teams hope and confidence that any team could beat anybody.¬† And in our situation, we don't look at that.¬† We come out every day in practice just ready to get better and learn.
Q.¬† Kwamain was just talking about hope and confidence.¬† What did it mean when Kwamain hit the 3 at the buzzer in the first half yesterday?
BRIAN CONKLIN:¬† It's something we've seen from Kwamain for three years.¬† Kwam has the ball, it's going to be a bank 3.¬† It's just something I expected just because I've seen him do it in practice, I've seen him do it in games.¬† Just the confidence I have in my point guard.¬† As soon as I stepped foot on this campus four years ago, Kwam and I just instantly attracted to each other, just saying he's my PG, I'm going to be his post.
And I have that kind of faith in him because he can hit those shots.¬† When he hits a big one like that, he gets the guys going.¬† We hit two yesterday.¬† It gets us going even more.
So just dial up the defense a little harder, and it's fun when the ball's falling like that and we're playing defense like we were.
Q.¬† Kwamain, hopefully this wasn't asked before.¬† But just how gratifying was it for you to have that moment last night after having missed time last year?
KWAMAIN MITCHELL:¬† It felt great.¬† It felt like Saint Louis is my home.¬† The first time me and my family stepped on this campus I knew Saint Louis was a family to me.
And for me to come back is a great opportunity, to be around Kyle and Brian and the other guys and just the coaching staff and the campus and the teachers, everybody, and community involved is such a great opportunity to be a part of.
Last night I felt all that come true.
Q.¬† Kwamain, you said something a minute ago about being with guys who want to get better.¬† And that seems to be important to you.¬† Tell me the difference between those guys and some other guys you might have played with and why it's more fun.
KWAMAIN MITCHELL:¬† Well, it's just like some guys are just satisfied of things that they are good at and that they take those things and just like‑‑ and just stops there.¬† Like Brian, he got gifts.¬† He's big.¬† He's smart.¬† But Brian has some weaknesses coming in as a freshman.¬† All those things.¬† He got better at that.
THE MODERATOR:¬† Thank you.
Questions for Coach Majerus.
COACH MAJERUS:¬† I'm happy for my guys.¬† It's only 32 teams left after today.¬† And, you know, we gotta guard again against the happy‑to‑be‑here syndrome.¬† But I feel they can compete with Michigan State.¬† And I'm excited for the game tomorrow.
THE MODERATOR:¬† Questions.
Q.¬† You've always talked about guys not playing backward, and it seemed yesterday Brian Conklin evolved a classic example of not playing backwards with everything that was going on to him, with eight turnovers out there, and he kept his focus and did all the things he was supposed to do.
COACH MAJERUS:¬† Yeah, I think he stayed with it.¬† He had that charge and that turnover and the high‑low pass to Dwayne, I mean, he had several, then he missed some shots.
So, anyway, Conklin did a real nice job of being more mature.¬† He gets emotional.¬† He's an emotional player.¬† But he has to be emotional to be effective to a certain extent.
So the question is when do you temper his emotion.¬† And you don't want to bridle it.¬† And then when does he police himself.¬† We took him out after that one sort of altercation there for a bit, and then he got back in.¬† He tries so hard.
Q.¬† It seems like we're seeing fewer true centers and even big guys who want to be labeled as sort of that true center in recent years.¬† Can you talk about that change in the collegiate game and why we're seeing fewer guys who sort of have that label?
COACH MAJERUS:¬† That's a great question.¬† Because I notice everyone wants to be identified as a forward.¬† And what these guys don't realize the real money in the NBA is centers and longevity in the NBA is bigs.¬† Bigs are the number one longevity in the NBA.
So really they would want to be, if they're good, labeled as centers and as bigs, because they're so difficult to find.
But I think AAU ball and as more high schools are playing the shot clock, the 3‑point line, you know, the 3‑point line, you go into any gym in America, pick any gym in Columbus today, go there, any kid between the sixth grade, between the third grade and high school that come out on the floor and they'll go behind that 3‑point line.
So I believe that's the reason why.¬† There aren't many coaches that coach centers.¬† And there's nothing glamorous being Karl Malone.¬† I would venture to guess that half of you‑‑ not trying to be whatever to you‑‑ would not know that Malone is the second leading scorer in the history of the game.
There's nothing fun about watching him position, work.¬† And that's why I like Green a lot and credit 25 and 5 from Michigan State.¬† You can tell they've been extremely well coached in the post.
And then a lot of guys just don't like the contact.¬† So the European game brings you very few centers.¬† The Gasols are all more high‑post oriented because the trap is always lane because of the zone in European or foreign ball and because they run more offense through them at the elbow as they pass more.
So the center is somewhat a dying position.¬† And it's not a fun position.¬† The center is also the lowest selling shoe, by the way.
Q.¬† Can you talk a little bit about what you told your team in terms of taking care of Draymond Green?
COACH MAJERUS:¬† Let's reflect on that after the game.¬† Not that we got any big secrets.¬† But I would just as soon‑‑ whatever it is we have, I'd rather not go into the game plan, if you would.
Q.¬† Can you talk about him as a player and what you see?
COACH MAJERUS:¬† Green is a great collegiate player.¬† He has a triple‑double last night.¬† And looking at like, say, six films, Green has hit a trail transition 3 in every one.¬† And in every single film, too, he's caught, swept and drive.¬† He's unselfish.¬† Sometimes to a fault.¬† He can pull a 3.¬† He has total freedom.¬† And I would give him total freedom, too.¬† He might be the most‑‑ he's a play‑through‑me, high‑scorer, volume‑points, excellent rebounder, defends.
Like last night you could see him he verbally orchestrates the attack, he passes.¬† He's a very adept high/low passer.¬† I mean, collegiately he doesn't have a weakness.¬† Now, and I think best of all is his attitude.
Of all the high scorers in America, collegiately at every level, he probably lets game come to him more than anyone else, which is a great testimony to the kid.
Q.¬† Obviously you beat Memphis less than 24hours ago.¬† How do you get ready for such a strong team on such short notice?
COACH MAJERUS:¬† We met with them today.¬† We walked through practice here and did a little bit live.¬† Now we'll go back and meet with them tonight at the hotel and show them a little more film.¬† We won't take our shootaround tomorrow because it's so early in the morning.¬† We'll have pregame meal at 11:00 in the morning, and we'll meet with them from probably 10:00 to 11:00. ¬†We'll lay a court down in our ballroom and then we'll walk through just a few things in the ballroom, and then that's about all you can do.
It is a very short prep, and for a very difficult team that runs a variety of things.
Q.¬† We were reminded again yesterday that a lot of lower seeded teams knock off the top guys.¬† And this is kind of a goofy notion, but would this tournament be noticeably different if you essentially threw the seeds out that maybe you seeded the top 2 in each region and then went from there?
COACH MAJERUS:¬† Well, it certainly would be different.¬† I'd have to give a lot of thought.¬† I don't understand that.
I coached at Indiana at Ball State for a couple of years.¬† And Indiana had the greatest high school state tournament in America.¬† They had one winner and, of course, that evokes the Milan championship team and the film Hoosiers, and they had that forever.¬† But then they got a committee together, which, again, that's the same thing that put together the camel.
So then they said we want to share the experience, what about these guys here, shouldn't they share in this, or every parent wanted‑‑ like a lot of it is parents, too.¬† And every kid should be awarded and every kid should get a trophy and we all should tune into Lake Wobegon today.¬† Men are strong and the kids are smart.¬† And I forget‑‑ I love Lake Wobegon, but I got brain lock.
Q.¬† Above average.
COACH MAJERUS:¬† Yeah, I was never in that category.
So now the Indiana State Tournament is three or four classes, it's gone to hell, it's lost all of its charm and magnetism.¬† And they're trying to fix it, and it wasn't broke.
And they'll never put the genie back in the bottle.¬† So I think tweaking certain things would be good.¬† Like rule changes, a terrible rule change for a coach‑‑ but, see, we all worry about the NBA, collegiately.¬† And, again, we should put that rule in the NBA where at the timeout you can advance the ball at the end of the game.¬† That would make it even a better game, just like the 3‑point shot did and the shot clock did.¬† And there's a variety of rules like that that would be better for the game.
But I don't know about your proposal with the tournament.¬† The more I think about it, the more I don't like it (laughter).
Q.¬† How is someone that was Al McGuire's former assistant able to remain contemporary in the game?
COACH MAJERUS:¬† What does that mean (laughter)?
Q.¬† Means you're old.
COACH MAJERUS:¬† I know that.
Q.¬† But along the lines of being so relevant back then and being able to remain relevant today, what would you attribute that to?¬† Why would you say you stuck around and were able to be successful for so long while so many other people in this profession either burn out or don't have the same success?
COACH MAJERUS:¬† Well, I've got great assistants.¬† Number one, I have had good assistants.¬† I've really recruited good kids, for the most part why I enjoy coaching.¬† They are student‑athletes.¬† I very rarely have any type of an issue with them in terms of their conduct or their behavior.
And I'm pretty much old school.¬† So I think that that's‑‑ I like it.¬† And I enjoy it.¬† It's like 3‑D chess.¬† I'm tired now.¬† I'm not too tired to win.¬† But when this season ends, I'm going to go off to California and to Hawaii.¬† I'm going to go out with Nellie (phonetic).¬† I'm going to take some time off.¬† But I do a pretty good job‑‑ the fans at Saint Louis will like the two recruits coming in.¬† We upgraded again.¬† We've gotten better, better, better.¬† And we return our nucleus.¬† So it's not like I'm abdicating my responds.
But you can only work with them two hours a week.¬† And then I'm not into just sitting around the office for the sake of that.
I mean, I can schedule from‑‑ I can schedule anywhere in the world other games if teams will play me.¬† I don't know.¬† I never looked at it that way.¬† I think sometimes I get disappointed because I'm not the coach I used to be.
Q.¬† What do you mean by that, like you're not the coach you used to be?
COACH MAJERUS:¬† I can look at those films and recapitulate verbatim and then have‑‑ I can't do that anymore.¬† As I get like with Al, I used to‑‑ I loved Al.¬† And Al died with what I call Irish Alzheimer's.¬† He forgot everything but his enemies.¬† Honest to God, two nights before he died, I'm in the room with him, three nights before he died, and he couldn't remember‑‑ and he had the names‑‑ he said, Remember when Richie Weiler screwed us (laughter)?¬† And then he talked about Tark on some scheduling deal.¬† And he loved Tark.
Q.¬† I cover the Big Ten, and I've covered a lot of Tom Izzo and great guy, very tightly wound on the surface, and on the surface it would seem like you and he are very different people, but maybe you aren't.¬† Maybe inside you're exactly‑‑ you're pretty close to the same guy.¬† Is there different ways to skin a cat in this business, or are all coaches‑‑ have that intensity inside and their demeanor is just different on the exterior?
COACH MAJERUS:¬† I don't want to come to the press conference intense.¬† This is not like‑‑ I don't know how you win this or lose this, this isn't like important to me‑‑
Q.¬† But you're that way after the games.¬† You're that same way all the time.¬† You're relaxed.
COACH MAJERUS:¬† I don't know about relaxed.¬† I have seven bypasses to prove that I'm not relaxed (laughter).
Q.¬† I guess that's what I'm getting at.
COACH MAJERUS:¬† I really don't know.¬† My players think I'm too tough, too demanding, too whatever.¬† I don't know, you know?
I mean, we had a big issue this year where those kids were oneminute 30seconds late, and my assistant coaches told me.¬† And Al would have said, Why don't you leave the room and you come in late?¬† And I learned a lot from Al, but we were two different guys.¬† I saw a flange of guys fail trying to be like Bobby Knight, and I saw a lot of guys try to be who they weren't in coaching.
I admire and respect and learned a lot from Al.¬† But we would part ways in different ways.¬† And that minute and a half later, what point‑‑ should it be ten minutes late?¬† Should it be five minutes late?¬† Should it be one hour late?¬† You're late.¬† And that probably cost us a game and we had‑‑ there was a lot of‑‑
Q.¬† Was it a meeting?
COACH MAJERUS:¬† It was a meeting.¬† And it was like I didn't think it was fair to everybody else.¬† I think the most disrespectful you can do is be late to somebody because then you're saying your time is more important than theirs.
Everyone understands, a doctor‑‑ these doctors are always late.¬† And, hey, I went with my doctor on a heart transplant.¬† There's a reason why the guy's late.¬† I mean, and that movie when they say‑‑ I'm trying to think of the name of the movie with Alec Baldwin.¬† He says they are God.¬† I saw them take that heart and, boom, put it in someone else and that heart beat again.¬† Those guys being late, fine.¬† But these are 18‑year‑olds who are late because they're watching Def Jam Comedy Hour or something (laughter).
Q.¬† Coach, your response to Mike here and something else you said last night struck me, so maybe a little repetitive, but you said last night that you had to go to sleep, that you just can't watch film the way you used to.¬† And you just made a remark just now.¬† So I was going to ask about whether confidence is affected‑‑
COACH MAJERUS:¬† I don't know about confidence.¬† It's just age.¬† You just get older.¬† You get smarter, maybe, but‑‑
Q.¬† But you've been through it so many times.¬† So do you need to stay up like that still?
COACH MAJERUS:¬† That's a good question.¬† But I feel I do.¬† I mean, I used to want to be on the court two hours early and stay two hours late.¬† Now I don't feel like coming there two hours‑‑ I'm there.¬† I like being early.¬† And I stay late with certain kids and I like the kids.¬† But I just‑‑ I'm just‑‑ I don't know if it's a stream of consciousness thing, but it's just different.¬† And it's just a part of getting older.
Q.¬† Coach Izzo mentioned last night as a graduate assistant he came down to Marquette to work with you, and I was wondering if you remembered a young Tom Izzo back then?
COACH MAJERUS:¬† Yeah, I respect Izzo because he's a self‑made coach.¬† He was with Heathcote all those years.¬† He's demanding.¬† He's fair.¬† His players really like him.¬† And he loves the game.¬† He's a guy that you could get together with and talk ball.
Nowadays‑‑ you know, there used to be a lot of coaches groups.¬† There aren't as many anymore.¬† And when you do, they talk shoe contracts, radio show revenue.¬† Who knows.¬† A million different issues.¬† Izzo is a throwback, and I think part of that is Heathcote.¬† I think part of that's not having been a good player.¬† Part of that is the Upper Peninsula, and part of it is his own personality and integrity.
I'll tell you when I worked ESPN, and I went to the practices, his was the second best.¬† And he did a really good job of‑‑ as you know, he's great with the media.¬† Actually with ESPN‑‑ I had a game in Wisconsin once, he came to me before the game and he said:¬† Here's 12 things we need to do to win.¬† I said great.¬† The last person I would have ever give them to would be the media.¬† But I think he's just genuinely a good guy.
THE MODERATOR:¬† Thank you, Coach.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports