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BIG 12 CONFERENCE MEN'S MEDIA DAYS


October 17, 2012


Rick Barnes


KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI

THE MODERATOR:  We are now joined by Texas coach Rick Barnes.  Coach your opening thoughts and we'll go to questions.
COACH BARNES:  This is the first time we've ever had a team of our recruited athletes.  We only have freshmen and sophomores.  It's been a really fun group to work with.  We really appreciate the role that the NCAA put in this summer that we were allowed to spend time with them during the summer on the floor.
But we feel like we've got a pretty good pulse on this group.  So we're excited about the season and looking forward to getting going.

Q.  Style of play?  Two questions, style of play, you've done some of the Utah Jazz action over the last year or so.  Will you stick with that?  Then, will Cam and Prince ever play together on the court at the same time, do you think?
COACH BARNES:¬† Well, our style will be ‑‑ the one question that I think we've got to answer is can we get some consistent scoring from a couple different guys that we really do think that we're going to be a team that's going to be balanced and one we're doing with some of the things that you mentioned with the Jazz but also back to some of the things that we've always tried to do to get the ball inside.
We do have Cam and Prince playing together some, and it's not so much what we're concerned about offensively with those two guys, but it's more defensively.
But Prince is very long, very quick, and can really move.  But yet either one of those guys have ever played very far from the basket.  Those guys really do complement each other in practice when they go against each other, because you have Cam who is a very big, strong, powerful player.  And you have Prince who is long and blocks a lot of shots.  So those two guys I think have helped each other throughout our practice sessions.

Q.  How important is it to you as a coach knowing that three of your Top 5 scorers are coming back this year?
COACH BARNES:  I don't know.  How many did they score last year?  That's really you go back to a year ago and think about our team, we relied on Jacobin Brown so much, because we just couldn't seem to find that second or third consistent scorer with our group last year.  As the year went on, Sheldon McClellan started being more consistent, and we need him to do that with this group.
But with the guys that we have returning, we know that we're going to play 11 guys because of where we are right now.  We've gone back to really talking a lot about accountability and efficiency and having everyday players and guys that we can count on.
So really, we need that from Sheldon as much as anybody because he has a knack for putting the ball in the basket.¬† I think a challenge for him will be that he's got to be able to do it day‑in, and day‑out.

Q.  You mentioned balance and coaches like balance.  You lost your number one scorer.  Is McClellan the best shot you have at replacing Jacobin as some type of number one scorer?
COACH BARNES:  Yeah, I think you would say that because of the fact that he's at ten points a game a year ago, and he does have a knack.  He needs to become more specific in terms of we've been getting on him in practice again.  Still a year ago, and we do it even now, where he needs to be ready to shoot the ball when he catches it, because he's going to be guarded.  He just needs to want to shoot the ball when he's open as opposed to trying to maybe mess with it a little bit too much dribbling or looking to overpass it.
But Sheldon has the ability to score.  He's got an innate ability to do that.  Probably the most natural scorer that we have on our team.  So we just need him to be consistent.

Q.  How about the perimeter shooting?  Who are those guys going to be?
COACH BARNES:  Well, again, obviously Sheldon is a guy that can do that.  But I think with our returning players we've got Jonathan that's really worked extremely hard to stretch his game out a little bit.  Did you ask me how many pure shooters we have?  I know we've put a lot of time into shooting and we've watched guys get better this summer.
But if you ask me‑‑ well, if you ask those guys they would all think they're pretty good shooters.¬† But it's going to be a team that there's not a guy on our team that can't shoot.¬† I'll say that. ¬†We have a guy that every time he shoots it, you think it's going in, I would think that would be probably Sheldon.¬† He's good.¬† When it leaves his hand you think it's got a chance.

Q.  With all the freshmen and sophomores, this appears to be one of your youngest teams you've had.  Is it a little trying to your patience that you've got so many young guys that are going to be called on to do big things for you?
COACH BARNES:¬† Well, I think every year‑‑ I don't think when we go to practice did I ever look at these guys as being young.¬† I really don't.¬† I don't really buy into the young.¬† Even though as coaches you have a tendency to really probably get after teams that you think can be good probably more so, and this is a group that we've got confidence in and we think that they've got a chance to be good.
But we never looked at them as being young.¬† We've never used that term with them either, we're this, that or whatever.¬† We just know that we've got to coach them and teach them to compete every single day in practice.¬† Knowing that, again, that's why we've always tried to play a difficult non‑league schedule to get them ready for Big 12 play.
But in terms of patience, I don't know.  I've had some teams that would try your patience maybe more so than younger guys, because this is a group of guys right now that I will tell you the chemistry with this group has been as good as it's been in a long time.  It's a group that we've enjoyed going in to practice with every day.  It's a group that they put a lot of time in on their own.
So it's been a fun group, and I don't think it would be‑‑ I wouldn't use that I've been impatient with them.¬† I know I want them to be everything that we think they can be.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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