Jan. 28, 2008
Coach Ford on the current losing streak
Well we have to rebound the ball better and opponents are shouting way too many foul shots against us. We go to St. Joe's and they shout 54 free throws in the game and yesterday against Xavier I think they shot 34. Teams are just shooting way too many foul shots against us. We have to figure out how to hold those down a little bit so we can get the game going. It has just been difficult for us when we are fouling as much as we are. You are going to have a tough time winning games when you are sending the other team to the foul line as much as we are. Our defense has improved a little bit but that does not say a whole lot because we have a lot of improvement to go but you look at the percentages our teams battled to lately and it should have been good enough to win games but we just have struggled offensively, we have been forcing it too much offensively they are on their own a little too much and there is a lot of room for improvement.
Coach Ford on the team fouling too much
Yeah, I talked to my team about that last night, fouling is usually a product of being lazy, product of being out of position and trying to recover. For us all of those are true, we are all of those, but also we are not overly big basketball team we're physically big inside so our answer to other teams being physically strong is usually fouling. We just have got to get better at that and we have to be in position better and make a little bit better effort.
Coach Ford on Duquesne's style of play
Xavier liked to get the ball up and down the court too but they even tried to slow the game down a little bit, a least did a good job of slowing us down. I don't know if they meant to or not but again we put them on the foul line a lot a well which slowed the game down. We just can't be a team that succeeds because we play up and down, that is not going to win you games alone. So you know, Duquesne definitely, no question, that is the way that they want to play there is no denying that. Does it benefit us; I would not say that is an advantage or disadvantage. They are just a very very good, talented basketball team when you have a guy like James on your team and a guy like Reggie Jackson at the point, you are always going to have a chance to win a lot of games, period, period. I don't care where you are at, these are high level basketball players and so I don't know if it is an advantage or disadvantage, I don't look at it either way we just have to step up and play a lot better then we have been.
Coach Ford on status of team
No, we are not a team that has the presence of a lot of great players, even though we have some great wins this year we are having a very good season. You don't want to lose to games in a row, we are a team that is basically very young and have had a few injuries. Our whole bench is basically freshmen and that puts a lot of pressure on our other kids. It puts a lot of pressure on Gary Forbes
, Chris Lowe
, Ricky Harris
but for us to succeed they have to play their best and when they don't we are going to struggle, plain and simple, until these other guys can get a little bit older and those guys have not played well lately. It does not surprise me because we are not full of a lot of depth and we have a lot of returning starters from last year where these guys have been through this, lot of these guys this is new territory for them. Gary Forbes
and Chris Lowe
, these are the only two guys to play in much Atlantic 10 play at all, so we understand who we are, we understand that and we understand who we can be. So we have to buckle down, our back is against the wall and see what happens. But no we weren't a team that was looked at as a team that is going to go out there and run the table or before the season a team that was picked to be anywhere near the top. But we have proven that we can play but we have to understand who we are.
Coach Ford on importance of seniors
I think it is huge, I think it is huge. You are looking at a lot of seniors as well that are determined who may not have played in the NCAA tournament before, like a Will Daniels or a Brian Roberts or guys like that who say, hey I want to lead my team to the NCAA tournament, I want to be part of that. I think if you look at a guy like Will Daniels I think he is doing that, you look at Xavier, they have great experience and great leadership, I saw that yesterday, Lavender, Burrell, Duncan, those guys are great leaders not just great players. I think before the season even started, media day, there was a lot of talk about the returning starters in the Atlantic 10, how many teams had so many returning starters. That is always a huge plus, but when they are seniors, that even makes it better and I think that is what you are seeing a lot right now.
Coach Ford on senior leadership
We remind them of that everyday, we expect more out of them that is for sure. Gary Forbes has been around the block but I think he wants his team to succeed, I can't say that when he was at Virginia that he won a lot of games and it is time for him to lead his team to a lot of victories and I think when you are a senior the responsibility falls on your shoulder, the same thing with a Etienne Brower or a Dante Milligan these guys want experiences so we are motivating these guys to do that, to go out their senior years with the best year that they have ever had.
Coach Ford on seniors influence on younger players
You hope that would be the case, definitely, when you have a young player like Ricky harries who is experiencing a little bit of success, you want him to be humble enough and look at older guys and to see how to react every day. In a coaches perspective it is always great if your best players, hardest working player everyday, that is what you want because not only is it going to make that years team better but that sets a good example for all of the younger players as well, so there is not question, absolutely, I agree with that 100%, but you know these guys need to look up to the older players and the older players need to set an example for them.
Coach Ford on Ricky Harris as most improved player in the Atlantic 10
Oh I think his name needs to be brought up, I don't think there is any question, when you look at from what they did from one year to the next, most improved definitely, as for as points he just did not get much of a chance last year, did not get a lot of minutes but not question. When you go from averages a couple points a game to averaging 20 I think you should be leading that pack.