Saturday, November 12, 2016

Kevin Willard quotebook: FDU postgame

Seton Hall head coach Kevin Willard on Madison Jones' performance:
"Ten assists, one turnover, 31 minutes? I think he passed the first test. We had been starting Myles Powell and Khadeen (Carrington) in the backcourt and Khadeen was really struggling with just the transition, not having another guy back there to help him, and when we moved Madison over last week, he just kind of gave Khadeen a little bit more freedom to be aggressive on offense, which we need him to be. I think Madison fits this group better because he just understands his role. Defensively, he helps us. He's active, gets deflections, and can guard the other team's best player."

On cleaner play after halftime:
"Yeah, first half jitters, a lot. Some of our turnovers were just careless in the first half, and that's the first four or five games, you expect that. I thought the guys did a good job of kind of slowing down the offensive end in the second half, and we also got the ball to the guys who could make plays; Desi, (Rodriguez) Madison and Khadeen, to kind of get guys shots."

On Angel Delgado (22 points, 14 rebounds) and what he expects from him:
"I mean, 22 is nice. He's definitely going to get the ball more, he's got to do better when he has it. Five turnovers is a big issue for me. He's a better passer and he's got to make better decisions when he gets doubled, because he's going to start getting doubled, but yeah. Again, you look at Desi, he's got 12 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, he stepped up his game. They all had to step up their game just a little bit, not tremendously, and I thought they all did a pretty good job of doing what they do very well."

On Michael Nzei and his increased workload:
"It's been great. Mike's been great. They're good, Greg (Herenda, FDU's coach) does a great job. That's a tough opening game. It's not the opening game you want to have, but I wanted to test our guys this year and when you play against three good guards like they have, a power forward when they have (Earl) Potts back, you don't get to use a whole lot. That's why Ish (Sanogo) was out there probably more than he should have. Michael's going to continue to get his minutes up a little bit, they all will. We'll see nine, ten guys in double figures as the season goes forward."

On Delgado's health after an apparent ankle injury in the first half:
"Angel's okay. He sprained his ankle last week in practice, last Friday. Yesterday was his first day back and he re-rolled it, but he's okay. He'll sit out tomorrow and we'll see where he's at, whether he plays on Sunday."

On offensive production:
"This is a funny group, Khadeen played in the Big East tournament and he had 27, 24, and then he didn't play very good against Villanova. He had been playing like this the second half of the season, and all these guys understand and respect what Isaiah (Whitehead) did for them. They really do. If you talk to them, they know it, they'll say it. So with that respect, they're not waiting for it. They just kind of understand the responsibility they have to step up their game. They're not looking forward to it, they're not all trying to do it, they just know as a group that, hey, we just lost a real great player, a high-energy guy in Derrick, (Gordon) and everybody's got to take a step up. I think that's what I like about this group's attitude is that they understand it's not like 'hey, I've got to do it now because Isaiah's not here,' it's like 'we all have to do it because we've got a great player playing a lot of minutes in the NBA."

On Isaiah Whitehead, who attended Friday's game:
"He's up in my office now more than he was before. We went through a very tough decision during the summer, whether he's going, whether he's staying. Me and his mom were trying to get him to go, he was trying to stay. He loves it here. These are his guys. When you win a championship the way we did, you get a bond that lasts forever, you really do. You never forget those moments, and these guys love being around him. They love hearing the NBA stories, and he loves coming back and hearing the stories of what's going on here. We've always been a tight-knit group for the last three years, to be honest with you. It's great having him around, because it's great for the recruits, but also what happens when you get drafted and you play real darn good."

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