Sunday, November 12, 2017

Kevin Willard quote book: Monmouth

On Myles Powell being able to carry Seton Hall offensively:
"I don't think everyone's seen how good he's going to be just yet. He hasn't played nearly as well as he has in practice and I think once he gets his game legs under him, I could see him on any given night getting 20-25 just because of the way he's shooting, the range he's shooting, the way that first unit really understands how he opens up the floor for them. I think once he gets in his rhythm, I still think you haven't really seen what we've seen so far."

On being ranked 23rd in the nation:
"It's great."

On Seton Hall's response to a quick turnaround after Friday night's game vs. FDU:
"I was happy with the first half. I thought the first half, once we got our defensive energy going, I really thought we played a good first half -- scoring 48 points, 11 assists, only four turnovers, five turnovers. I was really happy with our first half. I just thought in the second half, we kind of got a little stagnant, a little dribble-happy. It sometimes happens when you get up 16-18 -- we got up 19 and I thought we just didn't play with the same sharpness."

On production from Michael Nzei and Ismael Sanogo at power forward:
"That spot -- I just -- that spot makes me sleep well at night no matter who's out there, what part of the game. I have total confidence in both Mike and Ish. I thought Mike's offensive rebounds in the first half really gave us a good bolt."

On sharing the ball:
"This group, they like to pass the basketball. They're not caught up in scoring, they're not caught up in who gets what shots, they kind of know the offense kind of goes through everybody and again, when we play with good pace and we're popping the ball, no one's thinking about 'I have to shoot.' They're all thinking about 'let's get someone open,' and when you play that way -- again, we use the term "hockey assist" a lot. We celebrate the hockey assist as much as the assist."

On Khadeen Carrington and his assist-to-turnover ratio:
"Once Khadeen kind of gets used to -- he's in such a different role right now. Once he gets his legs used to -- I think he's missing shots right now just because he's not used to the load that he's having to carry, bringing the ball up, guarding the guy. Once we get four or five games under him, the shots he's getting -- because again, he's taking all good shots -- he'll start making them. Like I said at the beginning of the year, I have total confidence in him playing and running the show."

On how he feels going into Wednesday's game vs. Indiana:
"I think we have -- tomorrow, we'll lift and we need to watch a lot of film on us and Indiana. I like being 2-0, but we have a lot of room for improvement. I like the fact that we're 2-0, but we have a lot of room for improvement."

On whether he had seen Indiana's game against Indiana State:
"I have not seen Indiana yet. I have too much respect for King (Rice) and the job he's done at Monmouth, and his players, so I'll watch Indiana tonight."

On coming back with less than 36 hours between today's game and Friday vs. FDU:
"I think because we were home, it wasn't overly tough. I just think from the fact that we're playing Wednesday-Saturday, four games in ten days, I think it is -- I think that's what we're trying to get these guys, mostly the young guys, to understand personnel, scouting reports, and what we're doing. From that standpoint, I think it was tough on them from a mental standpoint. Physically, no one played that many minutes on Friday. I think Khadeen played 22 on Friday, so physically, it's not. Getting these guys back mentally to where they have to prepare, I think they were a little shot mentally."

On his freshmen and what they can bring to Seton Hall's rotation:
"I think all three of them -- Sandro (Mamukelashvili) as he gets more comfortable on the defensive end, he gets very frustrated with himself on the defensive end right now. As all three of them kind of figure out a little bit -- you can almost see when they're out there with the other guys that you have three guys just rotating and making natural rotations, and they're all kind of just sitting there and the mouse is going around, and they're grinding and grinding and it's just late. Once that kind of gets to be a natural rotation, a natural -- how they're playing, you're going to see all the freshmen take big leaps, and that usually happens sometime in their sophomore year."

On opening the season against FDU and Monmouth:
"I think it's -- playing the local teams -- when I was at Iona and you played St. John's or you played Seton Hall, it's like a Super Bowl game. It's such a different feeling on this side because losing one of these games in my position, it's a killer for you. I hate these games, because I slept terrible last night, I think I grind the guys way too much. We practiced from 12-2 p.m. yesterday, we watched film from 2-2:30, we came back and we had dinner at 6:30, we had a walkthrough at 7:00, went to the hotel at 9:00, and I don't think I stopped yelling the whole time. It's just trying to get them to understand the mentality from the Monmouth side, the Saint Peter's side, because I know how good their players are. I know how good a job King does, how good a job John Dunne does. I know the coaches in this state are really, really good coaches, and just keeping your guys on edge, that's always; to me, one of the hardest things about playing the local teams."

On Seton Hall's turning point in the first half:
"We finally got into our press. We were -- we finally started, we scored a couple of times, we got into the press. It got them out of a rhythm. They took two bad shots, we got a turnover, two turnovers, and we got a quick steal for a layup. It kind of just gave us some good energy. Once we play with that good pace, even though we give up some things in the press, it kind of gets us opportunities a little bit where we don't have to grind in the half court, and I really thought our press in that first half made a difference in our energy level."

On Myles Powell and his physical transformation:
"Myles, he's become addicted to being in shape. It's one of things that I guess -- he loves the way he looks. More importantly, he understands how well he's playing is directly in part to the hard work he's put into his body, and I think once you get that and you see great results, you don't want to lose that. He won't eat that much at team meals anymore, he won't have the seventh cookie like he did before. It's to his credit. It was his will power and his wanting to change, and it has nothing to do with anything besides that young man really wanting to be the best he could be."

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