Thursday, November 30, 2017

Kevin Willard quote book: Texas Tech

On Seton Hall pulling away in the second half and any possible difference:
"I thought both teams played a really good first half. I thought the energy -- that was an extremely high-level game. I thought both teams played a really good first half, in the second half, I thought we were able to get some consecutive stops where we were able to get some easier buckets and shots. I thought we just played a little bit more simple on defense, and I thought that was just a high-level game with two good teams."

On Angel Delgado and the evolution of his supporting cast around him:
"I think the funny thing about -- I think the big fella is playing as good of basketball -- much better basketball than last year, to be honest with you. He's become such a great passer, defensively, he's become someone we can depend on where we don't have to hide him, and I think these guys -- we still throw it to him a ton, but I think he understands that he has so many weapons around him that eventually, teams are going to have to stop double-teaming him, throwing five guys. I think he's playing better than he did last year, and I just think the guys around him are working with him to try to kind of make it easier for him."

On Seton Hall's three-point shooting:
"We talk a lot about getting inside-out threes, and I have the best shooter in the country (Myles Powell) on my team, so anytime he shoots, it looks like it's going in. Again, you talk about (how) Khadeen (Carrington) and Desi (Rodriguez) are career 42 percent three-point shooters, and that's kind of what I was talking about with Angel. He gets us a lot of easy looks. I think that's one reason why we get open threes, because you have to put four guys in the lane against him. If not, he's going to score and get your big guy in foul trouble, and again, anytime Myles Powell shoots the basketball, it's pretty much -- you can count on it going down. I just think when you have a guy like that on the floor, it makes everybody a little bit better."

On Myles Powell's progression and what should be expected moving forward:
"I think Myles is in a great position, because he's playing with four really experienced guys, and what Myles brings more than anything is great energy. I think in the second half, he just played with a lot of energy, a lot of passion. We're still a little bit of a work in progress, so as everybody kind of gets comfortable with what we're doing, I think you're going to see everyone's numbers get better and better. Eighteen assists, I'm happy with, but I think Myles will tell you he's very lucky to be playing with four extremely high-talented guys."

On Desi Rodriguez and what has changed for Seton Hall with his increased offense:
"With Desi, I think one of the biggest things that I've seen is he's become a lot more consistent with his effort, with his practice; and when he's passing the ball the way he did early on, I just think it gives us another guy to make plays and I think he's really elevated -- he's worked hard, but I think most importantly, he's become a very consistent worker. I think he's just reaping the benefits, a lot like all of these guys. These guys are all workers, they're not -- they're all talented, but I think the biggest talent that they all have is that they all work. They all put the work in, they all work on their games, and I think Desi's really bought into being a consistent worker. It makes a big difference."

On potential motivation after no longer being ranked in the Top 25 polls:
"I don't think so. The biggest thing we talked about all week was just getting better spacing on offense. I really harped on these guys on that. Deeno and I watched a lot of film on -- I think he was a little down, thinking he wasn't playing well, and I had to show him that I thought he was playing great and really starting to evolve as a point guard. We had a one-point loss and a guy hit a tough shot on us, but we bounced back and beat a good Vanderbilt team, and for me, it was just, 'We have a big week, let's just focus on Texas Tech and then Louisville.' I really think, for the most part, we just focused on us this week. We really didn't do a whole lot of Texas Tech. It's something I've done different in the last two years on bye weeks, really just trying to get us to really focus on us. We lifted, we did some individuals, I think we kept practice pretty short. I think the biggest thing that I've realized as a coach is sometimes you really have to focus on yourself and getting your team better, and I think that's something that these guys have done a great job of understanding how to help Khadeen evolve, how to help Angel with spacing, and I would agree. We didn't watch film on Texas Tech until yesterday. That doesn't happen with me very often."

On what he has learned about his team through the first month of the season:
"I'm learning a lot. I think even though I didn't play the freshmen very much tonight, I'm really starting to get confidence in every one of my players. I think the biggest thing is we still have a lot, a lot more to go. We've got to go at Louisville, we've got VCU, we've got at Rutgers, Saint Peter's and friggin' John Dunne -- Saint Peter's is playing really well, we've got someone else in there. We still have a lot left, and I think the good thing about this team is they're going to get a lot better. Defensively, we're going to get better, and I can only see us getting a lot better offensively as we kind of evolve a little bit."

On takeaways from playing Texas Tech that can translate to success later in the season:
"I think the biggest thing is when I watched them on film, I thought this was one of the best teams that we'll see all year, just from a depth standpoint. I think (Keenan) Evans is an elite guard with what he can do. I think the biggest thing moving forward is understanding when we see teams that are deep and when we see teams that have -- that play a lot of motion, that we can hang with them and play with them. I've gotta watch film and really digest that for a while."

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