Thursday, January 25, 2018

Kevin Willard quote book: Big East conference call

On Sunday's game at DePaul and Angel Delgado on the verge of becoming the Big East's all-time rebounding leader:
"Obviously, we've got a tough matchup coming up on Sunday. I think DePaul has been playing really good basketball. I love the way they've been rebounding the basketball, it's been giving them opportunities for not only second chance points, but to get out on the break. I think their size is something that's really helped them defensively, and their rebounding numbers; especially in conference play, are really tough. I think Eli Cain's doing a great job at the point guard spot getting everybody involved, and obviously when you have a guy like Max Strus on the wing who can put up big numbers at any point, and a guy like (Marin) Maric and (Tre'Darius) McCallum inside, it's a dangerous combination, so we're going to bring our best game on Sunday."

"And obviously, as for the big fella, I think I've said it a thousand times: It's something that he's -- his relentless work ethic and how hard he plays every second he's on the floor, I think, has given him this great opportunity to obviously be one of the best that's ever played in this conference."

On progress of Seton Hall's freshman class:
"Yeah, I think the freshmen are doing exactly what all freshmen are doing this time of year. I think they're trying to survive and help us in any way possible. I think Myles Cale has probably been the best just because he's received the most time in the non-conference playing pretty good, but banged up his knee pretty good in the last week, and I thought that really kind of hurt us a little bit against Xavier, just not being able to get Angel out. I think for all the freshmen this time of year, it's just about trying to do what they can do to help us win some games and get better as it goes on, but it's extremely tough being a freshman in this conference this time of year."

On balancing the need to get playing time versus the need to play his best lineup:
"It's not an easy solution. I think each game dictates a little differently who you get on the floor and how they can get on the floor. Obviously, you want them to develop and mature, but no matter what, you're still gonna need the guys who have been out there and played for you out there at certain times. Each team gives you different opportunities to play each one of them maybe a little bit more minutes, depending on personnel. That's kind of the way we've been going about it so far."

On Derrick Coleman and how much Delgado compares to him:
"Oh, I remember Derrick a lot. I think my father was an assistant coach on the 1987 team that lost in the championship to Indiana. I was in sixth grade being a ballboy up at Syracuse, just watching Derrick and Sherman Douglas and Stevie Thompson, all those guys. I think where Derrick was maybe an elite athlete for his size and length, Angel's a little bit different in the fact that I think he's a more powerful player than Derrick was. Both played with extreme great passion, I think that's what I love. The fact that they're both up there in the record books is -- I still -- I never forget a game where Derrick really didn't bring it on both ends of the floor, and that's the same way that Angel's gotten to where he's gotten. He brings it, whether it's practice, ping-pong, no matter what it is. He brings a relentlessness to rebounding, and I think that's where they're very similar."

On managing Seton Hall's bye week and getting the team back at full strength:
"I think the one thing about the bye week that's given us a chance too is it's given me a chance to get all the other guys a lot of work where going forward, you're not gonna have that much time to practice for the last month-and-a-half. I think the bye week has given a good chance for guys like Sandro (Mamukelashvili), guys like Myles Cale, Eron Gordon, to kind of get back into a rhythm by playing a lot more in practice. I've liked the way that those guys have really responded to longer practices while I think the older guys have enjoyed getting back on the practice floor a little bit, too, and kind of get back in a rhythm offensively that we've been struggling with a little bit. I think it's helped the younger guys and the second unit because it's given them a chance to get more reps. It's also given the older guys a chance to kind of just get in a nice rhythm in practice."

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