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October 8, 2013

Dukes is back but Luis is out for day nine

Being inside the arena: "We were out here for the first time. It's always exciting to get out on the court you play on to practice and it was exciting for the guys to be in the arena for the first time."

What was new for day nine: "Today we put in one of our zones in and worked on two of our presses that were different. Then we put some new offensive sets in"

How the team did with the new concepts: "It went well. Its a process, but these guys are a pretty good team as far as picking up new concepts. They do it fairly easily, but we have to do the repetition, and that's why we don't put in too many new things at the same time. We try to review for a few days before we put something else in."

Competition in practice: "We did about a half hour of scrimmaging. Omar can run the floor, he showed that. Our guard play has been very consistent and Nikola (Jovanovic) is starting to finish shots in the lane and make jump shots. He's really improved."

What Nikola Jovanovic is showing: "We're going to need him to play this year because we don't have much size. We have Omar (Oraby), D.J. Haley's been hurt and Nikola is 6-foot-10. We're going to need him to play the power forward and center at times this year. If we have any injuries to those guys, like D.J. who's hurt now, he's going to have to be ready to play. He's going to have to learn to use his skill set. He's very skilled, but he has to get stronger and learn how to use his body. He's starting to figure that out a little bit but he's a typical freshman. He's got potential, talent, but he has to learn the speed the game and how physical it is inside. He also has the ability to come out and shoot threes, so we're going to use him as an inside outside threat."

Moving the ball and moving without the ball: "It's a process where they have to understand the strengths of their teammates, where to be on the court and keep good spacing. A big key to our offense is spacing on the floor and creating driving lines. The next pass is the most important one because you need to get open if you're receiving a pass in the open area."

If the spacing has improved since the scrimmage on October 5: "In that scrimmage, our spacing for one half was very good and in the other half it wasn't. We've worked on it the last couple of days, and we'll continue to do so."

Choosing teams during practice: "We mix the teams up in every practice. We need our guys to be able to play no matter who their teammate is on the floor. Once we get a starting team and we do our scouting reports, then we'll have a first and second unit. During regular practice, we need them to figure out how to play with everyone, not just one or two guys."

Tomorrow's agenda: "We're going to review the zone that we put in today and then we'll go over our presses. Since we take Thursday off, we use Wednesday as a review day but to really go fast. Monday and Tuesday we do a lot of teaching, we dummy a lot of stuff without the defense, but on Wednesday we really go hard for about two hours, live offense, defense and putting in everything we learned. Therefore, it'll give us a chance to evaluate where we are so we can see what we have to work on and also where players are improving as individuals."

Injuries: "D.J. Haley is still out, Kahlil Dukes came back today, and Luis (Strahinja Gavrilovic) is now out with a foot injury." (Details of the injury are not know at this time.)



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