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October 15, 2013

Day 13 is about limiting turnovers

On Day 13 of practice, head coach Andy Enfield put an emphasis on limiting turnovers, something that plagued the Trojans as they scrimmaged on Saturday. Coach Enfield also installed two new plays and was impressed with one of his talented point guards.

What happened in practice: "We have a scrimmage with officials tomorrow so we reviewed and then we put some new offensive sets in at the end which you guys saw. There was a lot of teaching today. We also reviewed our practice from Saturday. Our players are starting to understand what it takes it have a good offense, meaning push the ball in transition and space the floor. When we don't space the floor, we don't look very good. It's pretty easy to determine. We turn the ball over to much when we have bad spacing and also we have to understand that if you play at a certain speed, you have to be good enough to do that."

The focus of practice: "We really focused on our turnovers. We had too many in Saturday's practice. We had a scrimmage without officials for the second part of Saturday where we kept statistics. We showed the team the turnovers today on film. It was an eye opener for a lot of the guys. When you do it live you might not realize it was a pretty poor decision they made, but when you see it on film, hopefully you learn from it and understand there's certain risk-reward in our transition and half-court offense. We give guys a lot of freedom but when the risk outweighs the rewards, then we have to reign it back in a little bit."

If the team responded and made better choices: "They did a good job and cut the turnovers down by about two-thirds."

Standouts since day one of practice: "Omar Oraby has been our most consistent player. As long as Omar gives the effort, it's hard when you're 7-foot-2 and that big. He's in good shape but he's a big man. He'll have to push through fatigue at times this year if he wants to be successful. If not, just watching him in practice and on film, when he gets tired and becomes lazy, he gets in foul trouble or he's not in the right spot. He has the capability to do it, he just has to keep pushing himself mentally and physically to get into great shape. Right now, he's in very good shape but he has to learn that we need him to be on the floor because he doesn't do any good sitting next to me."

Today's standouts: "Pe'Shon Howard played really well today. He was very smart with the ball, made plays for his teammates and scored when he had to."

Adjusting Nikola Jovanovic's shot: "He needs to get a little better rotation on the basketball and we're trying to adjust the angle of his follow through. The angle's a little flat sometimes and therefore the ball comes off and doesn't have great rotation and trajectory isn't what it needs to be."

How they did with new plays: "They were fine. Usually it takes a couple of days. Both plays are very good plays, our wing players need to do a better job of learning how to get open and set their man up. Just because you move fast doesn't necessarily mean you'll get open. You have to be deceptive, you have to change speeds and get your man to go one way while you're going the other. You have to have a little creativity, you can't do the same thing every time. If you watch the great NBA players, the guys that move off the ball like Ray Allen, Reggie Miller, J.J. Redick and those guys, they're very deceptive and they change their speeds. They push off once and a while, they use their big man to have the defense run into. There's a skill to that and our players need to get better at that."

If he's thought about starters: "It's too early to tell. We just don't know. There's a lot of guys competing and D.J. Haley has been hurt. He's the other 7-footer, so if I had to pick a starter, the one starter right now would be Omar but even his spot's not guaranteed because we need him to keep improving. We're not going to determine that, including Omar's spot, until we get into the preseason."

Injuries: "Byron Wesley tweaked his ankle and should be back tomorrow. Katin Reinhardt sat out a little bit today and should be back tomorrow (groin). D.J. (Haley) should be back, we're hoping he gets cleared by the doctors this week."

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