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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Mitch Henderson 12/19/12


On the attitude this week at practice...
It’s a little surly, and that’s okay. We have to be feeling something. I wouldn’t expect everyone to be jolly around here. I think the practices have been good. We have a lot to address, but the same group that is getting these leads is the same group that has been having these problems so we tend to focus on the positives and trying to tighten things up. Also, as a staff, what’s happening? What kind of changes can we make?

On trying not to be too reactive...
My mom used to say “don’t rob Peter to pay Paul”. You fix one problem, you can create another. I think there is a good balance here of trying to fix what’s going on. I don’t want to get too into it, with the team, because I think in general a lot of things have been really good. One positive out of this is that we know what our problem is. So, we have to work on that, and then continue what we’ve been doing, because there has been some good things.

On if he's considering changing his starting lineup... 
I think we’ll probably make a change, I’m not sure yet though. The nine guys we’ve been playing—10 now with Bobby Garbade—those are going to be the guys. That’s a nonanswer, but we’ve got to see a little bit more of Hans, because he provides some scoring for us.

On what he's seen from Bobby Garbade...
He’s a good passer, and he’s a different kind of passer from the other centers that we have. He’s got a good overhead. He’s not as mobile as Mack and he’s not as physically imposing and big as Brendan inside, but I just thought we needed a little bit of a change.

On the team's defensive statistics (leading the Ivy League in fewest points allowed per game)....
I think you can make the numbers look however you want to make them look, but right now our numbers don’t look so good. I think some of it has to do with who we’ve played, but a lot of it has to do with how we’ve played, especially at home. If we’re having these same kind of talks in January, we’re going to be in trouble. There is a sense of urgancey in correcting them now, but the problems are apparent because we’re doing them publicly. Its cost us several games now, but there are good things too.

On if the team needs a consistent secondary scorer behind Ian Hummer...
I’d like to see a couple things. I’d like to see us become more balanced. I think Ian has a lot to do with that. He’s a talented scorer, but we’ve said all along that he has to get his teammates involved. Its atough thing for him, because we also need him to score. Can we get him to get everyone involved? And then, who is going to emerge and say I can do it? I don’t think we’re going to have some star emerge in the next two months. I don’t think there is a knight in shining armour on this team. I think we’re balanced and we need to remain balanced. I think its going to be a “whose next” kind of a year.

On if playing a small, quick team like Rider allows Princeton to address it's recent issues...
I like that we’re playing Rider for a number of different reasons. Its close, a local rival, but also we get a chance to get right back out there and work against what’s been showing its head a little bit. In the end, its another 40-minute game and another opportunity for us, and the guys are probably having one though, I’m more concerned about 40-minutes.

On replicating pressure in practice...
I think we’ve been able to practice against pressure. We have some guys. Ameer (Elbuluk), Isaac (Serwanga), Mike Washington, some of the assistant coaches are pretty fast. We’ve been getting a pretty good look. We’ve struggled a little bit against pressure, but we’ve also struggled at the line, rebounding, decisions in the open court, couple walks underneath the basket…you can point to the obvious things, but there are some other things that are going on too and all of it needs to get corrected.

On playing Rider, a local rival...
I like it when I’m in the community and people come up and say “hey, Rider on Thursday.” That doesn’t happen as often with Wagner. There is crossover here. The communities are close, and to me that’s a community rival, a local rival. Those are games are important for the community, but they are really important for us right now. Whether it’s a local rival or not, we’ve got some things to deal with here for Princeton.

On if playing Thursday and Saturday could get Princeton into a rhythm...
I hope so. I like all the shots we’re getting, so I don’t know if there is a rhythm needed as much as an understanding of how we’re going to win. We’re playing these two games in a row, so it’s kind of like an Ivy weekend. What we’re learning is how hard it is to win, and you can kind of go one way or another with it. Are you going to learn how to win, or is this going to be a problem for the rest of the year?

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