Steve McClain, Associate Head Coach
"Our team is really excited to get out and play. You go through the preseason, you go through all of the long practices and now it's an opportunity to go see a different opponent. I can tell you that our guys are really excited to get out there and get it started."
On the objectives for the exhibition game:
"The identity of our team has become a team that plays with toughness, a team that plays fast, a team that takes great shots. So we've got to make sure that's still our identity. And we don't get away from that. That's where we start the year right back off at - that we're a team moving the basketball, taking great shots, making the extra pass and doing all of the things that win, no matter whether you're playing the first game of the year or the last game of the year. I think that's what we've prepared to do is come out and play Indiana Basketball."
On Indiana Wesleyan:
"They are ranked No. 4 in the country in NAIA Division II. They played last night, so they've got a game under their belt. They won, scored 91 points last night and averaged 75 points last year, so they are a team that plays up-tempo. They run a lot of motion, a lot of back-cutting, a lot of ball screen actions. They've got four returning starters from last year and yet one of those guys didn't start last night. They've got a veteran team. I think what we want out of an exhibition game is a team that has a purpose and they have a purpose. There's no question about it."
On practice the last few days:
"I think we've had high-energy practices from day one. You give the veteran players credit for that because they understand when we step on this floor, it's about work and let's get better every day. The young guys have joined that without any obstacles. Even the last couple of days, they're excited. As I said in the beginning they're excited to go see a different opponent. They've been going against each other now for a long time - now it's time to see somebody else."
On playing a team that has a clear plan:
"They have a clear plan of how they want to play. They play fast. Again, they scored 91 points last night and yet they take good shots, they share the basketball. They had three guys with over 20 points last night, so you're not playing a team that has one or two good players, they have four returning starters that are juniors or seniors. They have a good feel for their system and how they want to play."
On playing a team that's had past success:
"As you can imagine, we get many phone calls from teams that want to come in and be our exhibition game. There's no question that Jayd Grossman does a great job of researching and finding teams that can really come in and make this a great game. That's why I know they are excited to come down here. They've got a lot of Indiana kids on the team. It creates a great environment for the game."
On Kevin (Yogi) Ferrell:
"He just gets better every day. I think he has such a great personality to him and such a great demeanor to him in practice. Now it's going to be fun to see that come out in a game. I think even at Hoosier Hysteria and at Haunted Hall of Hoops, people started to see his passing skills - how he can find guys that a lot of people couldn't see and yet he finds them wide open. And he can score the basketball, so I can tell you that he's embraced everything that we're doing and is bringing it at a high level."
On preparing the freshmen for their first game in Assembly Hall:
"You just tell them that they might have some nerves at first and it might be a shock to them at first, but at the end of the day they are still just playing basketball and doing what they love to do. It's an honor and a privilege to play in front of all of those fans, to play on that court, to put on those candy stripes and play for this school. They know that and I know that they are going to play hard, let the game come to them and have a good game."
On what is different about this year's team compared to last season:
"More confidence, a better togetherness. We were together last year, but I think this year we have to be more together than we've ever been because we do always have a target on our backs. We are just going to continue to keep playing for one another. Keep playing for each other and bringing the young guys along that have meshed in so well. We are a family now, not that we weren't before, but we seem much closer now and we're just going to keep playing for one another."
On where the team has improve since practice began:
"We've gotten better at a little bit of everything, I think. We're going to continue to keep getting better within the season as we play games; we're going to take it a game at a time. Our communication has gotten way better from the first day, especially from the young guys. We're big on that and they have come a long way in doing that and being leaders and realizing that they have a higher role than they expect. They've come in and they've listened and they've learned. They are growing too, so we're just going to go out there and play hard and play for one another."
Kevin (Yogi) Ferrell
On looking forward to play someone else:
"We've been beating up (each other) so long in the preseason, now we get a chance to go up against other competition. We're going to go out there from the get-go and give it our all."
On his first college game:
"It's going to feel great. I've been waiting for this day since I committed my junior year, so it's been a while. But to finally go out here and play with people that I've been watching for a couple years and finally be on this team, it's a great honor. I know what they expect from me, so I'm going to do what I can to the best of my abilities."
On the challenge of adjusting to a different defense:
"Coming from high school, always playing 2-3 for four years, to playing man-to-man - it hasn't been as difficult as I thought it would be. We work on defense every day. The coaches put a big emphasis on it and I've picked up everything fairly quickly."