Paul Hewitt’s comments on the Diamond Head Classic teleconference


Today the Diamond Head Classic had a teleconference call for the media. Here is what Paul Hewitt had to say:

Question: Even in the absence of Jon Arledge, you return a lot of experience to your team. Can you talk about improving on last year’s record and the expectations you have for your season so far?

COACH HEWITT: So far we’ve gotten off to a pretty good start. We’ve had some unusual circumstances, as you mentioned. John Arledge not being with our team any longer. Missed a few games with an early season suspension, and we’ve had some injuries. But this break has been good for our guys. We’re in finals right now, but we’ve had some pretty good practices, and we’re looking forward to getting out to Hawai’i and competing.

Q. Speaking of Hawai’i, the tournament format, you play two days and then you have a day off, then you play Christmas Day. Do you like the format? Can you comment about your first round opponent Iowa State?

COACH HEWITT: Yeah, I think the format is really smart. It makes sense. You get two games in and give the kids a chance to catch their breath a little bit, then even us coaches get a chance to catch our breath and prepare for that last game. Iowa State is obviously off to a terrific start. A very balanced team, highscoring team. It will be a great challenge for our guys.

Q. Do you have any plans for that break day? Are you going to let the guys rest up and tour the island?

COACH HEWITT: We’ll probably do a little bit of that, but I’m a pretty boring guy. Probably just stay in the room and watch some tape.

Q. Coach, as you mentioned, Iowa State is very balanced. How do you Cope with that as a coach when you’re going through your defensive strategy?

COACH HEWITT: You know, it’s back to basics. We’ve got to contest shots and rebound the ball. They’re so good offensively. One of the things you can’t do is give them extra possessions by turning the ball over or giving up offensive rebounds.

Q. Coach, I think you guys will have by the tournament start a decent break time from games. Just your thoughts on has that helped you rest up, I think, after you guys had a cluster to start the year.

COACH HEWITT: Oh, it’s come at a good time. Obviously, for final exams, we’re not allowed to play games during that time. But we had a couple of guys, Marquise Moore, our freshman point guard was hurt. We’ve got a couple guys dinged up, so it’s been good.
Also for us, there are some thing that’s we needed to work on especially in the defensive end. We’ve had some really, really good practices. We’re very pleased with how hard we’ve gone in practice, and hopefully it will show when we play against Iowa State.

Q. Coach, how do holiday tournaments like this prepare you for conference play?

COACH HEWITT: Especially the timing, number one, the competition is great. But the fact that we’re doing it around the Christmas holiday, and we open up our conference schedule I believe January 8th against VCU, so we go from a field that starts off with Iowa State to the conference schedule. So it will prepare us well.

Also looks like Anali Okoloji might still sit out another game or so:

  • Scott Doescher

    Pretty boring guy… hah no kidding.

  • StopWearingPurple

    This press conference raises a serious concern. When did we start spelling it Hawai’i?

  • Daniel Wu

    Here are my predictions. We will lose against Iowa State. Just like the game against Oklahoma, they have better talent who can stymie even our best players on our current roster (ex. Sherrod Wright). However we will win against the two other opponents this team will face after losing to Iowa State. Hopefully putting ourselves back into 8th, or even 7th place if we are lucky. This team can easily continue to fall behind or get themselves above Fordham and St. Bonaventure depending on the outcome of the Diamond Head Classic. This team can finish with 2 wins and 1 loss, but who knows this team can also beat themselves up again like against USF…..

    • Ryan Cioppa

      The Diamond Head Classic has no effect on the A10 standings….it obviously alters our overall record, but has nothing to do with the A10.

      We’ll be lucky to come out of this tournament with a win. Not to be a debby downer, but the other teams we could play after Iowa State are no cake walk. Akron and Oregon State are playing well. Maybe we pick up a win against Hawaii or South Carolina in the 7/8 game. The way this team is playing now there’s no way we knock off Iowa State. Going into this season I was hoping we’d play the teams that would boost our RPI the most (if we won) in this tournament. Now, I’m just hoping we win a game.

      Hopefully, the players/coaching staff have used this time off to figure some things out.

  • NY2DC

    That fact that Hewitt thinks, “We’ve gotten off to a pretty good start,” is a little concerning.