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Barbee Quotes From SEC Coaches Summer Teleconference

June 28, 2010

"We're starting over having lost 80 percent of our scoring and 80 percent of our rebounding. The majority of our team being either freshmen or sophomores and only two returning juniors and only really one of those played in Frankie Sullivan. We're starting over, but it's exciting to start over in that way because you get the chance to mold a younger group of players who haven't been set in their ways having gone through a system for several years. So with so many freshmen and sophomores, it's going to be kind of like molding clay. Every day is going to bring a different challenge especially with Frankie Sullivan, an experienced guard. I think he is a solid guard in this league. Beyond that, we don't have much experience left. It's starting over, but it's going to be fun."

On signee Luke Cothran...

"I think Luke (Cothran) brings us a different level of talent to this program than this program has seen in quite some time. He's one of those 6-foot-8 or 6-foot-9 hybrid forwards that can score from different angles from the perimeter and obviously the 3-point line. He's great around the basket because he's got great feet for a big man. He's got a knack for rebounding the ball, so there's no question he'll bring a lot to the team as a freshman."

On evaluating the team...

"Anytime you take over a new position, you go through a pretty long evaluation process and we're still in that phase with the limited amount of access that I've had to my returning players and to the incoming recruits. Anytime a new coach takes over, there's always transition. You've got to make sure it's a fit both ways, for the player and for myself and my staff and for my system and how we are going to do things. I'm pretty pleased with how the current team is shaping up with the returners from last year's team and with the signees that we were able to put together here in the late spring signing period."



On the possibility of SEC expansion...

"Yes, I'm satisfied. To be honest with you, I haven't put much effort or thought into it because at the end of the day as coaches, that's outside the lines of our responsibilities. In my mind, I've always been a traditionalist. You like the way things are right now, but things have evolved and changed over time so you have to what is going to come in the future, but I'm satisfied with where we are going forward."

On his philosophy...

"My philosophy has always been based around defense. That's where we started from day one when I got the job looking at the team and individual work wise was molding how we are going to be defensively. That's the only way your offense is going to come together. Defensively, you can be consistent with that every night. We were one of the best defensive teams not only in Conference USA last year, but also in the country and we are going to try to establish the same thought process here, especially with how offensively challenged we might be next year with not knowing what we have offensively outside of Frankie Sullivan. In terms of the 3-point line, I don't think it matters how many you shoot, but you better make some of them. Because of our lack of size with this team that we are going to have this year, we might have to be a team that depends on the 3-point line quite a bit until we can build on last year with some physical presence inside. That being said, who knows? I haven't had enough time with this team with the limited amount of time that I've had to evaluate them in the spring with only about two and a half weeks of time to spend with the team in individual work wise. We didn't get a chance to look at the group as a whole, so it's hard to tell. It'll be hard to tell what type of team we will have until the fall when we start workouts as a group."

On Frankie Sullivan...

"Frankie (Sullivan) is a kid that I have known for a long time. He used to come to our camps when I was at Memphis as an assistant there, so I've known him for a long time. He's one of those guys that you want your entire team to play like, with reckless abandon. He's not going to back down no matter who he plays against. That's what Frankie brings to the court and, hopefully, he's going to step up in a leadership role now. He's one of the veterans that we have on this team. Frankie brings you a guy who can put points on the board. With the type of offense I'd like to run here depending on the personnel we have based around the dribble-drive and attacking the paint, whether it's on the drive or the post-up, I think Frankie will be able to be very productive in this offense."

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