Press conference transcript: Rice preview
Dec. 28, 2012
Game Notes: Texas vs. Rice
Head Coach Rick Barnes
On Texas’ strong defensive play (leading the nation in FG % defense): Our length has something to do with it. We have some guys that have the ability to guard and as a group we are blocking shots well – which goes back to our size. We will need to continue to improve our transition defense to remain a solid defensive team.
On Julien Lewis playing well (leading scorer against Michigan State): Julien has used screens better. He is starting to play with more of a purpose. He is starting to understand where he can score effectively. With his quick shot and athletic speed, sometimes his footwork isn’t where it needs to be. Lately, he has learned a good pace to play at.
On the Michigan State game: The Michigan State game came down to post defense. We should have done a better job and we didn’t. Offensively, we had a few late possessions where we didn’t get our spacing where it needed to be in order to be effective.
On Jaylen Bond recovering from injury: He is close to returning. We won’t know until tomorrow what we will do, but he has been working hard to get back. He has not gone through a full practice yet but he is working hard to get back in.
On winter break and the time between semesters: This is an important time for all teams. I don’t care where you are, you have got to have the mindset of getting better. Players have to improve individually. It is a very important time of year. The only way to get better is if you do it in practice. I’ve seen very few guys that can do it when the lights come on without preparation.
On point guard play: We will continue what we have been doing. We have changed to more of a movement game where you don’t rely on one guy to initiate everything. We are going to keep developing Demarcus (Holland) as a point guard. We are spending a lot of time as a staff to help him and Javan (Felix). They both have crafty ways of getting to the basket – Javan has to work on finishing some shots and Demarcus is as good of a straight-line driver with his quickness that we have seen in a long time.