USA TODAY Sports
The Aggies are sitting at 2-0 in conference play following big wins over Arkansas and Kentucky. Hear what Coach Kennedy and the team had to say at today's press conference.
The full video of the press conference is available at AggieAthletics.com.
Head Coach Billy Kennedy
- He doesn't feel that practice habits of just changed all the sudden. He attributes the change to a sense of urgency for conference play picking up everyone's energy levels. Coach Kennedy also commented that Kourtney Roberson and Fabyon Harris have been better in practice. Those two guys practicing better is creating some nice carry-over for the consistency of Elston Turner.
- Not getting a rebound against Houston Baptist hurt Robeson. He had family, including Aggie great Bernard King, in attendance for that game. His effort in practice has been a lot better since then. He's really been showing max effort on the floor since then.
- Nobody could have seen that game coming from Elston Turner. That was a special performance to score 40 at Rupp. That kind of special feat puts him in the company of two great NBA players in David Robinson and Chris Jackson. He prepared himself. He's been getting in the gym more and shooting.
- Kentucky fans know basketball. If they don't know everything, they'll tell you they know everything. It was really nice to hear the applause they gave Elston when they pulled him out at the end of the game.
- They've been focusing on playing faster for a while. The teams they are playing are running up and down and not trying to slow the game down to control tempo. The team is getting the rebounds. It's hard to run when you're not getting the rebounds.
- From a program standpoint, the Kentucky win shows that if we compete, play hard defensively, and we play together we can do some special things. Players have to win and see some success to buy in. We'll continue to use that in practice and for motivation to help them from feeling tired.
- In SEC play, we expect teams to keep the pace up. Our decision making has been good. Our guards are doing a better job handling the ball. We have 6 new guys that don't have a lot of experience. We should get more organized with what we're trying to get done as we continue practicing.
- Florida is a potential Final Four team. Really good defensively, a lot of experience, a true Center in Patrick Young. They can really shoot the ball. Murphy is a tough matchup as a 4-man that can step out and shoot.
- Fabyon's growth has been tremendous for the team. He made some shots and we need him to score. His shot selection and ability to play the point without turning the ball has been big. When he gets double figures it gives us a chance to win.
- Hopefully the Kentucky win will spurn some fan interest for Thursday night. We're playing a ranked opponent that's the best team in our league right now. They are heads and toes above everyone else right now. Hopefully the football success will bleed into this program. Now that the student body is back they hope to see them back and involved in their games.
- First impression of Elston Turner was having a great feel for how to play. He has a different feel for the game. He's not afraid to play on the big stage at big venues. He's even-keeled and it helps him and our team.
- Jared Jahns has been a special player for the team. He's a kid that never played college basketball and he played 30 minutes against Kentucky. He had four big offensive rebounds. He's getting looks because other guys aren't getting it done. He has a great basketball IQ. He also plays on the scout team. He's earned his chance and he's been productive with it.
- The coaches really try to stress communicating. They cranked up the music one day in practice to force the guys to be louder and communicate better. It lets the team stick together better in venues like Rupp.
- To get a win Thursday, it's going to take some special performances from some other guys. We need Florida to have a poor shooting night because they are really good at shooting the ball. They've won a lot of games together and they know what it takes to win on the road.
Senior Guard - Elston Turner
- The 40 point performance didn't feel as good as getting the team win. It was a great win.
- Being in big venues isn't that big of a deal because I've been there before from my dad and times like being in the Sweet 16 when he was at Washington.
- Getting the applause from Kentucky fans was crazy. He didn't expect it but they showed great support.
- His dad didn't have anything bad to say after the Kentucky game. His dad told him to keep playing with that attitude and that type of approach to the game.
- It's important to have a quick mindset and build on team chemistry. When we play like that we have a great chance of beating any team on any given night.
- They feel like they can play with anybody. The whole team was in to that game and they are going to need that against Florida and for the rest of the season.
- He worked on being closer to the team in the off-season. Having the whole team together all summer really helped. He's been more of a vocal leader as he continues to develop his offensive and defensive game.
- It helps the team when their competition is getting up and down the floor. Their lack of depth on the blocks and athletic guards can take advantage of a faster game. That tempo makes them hard to guard.
- Fabyon Harris had to adjust to the speed of the game. His confidence is building. He's shooting every day and getting better. He's a great player.
Senior Forward - Jared Jahns
- Never would have thought of playing 30 minutes against Kentucky. Ray got in early foul trouble and he knew he had to step up for the team. He had fun and knew he had to answer the call. He was playing against the biggest and the best and he didn't even have an offer to play college ball.
- Guarding Nerlens Noel was like guarding a monster. He's a really big dude and really good. You just prepare and watch film and learn his tendencies. Coach Keller is my biggest critic and told me "If he blocks your shot, you're coming out."
- It was great experience for all of us playing against that competition. It gives the team a lot of momentum heading into the Florida game.
- He never thought this would ever happen after he walked on to the team his junior year. It's been a dream come true for him. His teammates are super supportive of him.
- Fabyon Harris is my roommate. His mindset is basketball and school. He can make shots. He's always in the gym shooting. That's a great player to have on your team. It brings the team closer together.