Comments From Bibby As Hoops Practice Nears

Oct. 10, 2000

LOS ANGELES - Comments from fifth-year USC men's basketball coach Henry Bibby as the start of practice for the 2001 season nears.

'The biggest thing this year is we have experienced guys who are willing to compete in practice, which you hope will carry over into games. That's what I'm looking for more than anything else. Have we become more competitive with the returners and our new people?

'If you can take something from last year, they got a lot of playing time and experience. They now know they need to be in better condition every day. Also, just a year of maturity makes a difference.

'The key to this season is we have to have at least four guys playing top basketball every night to give the Pac-10 a run for its money. If you get two or three more, you can compete for the Pac-10 title.

(On what he would like to see different this year)'We have to be a better defensive team. Each year we're getting better, but we're still giving up too many points. I want us to be a better rebounding team. Offensively, we were OK, but ... we have to pass the ball a little more. Last year, we'd pass the ball and it got to a certain point and it would stop. I take the blame for that. I need to put in a system to keep the ball moving. It wasn't selfish from the standpoint of 'I want to score 25 points every night' but from the standpoint of 'I want to make this shot and help the team win this game.'

(On whether visiting Pac-10 teams are still more concerned about UCLA than USC)'I think people know we're here. I think when they come to USC, they know they'll get a game. Last year was a good indicator of how hard our guys play. They come to play every night. I think those days are gone.'

(On what the new players may bring to the team this year)'I can't really get a feel yet. The only time you get the whole team together at this point is during conditioning. You see that the new people have not had the training or discipline that the guys who are here now have had. By the end of a couple days of practice, we'll know where they stand and what they bring to the team.'

(On the kind of minutes center Luke Minor and Kostas Charissis might expect to get)'How do you take Brian Scalabrine and Sam Clancy out of the game. They're two of the best in the conference. Am I looking to take them out? Probably not. Once Brian leaves, hopefully Luke and Kostas will step up. This year, they're backing up Sam and Brian and hopefully can spell them for two or three minutes at a time. It's tough to keep those two (Sam and Brian) out of the lineup.'

(On getting Jarvis Turner for one more year after the NCAA granted him a fifth year for medical hardship)'Jarvis is very happy. He hasn't had a full year yet here. It was very kind of the NCAA to do something nice for a change. It was very good of them to do. Hopefully, this will be a fun year for Jarvis.'

(Whether this year's non-conference schedule is easier than last year)'I don't think any game is easy. Some of these are teams that want to make a statement against us. Every game is a tough game. Every game you have to prepare for. You do want some tests. Utah will be a good test. Going to Hawaii and playing teams on the road puts some adversity in there. There are teams (on the schedule) that can give us tests.'