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June 13, 2012

Coach Mac takes questions

Creighton head coach Greg McDermott took questions
from the media today on the MVC offseason basketball teleconference.

Myron Medcalf of ESPN: Could you talk about your expectations for Doug McDermott and some of the things you would like him to improve upon going into next year?

Coach Mac:: Yes, obviously Doug is going to continue to work on his ability to face the basket and do a little bit more off the dribble. Obviously he has proven that he has the ability to shoot the ball from the 3-point line and also score on the block and now we want to work to get better in between and I think he is really committed to that. He is working very hard on his ball handling, which is obviously a big part developing that in between game. And, just to have a little bit of a different mindset defensively. We need him to be one of our leaders defensively if we are going to more our program forward from a defensive standpoint. It's going to be important that Doug buys into that.

Luke Meredith of the AP: I wanted to ask you a little bit about the new rules that go into effect on Friday that allows you guys to make unlimited calls, unlimited texts to a player starting their sophomore year. Is that something you applaud? What's your take on that?

You know, I think I'm probably still on the fence. Having been the father of someone who went through the recruiting process, I can see both sides. It can be something that can be a disruptive process if you allow it to become that. So, I think it will be really important for our staff to make sure we do our due diligence in researching each individual and each family. I think some will be intrigued by the fact that coaches can call them everyday and text them everyday and they are going to be into that. And I think there will be others that will prefer to have the recruitment on their schedule and in a way that isn't disruptive to what they are trying to do this summer and their family life.

That research is going to be important as we get to know some of these guys that we are going to be talking to on phone for the first time.

TheBluejaycafe.com: I'm wondering if you could talk a little bit about Austin Chatman and what you guys are looking for from him this offseason and what he needs to work on?

Obviously, our expectations are high for Austin as they are for all of our guys. Austin is replacing the one piece that we are missing from last year's team and that's a good point guard in Antoine Young. They are very different players but I think Austin brings some things to the table that Antoine didn't. The experience he was able to gain a year ago was very beneficial and I think his confidence in the workouts this summer is certainly at a different level because of the experience of last season. With that position, it's about making the right decisions. When to get the ball to the right people and when to take the shot and when to pass and maybe defer to a teammate. That's something that maybe comes with time and with experience. I think Austin will be just fine and we've pleased with this development this offseason.

TheBluejaycafe.com: Could you see Grant Gibbs potentially sliding over and playing the 1 as well?

Potentially, but I think Andre Yates can play there. I think Isaiah Zierden can play a little there if we need be. In a lot of ways, Grant played point for us last year even though he wasn't listed as that. When you put the ball in a guy's hands and his making decisions on how you run your offense on the court, essentially that's a point guard. I think people get too caught up on who brings the ball up the floor. Grant can certainly do it. He grew up as a point guard and we certainly wouldn't hesitate to put him there.

TheBluejaycafe.com: Just one more, any movement on that last non-conference date?

No, still looking for the right team.

Steve Pivovar of the Omaha World Herald: How do you handle Grant this summer to make sure he is 100% ready for when you really get going in the fall?

I'm not sure he will ever be 100% ready. I'm just not sure his knee will allow that. We really shut him down after the season and Grant did very little for 4 to 6 weeks. He did workout with us last week, but it was a little bit sore the other day so we slowed it down and shut it down. But, I think with Grant it's very similar to how we approached it during the season. Grant just has to listen to his body and communicate with us. He's done a good job of that. If there are days that are little sore, we are going to hold him back. If it feels ok and he feels he can get through a 40-minute workout, we'll allow him to do that.



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