2006-07 Basketball Media Day Coverage

Men's Basketball Quotes

Head Coach Al Walker

On the strengths of this year's team

"I like the athleticism and the size that we have brought in. I like the physical maturation and growth of our returning players. If you look at our guys, you see some attractive strong bodies. I think we match up with any team in the America East Conference man for man and in terms of both talent level and physical presence."

On the Bearcats' style of play

"We are going to sit down, guard and make it tough for people to score. That's what we do here. We preach a lot of defense and we have got some very strong and physical athletes. It is certainly a foundation that you can win with and we have been harping on that since this group walked in the door. On the offensive end, it is my job to make sure that our shot selection improves. This year it will be very important that the ball goes inside."

On whether the team can contend for a conference title

"Absolutely. We need to win games early and gain confidence. Last year, we were hampered by some significant injuries to Ian (Milne) and Steve (Proctor) which caused us to struggle at the onset. We just need keep getting better and better every day. I expect there will be a lot to like about this team come tournament time."

On Mike Gordon

"I think Mike can be a great scorer. The ball is going to be in his hands and he is really going to push the tempo. I think his decision making as a lead point guard is extraordinary. He is tough as nails, he is talented and he is incredibly intelligent on the floor. He not only has a chance to be one of the best players in the America East, but also to be a premier point guard in the country."

On junior college transfers Richard Forbes and Marvin Lee

"When you take a look at the athleticism of the newcomers we have brought in, you can't help but be impressed. Richard and Marvin significantly both significantly raise our level of talent and competitiveness on the perimeter. We expect each will play large roles in making up for the the points lost with Andre Heard’s departure.”

On Serbian freshmen Lazar Trifunovic and Miladin (Minja) Kovacevic

"Coach Ali Ton had some great relationships in Serbia which helped in bringing them in. We are tremendously excited about what each player can bring to the table. Minja is a strong young man who moves extremely well for his size. We expect Lazar to play right away. He is a very skilled four-man. He can pass it, he can score on the block...he is an intrgiuing player. I think he has a chance to be a very good freshman."

Junior guard and team captain Mike Gordon

On replacing the squad's two top scorers from a year ago

"We lost two guys in Andre (Heard) and Sebastian (Hermenier) that were big parts of our team last year. It will be difficult to replace, but I think that we have brought in a ton of talent. We have a great scorer on the wing in Richard Forbes...Marvin Lee is a great rebounder and very physical...Minja and Lazar are both very big strong and aggressive. We have already developed a great chemistry and I think it will show once we hit the court."

On the new, up-tempo style of offense

"We have to become more aggressive in transition. Personally, I need to make a lot more plays both for myself and my teammates. This year you can expect to see a much more up-tempo Bearcats' sqaud. We are really going to get out and run."

Senior guard Troy Hailey

On the BU's potential

"This year's team is the most talented team I have ever been on. This year the talent is here and I truly believe that the sky is the limit. Shooting, dribbling, rebounding, defensively...every player on this team can hold his own."

Senior guard Steve Proctor

On his role

"With the injury to my wrist, last year was very tough for me. I am kind of a gym rat so not being able to play for much of last season was very frustrating. Even when I got back in the lineup, I thought the number of things I could do was really restricted. Now that I am healthy, this year I expect to take my offensive game to the next level and take on more responsibility scoring the ball."

Senior forward Duane James

On the upcoming season

"This team is going to be good. We had a strong preseason with conditioning and guys really stepping it up in the weightroom. Everything has been just great. We are really looking forward to that first day of practice and starting to put everything together."

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