Go Eagles!
Go Eagles!
Head Coach Donnie Tyndall Media Day Quotes

Oct. 31, 2012

On how practice has been going...

"Well, we had a good summer and a good fall. The guys have been working hard. Our conditioning is close to where we hoped it would be. Our team is one that isn't going to be real deep this year, so we're trying to develop some depth. But guys have been competitive and have done what we have asked them to do. Obviously, when you're in a new system and trying to pick up the scheme as far as how we want to play, especially on the defensive end, it takes a little while. But they are buying in and working hard."

On the differences between Southern Miss and Morehead State...

"It's very similar. Hattiesburg is a little bigger than Morehead, but it's a small-college town, which I enjoy. Honestly, it's one of the reasons that I decided to take the job. I'm very, very exciting about the opportunity and the fact that all the people that I have met; from the administration to the people that we work with on a daily basis have been welcoming to our staff and I and they're excited about us being here, which always makes you feel good. The transition has been smooth and I'm very excited about the opportunity."

On the first exhibition against Saint Catharine's...

"Anytime you get to this part of the year as a basketball coach it's exciting and nerve-wrecking. There's a lot of anticipation. The intensity and emotions get a little bit higher when you're playing somebody else. But that's what I love to do. Except for my daughters, there's nothing I love more. So I can't wait. I'm excited."

On the fan's expectations...

"I think that it's a good thing that expectations are high. Obviously, that means that there's been success. Last year, they obviously had a very good year. But we're a whole new team. My expectation is to, while I'm here, to take Southern Miss to a Sweet Sixteen at some point in time. But our team this year is the least experienced team in all of Division I basketball. We only have six years of experience on our team and only four guys who have played a minute of Division I basketball. So with that being said, you have to be a realist and understand that it could be bumpy, especially the fact that we only play three home games in our first 13. With all that being said, I love expectations. My expectations would be very high. But on the flip side, you're probably going to have to tweak your goals, especially in Year One."

On the young players who could breakout this year...

"I think the young player that we've been impressed with this year is Norville Carey. He's a 6-7 freshman from the Virgin Islands. He's a guy who, to be perfectly honest, would be a year and half away from really contributing. But he's been our leading rebounder in practice so far. He's very active and has some range to block some shots around the goal. He's been the one guy as a freshman that we've been pleasantly surprised with."

On how deep the roster is...

"I think it might be a bit soon to know, but right now I think we can go eight or nine deep. With some games, we may go as few as seven. I don't see us getting to 10 deep, which is ideally where we would like to be in Year Two and Three. We'd like to have the depth and athleticism to play 40 minutes in our pressing, up-tempo style. But this year, I'd say eight would be the magic number."

On the backup point guard position...

"We really don't have a backup point guard, per se. Jerrold Brooks will play that position, but he's more of a two (guard). He certainly can play some point. Neil's (Watson) a guy who we certainly expect to play a lot of minutes when he gets healthy. We may even try to slide Dwayne Davis over and play some point. So it will be interesting, but it'll give a guy like Deon Edwin, who really hasn't earned a lot of minutes in practice to this point, a chance to play a some minutes and we'll see how he responds."

On the team's lack of height...

"Obviously, it is (a concern). That's a weakness of our team. Size in the next recruiting class is very, very important and a priority. We're a little undersized, but I say this to my team: when we beat Louisville in the NCAA Tournament, we started a 5-11 four-man who played 22 minutes in that game. The way we play in our press and our matchup zone, the lack of size doesn't hurt you quite as much as if you were a traditional man-to-man, half-court team."

On Jonathan Mills...

"It helps (with the lack of size). With Jonathan's girth, he's about as wide as he is tall. It helps with his physical nature. We list him at 6-6 but he's probably 6-4. But he's tough and physical. Lefties always seem to be craftier around the goal than right-handed guys. He obviously can score some balls and find a way to put it in the goal. So Jonathan's a good player. And again, is size important, yes. But is it the be-all, end-all, no."

On the leadership of Jonathan Mills and Neil Watson...

"I think they have done a good job. Jonathan is more of a guy who leads vocally and will challenge guys, which I love. Neil leads more by bringing it every day and competing. I've talked to Neil about being more vocal as the point guard and actually, the last two or three weeks, I feel like he has started to challenge his teammates and be more of a vocal leader. But both of those guys have done a nice job, along with Rashard McGill and Dwayne Davis, who has been a vocal guy and is not afraid to challenge his teammates if they are not going as far as he feels they need too. So I think our leadership this year will be more of a collective leadership than just one or two individuals."

On Daveon Boardingham...

"Boardingham is an intriguing guy. Some days he looks like he has a chance to be Newcomer of the Year in our league and other days you don't know that he's out there. I think that, like a lot of newcomers, have trouble bringing that consistency. You'll find out that I base everything we do on practice. I don't care who you are, if you don't practice the right way you're not going to play. That's just how I do it. You get what you earn in this program. And Daveon, if could bring the same effort and energy that he brings on those good days, would have a chance to be a starter on our team. But he doesn't bring it consistently, and that's my job to get him to that point where he does bring it every day. He's a good kid. He doesn't fight it. He's just getting used to the intensity level of Division I."

On the season opener...

"From the day that I took the job, I talked about wanting to sell out the season opener. We want to Fill it To The Top. I want there to be overflow in the walkway. Don't get me wrong, I look forward to every game. But we want it to be electric in the Green House for Western Kentucky."

On last year's team going undefeated at home...

"That's huge. It's a testament to the team that they had, and certainly the great fans here at Southern Miss. In my six years at Morehead State, I think our home court winning percentage was around 92-percent, and at one time had a 29-game conference winning streak at home. So when you have that home court advantage like there was last year, it always helps your team. Anyone who has played athletics understands that you run a little faster and jump a little higher when you have electricity in the stands. We certainly want that to be the case this season."

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