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Men's Basketball Holds Annual Media Day

Senior forward Gary Flowers is a First Team Preseason All-Conference honoree.

Senior forward Gary Flowers is a First Team Preseason All-Conference honoree.

Nov. 3, 2010

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss men's basketball program held its annual Media Day this morning. Head Coach Larry Eustachy and the Golden Eagle basketball team met with the media to preview the upcoming season.

Head Coach Larry Eustachy

On the opening games...

"I'm approaching the William Carey game a little different than I ever have because it's an exhibition. So whoever wins or loses, it doesn't go on your record. With that said, we are going to try to win the game. We are going to try to out-determine William Carey, which is going to be difficult. But we've got a lot of options with this team. In this early going, we're going to try to figure out who we can move to where, because we don't have a bad player. We don't have a guy who does not belong here. We've got some really good talent. It's the most talented and the best team we've had since I've been here. Where that takes us, I don't know. I keep saying that our league is the most underrated league in the country. So barring any injury or some unforeseen loss of a player, this will be the best team that we've had"

On the offense...

"I think we've added some scorers. LaShay Page is definitely our best outside shooter and that is what we needed badly. D.J. Newbill is just a scorer. He can hit a big shot and make layups in traffic. Ahyaro (Phillips) can score around the basket. And then there are some unknowns. This is the fastest team that we've had and the most athletic. We're going to really look to get into transition. Whether it's forcing a turnover or off a missed shot. We're going to look to really get it up the court fast and try to get some easy shots. So it will be a different look, because they are more athletic. We're longer and deeper. We can rest. We've got guys who can go in and out."

On the returning players...

"They're all better. You can go on down the list. (Sai'Quon Stone) has been limited due to back spasms, so he's not nearly where he'll be. But he'll be a factor down the road with this team.

On the leaders...

"This is (Stone's) fifth year. He says all the right things. Him and Gary (Flowers) were the most vocal. As a coach, when you get the player to repeat the things you're saying, then you know they've come a long way, and thinking the way you're thinking. Gary's done that a lot. Sai's always had a little of that in him and he's getting better than that. But Gary has really picked up the role of being a vocal leader. We're trying to get Angelo (Johnson) to do that. (Maurice Bolden) has done that. Some of the returning guys are a lot more vocal, in the right way."

On the freshmen class...

"It's a good group. One of the things we believe in is `Team Together.' I think we've got a group of guys who are about team. We have a bunch of returning guys and they have been able to school the new guys on what to expect, from their recruiting trip all the way to the first day of practice. It's taken a long time to get there. But now I think we've got it."

On the early schedule...

"Hopefully, in non-conference play we'll be able to snag one or two that we're not supposed to get and South Florida would be one of those. We're not expected to win that game by national standards. We're going to have opportunities. We go to Ole Miss and Cal. I've try to put ourselves in situations to do what we did twice last year. Again, barring any unforeseen issues, we're going to be a very good team.

Redshirt Senior Guard Sai'Quon Stone

"We are all focused. The coaches are very intense. The young guys are picking it up quick. The leaders are still leading. We're looking good and are ready for our first game."

Senior Forward Gary Flowers

On this year's scoring options...

"We've made a lot of progress in the offseason. Last year, we had a lot of scoring options. We just didn't have the chemistry. But this year, everyone knows what to expect from one another. The ball gets around a lot faster now, and more shots get put up.

On his expectations for this year...

"Every team's ultimate goal is a championship, whether that's a conference championship or an NCAA championship. We're striving for the best and to go as far as we can go. We're taking it day-by-day right now. We're not looking too far ahead."

Redshirt junior Angelo Johnson

"Losing 14 games last year was motivation for us. We were very hurt that Gary could play (against Louisiana Tech) due to a family issue. Louisiana Tech was a learning lesson for me and R.L. (Horton) in the back court. We needed to step up and we didn't do it. So we used that all summer for motivation."

On this year's team compared to last year...

"We're a lot different. The returning guys are a lot better scorers. Anytime you play a second year with players, it makes you better. With the new guys that we added; I'm just amazed with our freshmen of how quick they learn and how good they are."

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