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Quotables: Brown Previews MVSU – Wichita State Athletics

Wichita State head coach Isaac Brown liked the passion and energy his team displayed Saturday against Longwood but says the Shockers will need more of it Tuesday night against a Mississippi Valley State team that he described as “small” yet”scrappy.” Read on for a transcript of Monday afternoon’s weekly press conference:

Opening statement…
“Mississippi Valley State, out of the SWAC conference. The SWAC has had a tremendous year so far with upsets all around the country, playing well. They’ve played (almost) every game on the road. A lot of times that builds toughness to be able to go on the road every game and play guarantee games to get money for your university. They’ve got one win; that was against North Alabama, but those guys are really scrappy. They play a 2-3 zone, they turn you over a lot and they’ve got a guard that’s averaging like 20 in the last two or three games. Scrappy bunch playing hard, they force a lot of turnovers, they’re hard to match up with because they don’t have a big team. So we’ve got to do a good job of defending the three-point line, not turning it over versus the zone and just getting the ball inside, playing inside-out.”
…Building momentum off the Longwood victory:
“We’ve just got to continue to get in the gym and work, get up shots before and after practice, continue to take good shots during the game, try to get out in transition to get easy baskets, and we’ve got to continue to play inside-out.
…Key takeaways from the last 10 minutes of the first half against Longwood:
“We’ve got to come out with that same passion and energy the entire game. For 10 minutes, we played really well, and it started with Melvion Flanagan coming in, picking the ball up full court, everybody else getting up the line, creating turnovers, being able to get out in transition to get some easy baskets, and then guys stepping up making wide-open threes. Any time you can start making shots from the three-point line, it helps your team tremendously.”
…Game planning after the bench had so much success:
“Going to the bench earlier. If (the starters) are getting off on a slow start, we can go to the bench because we’ve got other guys that we can count on. On any given night, someone is expected to step up. Those bench guys have been doing a tremendous job in practice with the scout team. They push the starting group to the limit every day, and they continue to get better and better.”
… What he wants to see out of Jaron Pierre:
“Just continue to be solid on and off the floor. In practice, he’s one of our better defenders. We like to put him on the point guard because he’s got good size at 6-5. He can make shots, he has a lot of confidence, he’s one of those guys that feels like he’s the best player on the floor no matter who we’re playing, and he’s driving the basketball right now. He’s just got to continue to take good shots, continue to make wide-open threes, and try to get out in transition to get easy baskets.”
… If Pierre’s confidence rubs off on the rest of the team:
“Without a doubt. He’s one of those guys with energy and passion. Every time he makes a shot, he’s pointing at the bench, but we’ve just got to continue to get him to play the right way, and he did that the last game, taking good shots, driving the basketball, only having two to three dribbles to get a jump shot off, and if he does that, he’ll continue to have success.”
… Staying focused against an underdog opponent like MVSU:
“Every day I’m trying to hammer it home, talking about the SWAC conference and all the upsets they’ve gotten this year… That conference has done a tremendous job in going out getting talented guys, and they’re one of the leagues that has the older players. They’ve got a lot of grad transfers, a lot of seniors that stayed the course, so we’ve got to do a tremendous job getting prepared for this game, and it started yesterday in practice. I thought we had a great film session. Today will be another good practice, and they know that this team is a good basketball team. Even though they don’t show it in their record, every game has been played on the road. Again, Black colleges play all their games on the road because they’re trying to build that guaranteed money, so this is a good basketball team even though the record doesn’t show it.”
Jaykwon Walton’s rebounding:
“We need him to get on the offensive glass. We want our three, four and five to attack the offensive glass every time the ball is shot. I already know that he and Craig Porter Jr. will do a tremendous job on the defensive glass, but in order for us to get second shots, we need him going. He has great size, he’s got great basketball instincts, so he usually comes up with extra shots or our team.”
… What he’s doing to drive that message home:
“Just on film. When you watch film, that’s the eye in the sky, and it doesn’t lie, so when we watch film, we’re letting him see that if don’t touch the paint, that’s not a good deal. The only way you can get an offensive rebound is by touching the paint, so we show those guys film and want the three, four and five to see that in order to get an offensive rebound, you’ve got to touch the paint.”
…The slow start against Longwood:
“We just didn’t play well. I didn’t think we started out well on defense. They scored the first basket of the game. They ran a ball screen play, and they got a layup and got fouled on it. The defense just wasn’t on-point to start the game, and we’ve got to fix that. In practice, those guys have got to come out with more passion, more energy. Any time you can defend at a high level, it makes it easy for you on offense.”

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