Off UE’s season-opening loss to Notre Dame, coach Marty Simmons talked about that game was well as the Aces’ three opponents this week that finish their Coaches vs. Cancer tournament Monday night on his weekly radio show.
Looking back at the Notre Dame game: “Overall, we were disappointed. And then when you go back and watch the tape, it makes you even more disappointed. I don’t think there’s too many guys in our program that don’t feel like we let an opportunity get away. And trust me, we talked about that 100 times before we left. You just have to have carryover from practice to the games. There’s got to be a level of execution and intensity you have to play with to be successful on the road against good basketball teams. We just didn’t play with the sharpness and crispness you have to.”
On Colt Ryan telling the team to find other ways to score rather than shoot through droughts: “I just thought there were too many times we settled for perimeter jump shots, especially with the way the game was going. I thought that was a good sign of leadership by Colt — that you don’t want to shoot your way through it — that you basically execute your way through it. That’s something we’ve got to improve upon.”
Talking Ryan Sawvell: “He was real consistent with his effort. I think he battled (Jack) Cooley as well as anyone, and that’s why we played him so many minutes at that position. He’s smart. He’s tough. He gets about everything he can out of his frame going against bigger and stronger guys. We’re continuing to work him in to where he can play some forward position for us and try to get Egidijus (Mockevicius) and the rest of those guys to be more consistent.”
On Buffalo, first of three opponents in three days this week: “We watched that game (Buffalo-Princeton) — we got the tape today — and it was actually a game similar to our game at Notre Dame. They were just slugging it out and getting after it. Princeton seemed to make more shots at the end to get the win. (Buffalo) has a terrific player in Javon McCrea inside…he’s just a big, strong, physical, athletic guy inside. He’s actually right handed, but he scores a little bit like Jaylon (Moore) — he scores as much with his left hand as he does his right hand. They’ve got a transfer from Virginia (Will Regan) who plays a lot as well, and then they’ve got athletic guards.”
On Yale, which UE plays Friday: I don’t know a whole lot about Yale. Coach (Geoff) Alexander would be the guy to talk to about them. But what he’s told me is, they’ve got a really good guard — I think he had 26 or 28 the other night — they actually have a 6-10 post player (Jeremiah Kreisberg) who either started or played a lot of minutes for them last year that actually has gotten beaten out by a 6-9 freshman (Justin Sears) that was first-team all-state in New Jersey…They’re a very good basketball team.”
On Western Illinois, Saturday’s opponent: “Very good basketball team. They’ve actually got a sixth-year of eligibility out of their leading scorer (Ceola Clark III)…There’s a lot of things that go into that, and they got it done…Western, we’ve known coach (Jim) Molinari for a long time. They’re going to be super coached. They’ll be well set up. They’ve got an experienced basketball team. We played extremely well against those guys last year. Our hope is we’ll play extremely well for the next three games at home.”
Simmons said assistant coach Jimmy Elgas will scout Buffalo, Geoff Alexander Yale and Carson Harris Western Illinois. About the scouting report: What we like to do is, we might give them a sheet with individual characteristics that lists height, weight, points per game, averages, and then he likes or favors driving right, 3-point shooter, likes to pull up — just little tidbits to get our guys prepared individually. And then they’ll make clip tapes of those individual characteristics where they’re not only reading it, they’re seeing it. Basically everything after that is, we verbalize it. They’ve got to take notes. They’ve got notebooks like a student would in psychology or history, and we ask them to take notes — to write things down. I’ve done that since I was a college player. If you write things down and you’re listening, you become more detail-oriented, and that’s what we’re striving for with our guys.”