Keno Davis' MAC men’s basketball teleconference quotes
On how the Chippewas have fared so far:
"I think we have gotten off to a solid start. Not too many people knew what to think about this team with only three or four guys returning from last year's squad, but to be able to sit here with a 7-6 record as we get into conference play makes us proud of that. But not as proud as I am of the effort put forth on the academic side with six of our 12 players getting a 3.5 or better GPA in the classroom. On the court, I think the way we've been able to do it despite a couple key injuries to our frontcourt is in being a tough team to guard with a lot of 3-point shooters on the court and playing an up-tempo brand of basketball. And yet, we've been able to attack the basket off the dribble. We know the MAC will be very tough this year and we know everyone's played a tough schedule so far, but we are looking forward to the challenge."
On how his previous coaching stops at Drake and Providence factor into his style nowadays:
"I think the experience that I had at Drake with over half of our roster being from the state of Michigan and playing a comparable schedule to what we have here, I think we really learned as a coaching staff what we had to accomplish and we are using the same kind of gameplan here in Mt. Pleasant. What we're trying to do is get high quality individuals, not only on the basketball court but high-character guys that are going to succeed away from the court and in the classroom. I think starting right away that gives us a foundation for the success we'll have in the future. To answer the question, we take things from our experiences and try to duplicate the things that worked and then the things that didn't work we hopefully learned from and try to do differently in the future."
On reasoning for Thursday's exhibition versus UM-Dearborn:
"We were definitely concerned about that amount of time off between the Michigan game and the conference opener. So if we didn't have an exhibition game or a regular season game in between there, we would have had to do something where we were actually scrimmaging each other. But you do so much of that in October and early November that I thought having some fans in the building and officials would be beneficial in allowing us to be as sharp as we could be heading into MAC play."
On opportunity to play first MAC game at home:
"I think you always prefer to open up conference play at home. You understand that you are going to play just as many home games as road games, so I think ideally you'd like to start with a win whether that comes at home or on the road. I know with our young team, it's an advantage for us even more than other teams to be able to play in front of our home crowd that has really been able to come out and support this team this year."
On the play of senior guard Kyle Randall:
"I think when we built this team in April, we realized we were going to be as young of a team as there is with only three or four returning players and those players being role guys. In addition, we had no point guards returning. So we looked hard at how we'd be able to fill a roster and be competitive. So when a young man like Kyle Randall became available who had played three years at UNC-Greensboro and had graduated in three years, you get a guy who not only can play basketball at a high level but is a high-character guy who can fit in academically to have that fourth year available. He's exceeded my expectations. Not only has he put up 16 points per game along with being a good point guard for us and leading the conference in free throw percentage, he's also as we have more and more success with this program we'll go back to the leadership that Kyle Randall brought. He's been able to guide these young men who have only been around him for the first time. I couldn't be more pleased with the addition of Kyle Randall to our team."