Men's Basketball Media Day Quotes
Nov. 2, 2005
Head coach Neil Dougherty
On entering the fourth year as head coach: I start the season here every year with the same phone call to coach Roy Williams, explaining to him that he had a good plan in laying the foundation of a basketball program. I think we accomplished a lot in such a short time because the success we were able to experience on the court last year is something I don't think anyone could have predicted that. Not even me."
"You don't need games to determine whether or not your program is improving. It was nice to win some of those key games last year, but I can tell you that those games in terms of wins and losses as well as the run in the NIT were ahead of an original thought or plan."
"Where we are in the overall scheme of things in regards to daily operations, I think we are pretty much right on track with what we want to do and hope to do with this program."
On senior David Markley, who joined the team as a walk-on three years ago: "David's presence on the team everyday reinforces that basketball is a game and if you choose to be here, then we're going to play you very hard and competitively. You do not have to do that because it's a choice for you to be here. David exemplifies that having been on the team the past three years. I respect everything that he has gone through. After you go through the walk-on process, you become a member of the team. There's really no difference in my eyes between David or Nile Murry when in practice or the expectations placed on him. What David gives to the team all the time is the reinforced thought that this is a game that we all choose to play and no one is making us do this. In the locker room, his sense of humor has a way of relaxing the team. He also has a firm grip of the realities of college basketball. He has seen both the very bad and difficult times as well as experienced the success.
On competing in the Mountain West Conference: "Right now, it's a little difficult to determine how we'll come out. We don't know much about the teams that we'll be competing in the Mountain West Conference. I think we're at a disadvantage because we have to learn eight new teams while they only have to learn one. I think there are very good athletes in the MWC, but the style of play may be different. That's going to be the contrast between them and us. We'll just have to see how things play out. There will be a lot of learning going on this year for us and the other teams."
On how last year's performance will be carried over to this season: "I think we're going to do more than we did last year. We have a more complete roster than previous years. With the young backcourt, it would be to our advantage to get more opportunities and transitions than having to face set five-on-five type defenses. We've had to do both in Conference USA. There were teams that would go up and down and some teams that would hold the ball so we should be able to handle that now. Forcing the tempo defensively and trying to turn some defensive things into some earlier easy offense for us would be to our advantage."
On this year's non-conference schedule: "We try to accomplish a couple of things when we set our non-conference schedule. Number one, we try to make sure we're playing enough quality teams that will make our RPI high enough should we experience success in any given year. That way, the NCAA and its selection committee will have to take us seriously for postseason play. We will always play a competitive schedule or as a competitive schedule we can put together. Right now, it unfortunately means a lot of road games for us. The other thing with the non-conference schedule, at least at this stage of our program, is that it's hard to say no to a televised game. I don't see any reason to decline an opportunity to be on TV unless you can't get your team there on time."
On the perception of TCU Basketball from the community: "I do believe that the basketball community here (i.e. local high schools) look at TCU as a basketball program that can play with the big teams. I think our perception has changed greatly for the better and I like that."
"In regards to the perception from Division I college basketball coaches about TCU is that we've become a dangerous team. In my first year here, we were able to bring some big name schools because they knew they could get a win. Now, some of these coaches will agree to play us only on their home court. It's something that I understand perfectly well. We've got to improve a little more to leave that danger zone and enter into the respectable category so we can get quality home-and-home games."
Chudi Chinweze, Senior, 6-7, Forward, Houston, Texas
On expectations of being a leader on the team: "I've been since with coach Dougherty since he arrived here at TCU so I know what he expects of us. I feel that we (the seniors) really know the game and what coach Dougherty wants from us."
"The seniors are expected to be the leaders and we have high expectations this year since we went to the NIT. We just have to play hard every game and contribute to the team in any way possible."
David Markley, Senior, 6-0, Guard, Grapevine, Texas
On being one of the team leaders this year: "There are going to be some tough times during the year. It's something that'll happen every season. I think our responsibility as seniors is to step up and be leaders."
Nile Murry, Senior, 6-4, Guard, Houston, Texas
On this year's non-conference road games against Texas Tech, Syracuse, Oklahoma State, Tulane: "I think it's exciting to be playing against those top teams. It will be great for the younger players to get that kind of experience playing at big venues on a main stage."
On being picked sixth in the Mountain West Conference Basketball Preseason Polls: "We don't worry about that. It's just people's opinions. We're going to go out there to compete and play hard. We need to do our best and win the game."
On how realistic the team's goal is to making it to the NCAA Tournament: "We have to play basketball first before we can predict where the team is heading to next. Our goal this year is to be successful as we can be. We just have to go out there to compete and play hard, and see where it takes us."
On this year's team: "I feel like this is my team so I know I'll have to step into that leadership role. There are several returning players this year along with Judson Stubbs, Chudi Chinweze and David Markley to help lead the team. We seniors are going to be the catalyst of this team. We know that the younger players will be looking to us for that spark, enthusiasm and leadership on and off the court."
On how much work the team is doing given the experience and postseason factors: "We're a pretty confident group. Defensively, we're doing a lot more pressing and a lot more up-tempo things to make the game faster. It'll allow the younger players, who didn't get enough playing time last year, to compensate offensively by getting up and down the court and making transitions baskets. It'll be great to get a lot open shots with the way that we play."
On playing in different altitudes against Mountain West teams: "I've never played at some of those altitudes before so it's something we'll have to adjust to. At the same time, I think of it (playing at higher altitudes) as a mental block. You just have to look past it and focus on what your team is capable of doing on the court."
On overall thoughts of Mountain West teams:
"I think competing in the Mountain West Conference is an advantage for us. The teams have big players and they're probably used to playing at the same speed that we play at. It'll be very interesting to see how we match up against the other Mountain West teams."