Rod Barnes Teleconference Transcript
March 19, 2001
OLE MISS PRESS CONFERENCE
Ole Miss head coach Rod Barnes:
"First of all, I want to thank God for another opportunity to go play this great game. Our kids are excited about getting to San Antonio. We feel, like always, that we are going out there as the underdog against a very good team in Arizona. We have played well all season long against the different teams that we have had to play. This is one of the things that we have worked so hard for in this program. Obviously, after making history, a lot of people will think that we are satisfied, but we are not. We are looking forward to playing on Friday and are hoping to have the opportunity to advance. I am very happy for our young kids. Our student-athletes have done a great job to this point. We have another game to play. Our focus now is Arizona, the team that was the pre-season pick to win it all. They are very talented. They have a lot of good players and a great coach. They are playing well right now. It is going to be a challenge for our team, but once we get to San Antonio our players will have their focus. Right now we are trying to get some rest. It has been a long season and a tough couple of weeks, but we are looking forward to our game against Arizona."
(On going to the Sweet 16 sinking in)
"It has sunk in that we are going to the Sweet 16. All the history and all that stuff I can't get caught up in or allow our players to get caught up in. We have an opportunity to go play a very good basketball team with the chance to advance. The ultimate goal when you start this tournament is to win a national championship and if we get an opportunity to do that, after that game we will sit back and look at the season. Right now we can't look back at what happened yesterday or last week, we have to look forward to our game and get focused for a very good team."
(On the team worrying about it's shooting)
"We took the day off. We are not worried about our shooting. We played the way we play all along. Nothing has changed since the beginning of the season. Everytime we beat a team, people ask if we are worried about our shooting or our inside game. When we shoot the ball well, most of the time we win the game by double figures. If we don't, we depend on our defense to win the game. That is our style. We are concerned about stopping Arizona and their perimeter guys and their inside players. If our shots go down, they go down. If not we will move on."
(On how much film of Arizona he has seen)
"I have not watched much. We have had two coaches working on the game plan. I have watched Arizona a lot this year. Once we finish all this today I will start my process of watching film. They remind me a lot of Tennesse, very talented. They have a lot of depth on their team especially in the post. They make big plays. They are similar to Tennessee, but they are a better team there is no question about that."
(On Jason Harrison making big plays despite his height)
"I do not think it is hinderence. They guy has proven over the last three years that he can play in this league. It is mind boggling to me that people are still surprised by him. They guys has proven for three years that he can play. When he was a freshman he hit a big shot over Mateen Cleaves (Michigan State) up in Milwaukee (NCAA Tournament). We do not look at size. Again I continue to say size is the most overrated thing in basketball. Either you can put the ball in the hole and defend people or you can't. It does not matter if you are 5-4 or 7-0. It is good for a story, but at some point people are going to have to respect that Jason Harrison can just play the game and that is the bottom line."
(On the chemisty and make-up of the team)
"I think they know each other. They have been through a lot together. A lot of them have played together before coming to Ole Miss and that was part of our game plan in recruiting. We have used our home base (Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Louisiana and Alabama) and that is what we wanted to work. You just have to get the right kind of kids. You look at Jason Harrison and Jason Flanigan. Those guys have won big together. You look at the kids from Provine. We have two different teams our kids come from as far as AAU basketball. They know each other. They have been together through the ups and downs. They respect each other and they look forward to doing the things they have done in the past together on this level.
I think these guys have committed themselves to making sure we have the best team we could possibly have. The leadership we have from Rahim (Lockhart) and Jason Flanigan has really helped. One is from Arkansas and one is from Mississippi and they love each other just the same. One is a perimeter player and one is down in the post. I think when they players see it in the senior leadership they want to be a part of it. I think we have one of the most unselfish group of guys I have ever been around."
(On Rahim's play vs. Notre Dame being an example of what he means to the team)
"I think we have been saying all along that we wanted to go inside to Rahim on offense. We have other guys like Jason Flanigan that we depend on to make big plays and David Sanders on defense. Yesterday we felt like we could score inside and if they doubled-up we could kick it outside and make some shots. They did not double, so Rahim stepped up. When they did double up, Jason Harrison stepped up and hit a big shot. That is the sign of a great team, not individuals, but a team. When it is time for someone to step up, they do. They are willing to handle the responsibility and that is why we have been successful."
(On his relationship with former Ole Miss head coach Rob Evans)
"We have a good relationship. We keep in touch. I was an assistant coach here under him. That was my first opportunity to get to know him. He has a team at Arizona State that he is definitely trying to build. When I got an opportunity to coach here I not only wanted to take over the job, I wanted to take the program to another level and I feel like we are doing that. He was at the game the other day, both the Iona game and the Notre Dame game. We talk often. I appreciated him coming out to see us. We have a good relationship. Following a coach that had won two division titles was tough, but the point was it was an opportunity and you have to take advantage of an opportunity. I tell our kids that all the time. It is not often that you get an opportunity to do things that will help you be successful in life. When I was given the opportunity and so I had to take advantage of it. There was a lot of pressure, but I do not think anyone can put any more pressure on me than I put on myself."
(On Coach Evans helping with scouting Arizona)
"We joked about it. If I called him and asked him, he would help me, but Arizona is in their conference and we can get enough information on our own. I think he would give me advice about our team and about this week more than he would worrying about Arizona. I know Coach Evans. He would be more concerned about what we do and that is what I am more concerned about. We are worried about what we are doing more. We have a scouting report and we know who their good players are and who comes off the bench. We just need to know what we are trying to do and make sure we take care of our business."
Does the presence of a seven-footer pose a problem for your team?
"I can't worry about what we don't have and what the other team has. We are going to pressure their guys and deny the ball into the post. Rahim has handled himself well against guys who are taller than he is. They can use their size as a weapon. We have speed and quickness and we will use that on them. I believe that Rahim Lockhart is one of the best low-post players in the country.
Question for Jason Harrison
Do you feel like you have to prove yourself on the court?
"It seems like every time I go out, someone questions my ability. I just go out do what I have to do to help my team win. I can't worry about what people say. As long as my team wins, I'm happy.
Are you concerned about your outside shots?
Harrison "I feel like the shots will fall sooner or later. If we put the effort into it, we should be fine.
"It's too late to be concerned about our shots. We will get the same looks against Arizona and we have to knock those shots down."
Question for Rod Barnes
Talk about your young players in the first/second rounds and were they uptight before the game?
"I think anytime a person is going through this for the first time, they will be nervous. We have been a team have made shots and a team that hasn't made shots. I don't get concerned about that because of our defense. We hit some free throws to help us. I think we have had to do whatever it takes to win the game. I think we can make the shots to win the game. "
Question for Rahim Lockhart
Talk about playing against a seven-footer like Arizona's Loren Woods?
"We are looking for more and Arizona is the next team in the way. We set set our goals to win a championship. Whether it's a six-footer or a seven-footer, I will go hard every time."
Talk about getting to the "sweet sixteen"
"Our goals were not just to make it to the "sweet sixteen". You don't want to look back now on your career because my career isn't over yet. We have plenty of time after we finish to think about what we have done in our careers.
Question for Jason Flanigan
Talk about your players from Arkansas and Mississippi and what that does for team chemistry?
"They are a great group of guys. I love every one of them. It's a family atmosphere here. That is one of the reasons I chose Ole Miss. If coach keeps recruiting players like that, we will keep on winning."
Question for Rod Barnes
How did you develop your philisophy?
"Experiences in my life and great teams have helped me develop my philisophy. If a kid can play defense, you can help your team win. I think I have been influenced by many people who stress defense. If you can do anything, you can play defense."
Do you like to see people taking charges on television?
"That is something you don't see a whole lot of. You see the dunking and blocked shots in the stands. Teams that have been sucessful have played great defense. It may not sell tickets, but it wins championship."
Do you hope that the national media will not pick you to win Friday?
"I don't think that matters. You can't worry about what people say about you. We will play Arizona on Friday and it will be a 40 minute game. It's our players and coaches against their players and coaches. I think we are determined to win. We have to play the game. They picked us to finish last in the SEC West and we won it. They picked us to lose to Notre Dame and we won. Some people picked Iona to beat us and we won. The bottom line is that it's Ole Miss against Arizona. The best team on that day will win the game."
What is your workout schedule?
"We will practice on Tuesday and then leave for San Antonio on Wednesday morning. We will practice Wednesday afternoon in San Antonio. We will go light on Tuesday and Wednesday. It's been a long season but we will be ok."
What makes Jason Harrison so tough?
"What makes him so tough is that he's a competitor and a winner. Every day out, he works hard. He's not afraid to take the big shot and helps him in big games.
Are you confident with him taking that last shot?
"I'm confident in him and there other guys that I'm confident in also. Jason Flanigan is another one that I'm confident in. We have many guys that I would like to have in a situation. I think they can come up big for us.
- Men's Sports
- Women's Sports
- ATHLETICS DEPARTMENT
- Athletics Leadership
- Media Relations
- News Archives
- Spirit Squads
- Staff Directory
- This is Ole Miss
- FOR STUDENT-ATHLETES
- FedEx Student Athlete Success Center
- Health and Sports Performance
- M-Club Alumni Chapter
- Student-Athlete Development
- Rebels' Choice Awards
- Social Media
- E-Newsletter Sign Up
- Charitable Donations
- Contact Us
- Poster/Schedule Card Request
- Media and Downloads
- Ole Miss Sports Apps
- Calendar Schedule
- Sync Your Calendar
- Desktop Backgrounds
- School Song Downloads
- FOR KIDS
- Camps and Clinics
- Rebel Kids Club
- Birthdays with the Rebels
- Chairback Rentals
- Gameday Central [Football] [Basketball] [Baseball]
- Rebel Windows
- Visitor's Guide
- What To Wear