Q: Was the close win in the season opener a good learning opportunity?
Fox: It ended up being a great experience for us, to play in a close game and have to be in that situation and react to those circumstances. So there were some positives that came out of it. I was very disappointed that we ended up in that situation, but we didn’t play well enough in the first 35 minutes to be in any different position. In hindsight, even though we didn’t play as well as I would like to have had us play, I think there are some things we could take from it.
Q: What would you like to see improved from that first game?
Fox: We didn’t rebound the ball well. We didn’t rebound the ball, really, at all. I was real disappointed in our inability to rebound the ball. We didn’t defend the 3-point line either, but you go back and watch tape, and they made some tough, tough baskets. I’m not sure we could have done much more except foul them.
Q: Would you like Travis Leslie to be more assertive?
Fox: I don’t think Travis played particularly well the other night. I don’t think he thinks he played very well. But you know he still ends up—I think he had a double-double. That’s the kind of player—I think that shows you. There’s a guy that gets pretty good numbers and isn’t happy with how he played. He has to, especially with Trey out, he has to be a productive guy for us. We’ve lost a lot of scoring and rebounding without Trey.
Q: What did you think of Jeremy Price’s play?
Fox: Jeremy has had a great offseason. He really stepped up like an upperclassman. That’s what you would expect an upperclassman to do. I wish he’d have done it before four minutes to go in the game, but at least he did it. It was a good first outing. We got the win as ugly as it may seem. We got the win, and we can use that experience to get better.
Q: How much has Price matured?
Fox: Oh gosh, it’s like night and day. He really is a young guy now—I mean he’s man. He’s a zero issue guy right now. We probably butted heads hourly when I first came.
Q: What did it take to teach Price the lessons he needed to learn?
Fox: I tell him my hip is just harder than his, to be honest with you. But he’s really grown as a person, and I’m proud of him for that. I think his maturity showed the other night, because we really played pretty poorly.
Yeah, I mean, he’s more consistent in every part of his life. I think he’s a more consistent player, too. I think he’s in better condition. He’s stronger. I think he’s more disciplined. I just think he’s certainly a guy we expect to have a good year.
Q: Any update on Trey Thompkins (out with an ankle injury).
Fox: It’s kind of plateau-ing a little bit, you know. It’s been getting a little bit better, a little bit better and I’d say the last couple of days we’ve not seen as much progress as we’d like. We do have him back in practice gear, but he hasn’t practiced and hasn’t been cleared to practice. So, obviously, unless I get miraculous news in the next five minutes he’s not going to practice (Monday). If he doesn’t practice he wouldn’t play. If there’s a time of year for it to happen, it’s now. But we’ve got some tough games on the schedule, and we’ve got to get him back.
Q: Any time table for his return?
Fox: We re-evaluate every couple days. And not much has changed, really, since the other night. He’s kind of plauteued a little bit. So we’ve got to get a little more progress.
Q: Is it realistic to expect him back for the tournament in Orlando (starting November 25)?
Fox: Yeah, I think that’s probably something we’d hope for. He sprained it. He didn’t break it. We have to make sure he’s healthy before we put him out there.