NASHVILLE --- The Tennessee State men's basketball team is nearly a month into official practices and exactly two weeks away from the season opener at Kansas on Nov. 10 on ESPNU.
Senior guard Darreon Reddick and Head Coach Dana Ford gave updates on practices leading up to the first game of the 2017-18 season.
Senior Guard Darreon Reddick
“Practice has been good. There’s been a lot of improvement since day one. People are learning the defense that Coach (Dana) Ford expects. The offense, we’re learning the motion, so we’re making big jumps.”
- On the progression of the team
“It was hard at first. I haven’t been vocal my whole life, but I think I’ve been doing a good job along with Mek (Christian Mekowulu) and Samson (Oyediran) leading vocally and with our actions. I think we’re doing a pretty good job so far.”
- On taking a leadership role on the team
“We have a lot of plays put in from last year. There’s a lot more learning to do, but I think we’re doing a good job learning the plays. We’ve been coming in extra time learning the plays with coach. Defensively, I’ve been here four years same with Sam and Mek, so we all know what he wants, so we’re just trying to do our best to help the new guys learn what Coach Ford wants. They’re locking in pretty well so far, so it’s all going good.”
- On how much has been implemented
Head Coach Dana Ford
“Recently, practice has been going pretty well in terms of getting better at some minor details that are very important as we get closer to the opening tip of the season. I think our leadership is getting better. I think that we’re starting to develop some depth, and now what we’re trying to work on is our consistency in our discipline and what type of habits we’re going to build. That’ll be something that’s all year long. I think we’re starting to get into a groove and I think once we get into that groove, now we can start to get better at what we do.”
- On how practices have been going
“It is what it is and it takes what it takes. We’ve got to practice every day. We can’t start playing people until we’re supposed to play people. I think some people use it as an excuse that they’re tired playing against each other, but I don’t know if that’s something that we do. Hopefully the leadership allows for them to continue to build the habits no matter who they’re playing against – no matter how they feel about what’s going on. If we can get that mindset, then we’ll continue to get better every day.”
- On keeping his team sharp during preseason
“I just like their competitiveness right now. I like their willingness to learn. I like that they give me minimal problems off the floor and I think that they enjoy playing with each other. In terms of more specific things on the floor, this group moves the basketball very well. This group is willing enough to play team defense consistently and not try to go out and do things that they’re not capable of individually.”
- On what he likes about his team so far