East Carolina Head Coach Bill Herrion
"We have finished two weeks of practice and taking away Moussa's injury Thursday night at practice, I am very pleased with where this team is at right now. It has been a real challenge and a real roller coaster ride trying to build this basketball team and build this basketball program in Conference USA. I think we have come a long way."
"We are going to be a different team this year, we have so many new faces. We are young, we don't have a lot of older leadership, older veteran players but what I like about this team early is we have tremendous enthusiasm. We have great, young enthusiasm. I think we are a much quicker basketball team, much more athletic. I kind of like the direction that we are going in right now with our team defensively."
"I think what has happened is that we have definitely closed the gap here at East Carolina with our basketball program in this league athletically and talent-wise. We are young and the kids are working extremely hard. We had our Purple-Gold scrimmage on Saturday and I thought it was a good day; we did a lot of good things. I don't think we are going to know much about this basketball team until we put our uniforms on for real, the lights are on, the band is playing, the cheerleaders are out there and it is a real game atmosphere to see how these young kids are going to react in that environment."
On Moussa Badaine
"We are going to need Moussa, obviously, to step up and he has. Up until Thursday night when he injured his thumb, Moussa's first week and a half were great and he just looked really good. He had a great off-season, he has gotten stronger and is playing with major, major confidence."
On Mike Cook
"When we put Mike Cook into the starting lineup the second half of last year I think our season changed as well. Mike Cook is a talented kid. We played him at the point primarily last year; he is very good with the ball in his hands. He makes a lot of things happen when he has got the basketball in his hands. He is going to have to play off the ball and on the ball. We have been playing him a little bit more off the ball at the two and kind of a wing. I think he is kind of our version of Charles Barkley. He can score a lot of different ways and has tremendous physical strength. He is going to have to score."
"What I really like about this basketball team is we have a lot of speed and quickness. I think we are going to try and get a lot of offense off of our defense. Right now we are playing primarily man-to-man but we have got to generate a lot of our offense off of our defensive pressure. "
On guards Japhet McNeil and Marvin Kilgore
"I have not had two guards, and this is my 14th year as a Division I head coach, that have put pressure on the basketball like these two kids do. It is going to be hard for anybody to get into their offense because we are going to have tremendous pressure on the basketball with these two guys."
On team's shooting
"I think with our basketball team we are going to be quick enough and athletic enough that we are going to be able to spread the floor enough to get people shots. I think we have enough guys that can shoot the basketball but I am a little cautious right now because we are so young and we have so many players on this basketball team and in this program that have not done it yet when the lights have gone on. You can have all the Purple/Gold games in the world that you want. I have had a million guys through the years have great Purple/Gold games, they were the MVPs of the Purple/Gold games and they are also the MVPs over in the rec. center in the spring and in the fall when we are not playing. I evaluate kids when the lights go on and how they play when it is for real. We have a lot of unknowns that we are going to find out in the next couple of exhibition games."
"There are so many unknowns right now because we have so many kids going through this experience for the first time. I don't think we are going to get any answers until we put the uniforms on step out onto the court for real."