-- With practice set to start at the end of this week, Mark Gottfried and the players met with the media this afternoon to talk about the upcoming season. Gottfried did his best to stay on message:
"There are a lot of questions, a lot of unknowns about this team," Gottfried said on Wednesday during the team’s media day at Dail Basketball Center. "You look at some other teams in this league maybe roles are a little more defined. Where they sit with their program is more defined. To me ours is a mystery."
He followed up that statement by shrugging and saying, "We got the full allotment of arms and legs, I know this. Hey, I just walked into this building for the first time. Can someone point me to the restrooms?"
-- Gottfried introduced his solution to the Two CJs problem--he refers to CJ Leslie as Calvin:
"It’s time for a new start with him," Gottfried said of Leslie. "(Senior swingman)is C.J., Calvin is Calvin."
When asked how Leslie likes the change, the new State coach smiled a wry smile and said simply, "That’s his name."
"Only coach calls me Calvin," Leslie said. "I guess it's part of the clean slate. It doesn't matter. But right now, Coach Gottfried is the only one to call me Calvin. I don't really care if others [say it]. It doesn't faze me. It's my name, so it's my name."
Right, so nobody else call him Calvin or he's gonna hurt you in the face.
-- Mark Gottfried said during his introductory press conference that he wanted his team to push the ball, and today he spoke more specifically about what it takes to create transition opportunities:
Gottfried said expectations are clear for players: Defense and rebounding equate to transition offense.
"Where we want to be is a team that absolutely puts pressure on teams to get back quickly and we want to score in the open floor and in the break," Gottfried said. "Now we have to teach a team how to do that."