Head coach Mike Brennan and Matt Cimino spoke after American beat Howard 74-63 on Saturday, Dec. 9. See below for full videos of our interviews and excerpt quotes.
Brennan on the injuries:
"Yeah I don’t, know, we’re not sure how it’s going to go to be honest."
Brennan on the zone:
"We worked hard on it. It’s a total team effort so we had both teams trying to mimic it yesterday in practice. Guys were ready. It’s the same zone, same offense, just guys looking to share the ball, making shots, and making plays.
Brennan on having enough bodies for practice:
"Coach Wolff gets out there a little bit for us as a defender. We’re running low on bodies. But the guys’ effort has been great, especially Sa’eed and Larry playing 40 minutes a game, so I can’t ask for more from what they’ve been doing."
Brennan on Cimino:
"I told him he’s going to get his opportunity, he’s going to help us. So today was his day where he played a ton of minutes. He wasn’t necessarily ready shape-wise - I don’t think - he got a little tired; but still, he affected a lot of shots on the drives. I don’t know how many blocks he had, but he definitely changed shots a ton in there. He’s a big body, he rebounded for us a little bit last year. So I told all these guys they’re going to help us at some point, so keep working. "
Cimino on his performance:
“I think everyone just tries to step up when they get called on. Guys like Drew, pretty much everyone off the bench, James, you know, everyone usually just stays ready, it’s all we gotta do. Coach tells us pretty much every day to stay ready and wait for that opportunity. Unfortunately we’ve got a lot of guys down right now but everyone’s stepping up I think.”
Cimino on team rebounding:
“Definitely, I mean Coach emphasizes that all the time. Just rebounding, game rebounding, just everybody doing their part. With a guy like Jesse out, we knew it was going to be a little bit more of a challenge. With Sam out we knew it was going to be a little bit more of a challenge. But it’s good to have Sam back, and once we get Jesse back and Mark back, I think it’ll be even better. It’s something that’s been a point of emphasis, I think we did a little better today, but we can definitely definitely build on this.”
Cimino on playing with Larry as a scorer:
“I’ve played with a lot of guys but Larry is definitely up there. Larry can really shoot. He’s really smart, in transition he’s very very smart; he can see the lanes. That’s a really good way to put it, he’s a natural type scorer, it just really comes to him. It’s a lot of fun to play with him.”
Cimino on an older and wiser Sa’eed:
“I think just being older and understanding the game and understanding what coach wants, understanding how to get other guys shots, and other guys involved. Obviously he was really great last year — he’s really just building on that. And he’s been a really great leader for us in the locker room, on the court, off the court, and during practice. I think, in every way really, he’s just gotten better.”