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March 7, 2003

Coach Odom talked to the media on Friday. The following are clips from the conversation.

“We practiced this morning because I want to try and get our practices in as far in advance of a Sunday noon start as possible. When I first announced it to our team I hear some one say,” Is that because we lost”? It is not because we lost its because I want to give our team as much possible rest before the game on Sunday. That way we get almost a day and a half of rest between workouts.

“Practice went well this morning; we have some problem area not the least of which are the Georgia players and the Georgia system. Both are very well placed and execute well. The things that they do hurt every team in the league and we did not do a good job in the second half of the first game of off setting the things that they do well. So we have got to do a much better job of recognizing sets and offsetting what they are trying to do.

“When the play exhausts Jarvis Hayes and Ezra Williams can still beat you by making the shot. It is important that we defend their system, but it is equally important that we defend their players. It is a well-put together team with interchangeable parts. I don’t think they play pressure defense, but I do think they pick their spots and when they do they are a difficult team to score on. It’s a tough game and it is a game we need to be at our very best. I think that since it is our last chance to play in front of our home crowd that our team will be ready.

“The injury situation continues to be a problem. Tarence Kinsey broke a bone in his foot, due to the stress fracture, and is finished for the year. Maybe with the long range goal in mind that was a good thing to go ahead and get the rehab started. There was also talk about a possible surgery next week.

“Kerbrell Brown did not practice with us this morning. There was still a noticeable limp and I would call his availability suspect at this point. If he is not able to play I am thinking that Michael Boynton will fill his spot and Chuck would move to the shooting guard.

How do you deal with the Georgia situation coming here?

“What happens to good teams in situations like that? What happens is they assume an us against the world mentality and they circle the wagons and they say we are not going to let any outsiders in. We are going to make a good season a great season. Remember they are a veteran team and those kinds of teams have the ability to that.”

Comment on Senior Chuck Eidson.

“I don’t know if I have ever coached a guy that has overcome more to get to where he is than Chuck Eidson. He has done it in a classy way. I go back to first conversation I had with him on the second day of the job and the things that came out of that meeting were I don’t like to study and I don’t like to lift weights. I said,” Chuck if you decide to come back that you will learn to love those two things.” That has been true and I am so proud of him for that. I am very proud of him and he has been a joy to coach. Off the ball I think he is better off the ball that on he is like a free safety in football he is back there he sees the whole thing and he can go after it. He has a very high basketball IQ.”

Comment on Senior Tony Kitchings.

“Tony has been a much talked about performer and player and I’m sure he is going to graduate and people are going to say ‘What if?’ Tony is who he is. He has had some great games and has persevered through some difficult times as well. I can say this without any fear he is a great kid. I think he has grown up a lot off the court since he came here.”

Comment on Senior Chris Warren.

“I go back to when he first came we had a heart to heart before he went home for Christmas and he came back as a different person. He has been on the rise ever since. He came back from a very severe injury and has meant a lot to our team. His mom came back when he was injured and did not get to see him play and now she is coming back for Senior Day which is a great story because she has never seen him play here live. I know he really wants to play well for her.”

Comment on Senior Marius Petravicius.

“What can you say about Marius he will not have his mom and dad with him and that is kind of a story within itself. Who of us would at 16 would leave your home to pursue and education and basketball. Who would allow our son or daughter to do that? Yet he did that and his parents supported him. I just know him to be the best of people. He loves his team and his teammates. He is great kid and it is just pleasure to have known him. You just know that his life is going to turn out right as basketball player and as a person.”