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Bits from Dennis Lindsey Interview, 12/26

December 29, 2014
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Does Dennis Lindsey watch basketball on Christmas Day?
[DL launches into what sounds like his best Kevin O’Connor impression] It’s, look. It’s, did I sit and watch every possession of all five games? No. Did I watch a lot of basketball? Yes. Did I watch enough basketball for my boys’ liking? No. Did I watch too much for my wife and daughters? Absolutely.

Shouldn’t Dante Exum, your star in the making, be getting more minutes now?
We have a buncha very significant young players, and again, how each develops and works and avoids injury and avoids distraction and is able to grow the way that a young John Stockton grew, or Karl Malone, those things kinda have to take place. And while we’re trying to have fertile ground, that, where players can develop–meaning talented, hard-working coaches and great facilities and veterans that are good leaders–

[DL drives into tunnel or something]

–So anyway, it, look. Dante, we still have debates on “one” [or] “two.” You know, he’s fast enough to be a point guard; he’s big enough to be a two. We’ll let nature take its course, and y–look, he’s playing more minutes, and there may be availability, some minutes on the wing coming in the future.

And, but yeah, so, I think from the standpoint, is he getting enough to develop? Absolutely. Is he doing the right things away from the court to develop on his own? No question. He’s a very good worker and a good kid, and I still think it, I know that’s much different positions, but he reminds me a little bit of where Rudy [Gobert] was at last year.

You c–he could get to the play, but the strength and experience that was lacking with Rudy last year, where he just couldn’t complete as many plays as we want, many times Dante’s in the same position…When we get him to 22, there’s a chance he could be special.

Do injuries to this year’s rookie class come into consideration?
Absolutely. You know, there’s, the load of what a young player can handle–just take Dante out–and the load that Rudy Gorbert* last year could handle, is much different than what he could handle this year. And so, there’s certainly, you put 19-, 20-year-olds with men, and it’s fast, and physical. The games, just, there’s just a gauntlet of games. Things do happen.

And you do–much of our strength and conditioning program, and our training program, right now is, in the season, you can’t make a lotta gains. A lotta your phsyical gains are done in the off-season. Really, what we’re trying to do is keep the chassis straight and balanced, and as strong as possible without wearing ’em out.

So, but many of the things that Mark McKown and Isaiah Wright do in the strength and conditioning area are preventive maintenance. And, like Alec Burks, for example. He had a shoulder [issue] in college, and one of the reasons why he’s been able to make it as long as he’s had without surgery is just a very aggressive pre-hab program.

* Not a typo.

Did you think you would see Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert on the court together this year?
So, it’s something that we talked about, yeah. And clearly, early in Derrick’s career, his minutes, especially his offense, was better as a “five”: a rolling, paint-catch five, if you will, compared to his minutes as a “four.” But look, we have some talented young big guys, and sometimes Quin [Snyder]’s choices on lineups are not necessarily about what’s best at that moment. It’s about what could be best two, three, four years down the line…

[With regards to Dante], we may be better off with a vet at any particular time than a 19-year-old rookie point guard, but, and then you get into lineup combinations and can Derrick and Rudy provide that dual shot-blocking presence and what does that do to our spacing, and how do we play offensively. And really, to find out, we have to, we’re gonna have to roll that lineup out a little more than what we have initially, and, at the beginning start of the season. (1280)

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