Bits from Quin Snyder Interview, Part 2, 9/24
What was the day of Dante Exum’s injury like?
More than anything, I think you just, kinda sick for him. He had really worked. He’d stayed here in preparation for both the summer league and then, you know, his national team. And it was the way he had worked.
He really, I think, there was a good plan to address some of the things — his aggressiveness. And you can’t just say, like, “Attack more. Be more aggressive.” It’s really how are you gonna do that, you know? What move do you have, what bounce do you have, and you know, how strong are you, what’s your mindset. And he had attacked all those things.
And just seeing him in summer league the first — the good thing about the summer league that was exciting, that made it, I think, even harder when he got hurt, was he had a really poor first quarter and didn’t do the things he’s been doing, and all of a sudden, he got to the foul line, which — guys used to give him a hard time, you know, he goes there twice a year.
So he, and then he started, he had a great game. So you started to see the maturity, and like I said, more than anything, for him, you just felt bad for him…
[Exum’s injury] requires a different level of planning, different, little different type of team and we gotta figure that out. We probably won’t be able to figure that out before we start playing games…but you know, he’ll be back, you know?
What are your expectations for Trey Lyles’ rookie season?
Trey’s got a chance to really become an excellent player, and part of it, he’s still figuring out who he is. I think we see him [as] a guy that can make plays. He can pass the ball, he can put it on the floor. Really, he played on the perimeter a little bit in Kentucky.
He’s 19. It’s gonna take him some time to get comfortable, but you know, we’ve had, you, OT–we call it OTA, and, optional training activity…It’s been a really, really good period, and Trey’s — you see the young guys, Trey and Raul* [Neto] too, they start to find their comfort zone, and you start to see a little more of who they are as players, and that’s a process.
* People calling Raul Neto “Raul” with a hard “R”: Quin Snyder
Can you transform Trey Burke into the point guard that you want him to be? Was there some disconnect between you last season?
Well, I, you know, what I want is probably a bar that not, you know, that’s my job, is to want more for these guys. All of them, Trey included. The way that we’ve tried to play, is, takes time. I mean, it’ll, there’s some corporate knowledge that’s required, and for a point guard, it’s really hard, and particularly a guy who’s used to having the ball in his hands.
We’re asking him to play with the pass. Sometimes the tempo with which he’s played with his whole career at Michigan was, the best offensive team in the country, but they played with, they just played slow. They played with the slowest pace.
So you know, pushing the ball up the court and some of those things that we wanted at the beginning of the year, we found our team maybe was better, more efficient not doing that. So, there’s a lot of, kind of adjustments that everybody makes, and that I think Trey will continue to make.
The biggest thing for me is as the season progressed, he became much more defensively sound. And that, you know, the other stuff will just all grow together, but that’s, you know, that has to be there, and it was late.
What are you expecting from Gordon Hayward this year?
I think one of the biggest things with Gordon is just establishing trust, and you know, being able to, for him, when you tell him something, he’s gotta, he’s very bright. He knows the game, and I think the thing I try to do with him is tell him why. And once he understood why, you know, he embraced everything.
And that’s an ongoing process, and you know, we all learn from our players too. But what we’ve seen, I think the way we play really fits him as well, because he is a playmaker…
What I see him doing is being more vocal, and being more of a leader, which I, absolutely in my mind just comes with confidence and comfort level, and we’re gonna see a guy that continues to be more outward and hopefully more aggressive.
What kind of difference do you think best free agent Alec Burks will make this year?
Well, he’s unique, and we talked about, you know, how we attack. And he’s a guy that, his ability to get to the free throw line, his ability to attack in the open floor…
And I think his ability, it’s gonna help Rodney [Hood] attack. It’s gonna help Gordon attack. And he does that better than any — in fact, sometimes we want to slow him down and help him read a little better. So, a few less circus shots and a few more easy layups.
But he clearly is a unique player. The thing that is gonna have to happen with Alec is that, we were all working on our habits defensively, and we hadn’t, that hadn’t become instinctive yet. And when he went out, that process was beginning to gel.
And I’ve been impressed with his understanding and commitment to that on the front end. And it’ll take him some time, but I think that’ll also be something that we see from him, maybe that we didn’t think about, is that maybe he can make us an even better defensive team.
Will Derrick Favors be an emphasis on offense this year? What about Rudy Gobert?
It’s gotta be. And I think they’re two different players. Where Fav had a lot of success last year, was, you know, in pick and roll, and that little pocket, and he’s worked on that floater.
I think, you know, he may not space the floor from three, but you know, that elbow jump shot, you know, however his range evolves over the cour–another guy, right, that’s pretty young. He’s put a lot of time in this summer. I think he’s gotten more comfortable on the post. I think he’s been able to overpower people for a long time, so just get it.
We like to see him, you know, prepare more for his opportunities and recognize them. And some of that’s on him. You know, when he’s in situations, that, it’s there for you, big fella. You know, go take it. You know, demand the ball. And I think he’s getting more comfortable doing that, to make him show the team film of them not throwing it to him.
And Rudy’s, you know, Rudy’s unique offensively as well as defensively with his length. You know, we’d like to throw the ball up to him more, the way he gets it on the glass offensively.
Some of it for Rudy is, the league’s gonna adjust to Rudy, you know, on offense. And we’re gonna see situations where they just jam and they don’t let him roll. We’re gonna see situations, I think, where they put a smaller player on him, and switch, and try to stay under him.
And so, part of it for Rudy is gonna be patient and try to understand what you can do now; knowing what you can do tomorrow. You know, today, tomorrow.
And there’s some things that, you know, we wanna limit. You know, he doesn’t need to shoot threes. But when you think about what he’s doing at the foul line, you kinda see progression offensively that I think will happen over time.
Can Elijah Millsap be Tony Allen?
He’s gotta be a better decision-maker. You know, Tony Allen, I think knows — and I hope he’s listening, first of all. I don’t usually talk about my players like this, but I really like him, and I see something in him. And obviously, Dennis [Lindsey] did, and Justin [Zanik] did. You know who really liked him? Coach [Jerry] Sloan…
Eli needs to keep understanding — he’s where he is, in his mind, because he’s just absolutely not accepted people’s belief about him as a player. He had a chip on his shoulder. Now, he can’t lose that, but he’s gotta allow other things to kinda come into that, where it can’t be only who he is.
He’s gotta start thinking more, and he — developing his own identity as a player, Tony Allen has that. He’s like, you know, he won’t even, sometimes he’ll take a corner three, sometimes he won’t, whatever, but he knows who he is. And I think Eli’s finding out who he is, you know, and his shot selection will be good this year…
He’s got a good shooting stroke. He’s on balance. He’s just gotta take good shots. And some of it’s just, maybe that’s a good shot I don’t want you to shoot, not because I don’t believe in you.
You know, that’s where he can — “They don’t believe in me, I can make it. I’m gonna to show you.” No, I know you can make it. Just pass it to Gordon. Let him drive it. And throw a lob to Fav, and he’ll dunk it. That’s better. (1280)