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Jay Wright at Big East Media Day

Here is an 8m47s interview with Jay Wrigh from today's Big East Media Day at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Usually a lot of teams who went to the Sweet 16 and returns all of its starters would expect to be in the top 2 or 3 of the conference...

Jay Wright:

"Exactly. There's all this talent in this league. A lot of the top teams have everyone returning. I think this is unprecedented. Even in the 80s... to have this many teams have quality returning starters... is unheard of.

I think the kids are staying. We had a lot of young teams in the league last year.

How is Scottie [Reynolds] evolving and where he is now...


Scottie is developed from being a great high school scorer to being a point guard... a leader and an outstanding all-around player and that's what we want from him...

On being a coach in the league...

As a coach there are a lot of guys you go up against... that you watch their video tapes and listen to them at clinics... now you're coaching against them and you can call them at home... Boeheim, Wainwright, Pitino, Calhoun, Huggins... all of these guys they've been around a long time. They're legendary coaches and you go against them night in and night out.

On being 8th or so in the league in March and being on the NCAA Bubble...

Everyone is convcerned about being in that bubble position especially with the league is this year. You gotta go in to the season with a positive atttude. You gotta think you want to contend for a Big East Championship. That's what ouy want to do . And then as the season goes you let the chips fall where they may, but you never go into the season thinking about that. 

How do you expect to line up the front court?

Well right here we got three seniors; Dante, Shane and Dwayne that I'm sure will be a big part of our front court. If you look at how we played last year, we did a good job defensively on a lot of good front court people. What hurt us last year was young guards. There were two guards that really hurt us last year. I think having the guards have another year of experience and then having these guys up front it's gonna really be a big part of our strength will be up front.

About the Philly Classic and the begining of the schedule...

We were lucky there. It wasn't by design. I do think it's important these guys play in the Palestra before we play Penn. And that's going to be a great experience for them to play in the Palestra so we really did it more to stay in Philly which we love and get that Paletra experience. You don't get it as much. Some years you play there once, sometimes twice. But this year they'll get to play a tournament there and be the only Philly school which is a unique experience in itself.

And the Texas game at MSG...

That's always good. Get a game in the garden before St. John's. Get a game in the Garden before the tournament. and for Villanova.. most of our alumni base is up here in the New York Metropolitan area. Anytime we get to play in New York, we love it.

About Guards in the Conference...

It's scary because as we all know guards in college basketball usually dominate the game. We've been very fortunate to have some of the best guards and I think we have great guards but there are a lot of experienced guards that are a bit savier than ours right now. You look at Marquette. The Marquette uards are incredible. I think Notre Dame's point guard Jackson. Levance Fields. You got Connecticut who can play 3 guards this year. look at Syracuse with Devendorf and Flynn coming back... with Rautins. Sapp at Georgetown. It's just going to be an incredible league. An incredible guard's league.

About being picked #5...

I didn't get to see it. I kinda heard a rumor. That's a bit higher than I thought we'd be ranked to be honest with you. I saw something earlier that said we'd be 8th. Which i didn't have a problem with. Because I just know how good everyone else is coming back. Last year we were a 9 and 9 team. So we gotta prove ourself. it may be a little bit of a gift being 5th right now for us.

Deepest conference you've seen?

You know I was here as an assistant when PatrickEwing and all those guys were in the League. and Derrick Coleman and as strong as that league was then, it's just as strong now and there are more good teams. I think the top teams are as good. And I think the depth is even stronger. I think it's going to be unprecedented this year what we see. and it's gong to be interesting to see how the teams come out of it. I think it's great for college basketball and great for the Big East

Does a deep league prepare you for the NCAAs or does it beat you up?

Personally, for us, having been through this league. Having been through the NCAA tournament. I think it's important to stay fresh at the end of the year. We gotta get a lot of work in early because we can't get it in at the end of the year. No matter what you want to do coaching wise what you want to put in. In this league it's not worth the extra practice time. It's more important to keep your legs fresh. And I think that's something that we all... I think everyone in this league knows that and I think that's a challenge for any coach in this league.

And I think depth is gonna come into play throughout this season. In this league now if you get a starter hurt it can effect you more with how this league is. In the past or in another league you can sneak by without a starter but in this league, if you're out one you can be beat by anyone.

Extend rotation to keep people fresh?

We do that always. For that reason just going throught this league. Sometimes we get criticized for that a little bit for... how do they say... just running guys in and out. But we do try to keep them fresh. Not only keep them fresh but keep guys ready so that if somebody does get hurt. They have had playing time and they're ready to step in.