University of Oklahoma men's basketball coach Lon Kruger met with the media at Big 12 basketball media days in Kansas City on Thursday.
Here's a look at what OU's new coach had to say about his 2011-12 team:
* On his team starting practice: “I think for a coach, the first two or three weeks of practice might be the most enjoyable, because you see guys coming together, especially on the first-year situation like we're in, get to know the guys a little bit better and see them develop individually and meshing together as a group.”
* On his return to Big 12 country: “I've referred to it as the Big Eight several times by mistake. But it is back to the roots. Growing up just a few miles down the road here from Kansas City, feels very much like coming back home. Even though the conference has changed and it appears to be continuing to change, feels great. And excited about it.”
* On the challenge of getting OU basketball back on the map: “The challenge is big in every program to get to where you want to be. We haven't won the last couple of years. Just three years ago they were playing in a game to go to the Final Four. So it's not really that far removed. We've had great tradition, great coaches. Players...understand that there's a lot of pride and they're responsible for doing whatever we can as a group to regain that and get back to that level.”
* On Romero Osby, a transfer from Mississippi State: “From day one, he's been a terrific worker. He's all about the team. During the preseason work, he was one of the guys that worked really, really hard every day. And he's pretty versatile on the court. He'll play a little bit more of a power forward — inside/outside. We're not a big group so (Osby) is a big guy we've got. He's got to move out on the floor and face up, play like a perimeter guy, but he's also strong and can post up inside. We need him to rebound the ball very well for us.”
* On facing Kansas State, his alma mater, twice a year: “It will be a little bit different for sure. Big fan of Kansas State. Obviously (K-State coach) Frank (Martin) has done just a terrific job in getting that program back to the national level and (I am) really proud of that as an alum. But I'll be pulling for Kansas State every time they play, just like we always have, with the exception of a few nights now, but a big fan of what Frank is doing there.”