Samir Doughty and Jared Harper Press Conference

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    Samir Doughty, G, Jr.

    On getting action at point guard against Saint Peter’s…
    “It was good to play the point guard. During the summer, I played a lot at point guard before J’Von [McCormick] came. It wasn’t that big of an adjustment for me. It was good that coach allowed me time at point, so I could show everyone that I am able to play the position.”

    On how J’Von McCormick is doing…
    “J’Von [McCormick] is doing good. I’m not sure what his situation is. We hope he gets back soon. As of right now, I’ve been running point guard when Jared [Harper] isn’t in the game. That’s what it’s looking like right now.”

    On how he plans to get his scoring back…
    “It’s going to come eventually. We have a great team. It’s going to be someone’s night every night. It isn’t just going to be mine, so I’m just going to wait on my opportunity and keep working on my defense. My offense will come eventually. I’m focusing on winning. As long as we can continue to win, that’s good for me.”

    On if he is still rehabbing is ankle injury…
    “I have. It’s getting much better. I haven’t had to get as much rehab as I did early on in the season, but here and there I see my trainer.”

    On Austin Wiley’s progress…
    “It’s just good to have Austin [Wiley] back. He’s still working to get to the level that he wants to play at. He wants to play much better than he’s playing right now. He’s working every day. He’s doing a good job so far. It’s just good to have him back.”

    On how hard it is to shake that rust off…
    “It can definitely be tough for some players. I look at it as, basketball will be the same at all levels, so you need to focus on the little things. Everything else will fall into place.”

    On how his injury has slowed him down…
    “I won’t make any excuses. It’s been good. My ankle has been fine.”

    On making adjustments to play at point guard…
    “When you’re playing at point, it’s just making sure players are in the right spot and making sure my teammates are getting involved the best way I can. That’s pretty much it, but take shots when they’re available. I’m just trying to get my teammates involved.”

    Jared Harper, G, Jr.

    On having more practice days versus games after returning from the Maui Invitational…
    “It’s great coming from that tournament to this point. We’re able to look at the things that we did in that tournament, and we’re able to get ready for conference play.”

    On the difference on defense compared to last season…
    “I think it goes to our experience as a team. We’re very experienced as a team. We’ve been in this system for a couple of years now. We’re just using that to our advantage and getting better every day.”

    On what the team is working on for the game against UNC Asheville…
    “We are just continuing to get better every single game. We want to play well. I think one of the things that we are trying to focus on right now is our free throw shooting. We haven’t shot the ball from the free throw line as well as we did last year. That was a big focal point for us last year, having an SEC Championship season. We’ve been trying to lock in more in our practice time on our free throws. We hope to take that into the game tomorrow.”

    On his view of why the free throw shot hasn’t been there in comparison to last season…
    “I don’t know what necessarily has caused our free throw shooting to be lower, but we’ve been shooting a lot of free throws in and outside of practice.”

    On if he wants to get to the line more…
    “I would like to get to the free throw line, but I don’t feel like I’m doing anything different from last year. I just know that when I do get to the free throw line, I’m going to take advantage of my opportunities.”

    On Austin Wiley’s progress…
    “He’s coming along. Just sitting out last year, he’s probably going to be a little rusty. He suffered an injury too, but he’s doing well. He’s running the floor well, he’s blocking shots, he’s shooting okay from the foul line. I know he works on it every day. He’s going to continue to get better the more games he plays.”

    On what Samir Doughty has brought to the team…
    “Just a level of toughness. He’s a great defender. I’m pretty sure he’s leading the team in steals right now. He does a great job of defending and getting easy steals. He’s always making the right play. I don’t know if it’s really a big adjustment for him to be playing the 4-spot or at guard. He’s a very unselfish player. He knows how to get people open. He’s doing a great job.”

    On what he thinks about being ranked No. 8…
    “It’s always great to get that national recognition for being the No. 8 team in the country. It also feels like we have a target on our back, so we know that we’re going to work hard every day. We want to get better. We want to be the best team in the country. We want to win the national championship. That’s our goal for the season. We go through every day, practice and game just trying to fulfill those dreams.”

    On what he wants to see the team get better at heading into SEC play…
    “We want to continue to rebound the ball better. We do a good job of getting some stops. I think if we’re able to focus on our rebounding and making those free throws, everything else will come along.”

    On Danjel Purifoy…
    “His body looks great. He’s lost some weight. He’s looking faster, he’s jumping higher and he’s also shooting the ball well. I know he’s excited to be able to get back out there with us.”

    @AuburnEinstein

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