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Pastner's notebook: Team chemistry brewing in scrimmages


Photo
Chris Coduto/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Senior forward Hassan Adams drives to the basket over Oregon's Ray Schafer during Arizona's game against Oregon on Feb. 17 in McKale Center.
By Roman Veysman
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
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In this edition of Pastner's Notebook, men's basketball assistant coach Josh Pastner talks about the team's offseason scrimmages, Hassan Adams as a captain and his own sleeping habits.

Wildcat: From watching the scrimmage on Saturday, it's striking how competitive every pickup game is.

Pastner: I think with us practicing during the week allows the pickup games to be that much more competitive, because each individual knows what they need to do and the intensity level that they have to stay at to be able to get a chance to get minutes this year.

Wildcat: The team chemistry really seems to be there with this group of guys. How much does that contribute to having a good team?

Pastner: Team chemistry is extremely important. I think team chemistry is everything. You can't win the (Pacific 10 Conference) championship or the national championship if you don't have great team chemistry, and I think that just developed over time. Right now, we have great team chemistry.

(Our players) are very, very competitive on the court, which they should be because they want to compete. ... Secondly, we have guys that are hanging out with each other off the court. At times, you don't have to hang out with each other, but they are, and that's a good sign, because they're liking each other and they want to be around each other. Those are the guys they're going to be with for the next nine months, and going through competition, you want to develop that type of bond and chemistry.

Wildcat: Senior forward Hassan Adams has already been a good leader for this team, but it is evident that this is his team this year. How much respect does he command from his teammates?

Pastner: Hassan does command respect not only by the way he plays but by the way he carries himself. I think the guys respect him, and part of it is because they know he brings it every single night. You want to talk about a guy who competes? He competes at the highest level, and if you're not ready, he'll kick your butt left and right. He'll go right through your chest in order to get to the basket. He doesn't go up soft, he doesn't play soft. He goes one speed, and that's playing hard at all times, and I think the other guys respect him so much.

pullquote
(Hassan Adams) competes at the highest level, and if you're not ready, he'll kick your butt left and right

- Josh Pastner, assistant coach

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He has the younger guys' and his teammates' ears right now, and that's why he's going to be a great captain.

Wildcat: What do you encourage the guys to work on before the first official practice on Oct. 14?

Pastner: On their own, they have to get better. When they're working out and they're not around the coaching staff, they have to work to get better, and that means constant repetition and working as hard as possible. That means working on their weaknesses and getting stronger on their strengths.

Wildcat: How is sophomore guard Jawann McClellan's foot injury coming along?

Pastner: We're expecting Jawann to be ready any time now, and we're expecting Jawann to have a great year just like we need him to have a great year. He's pretty much day-to-day for right now. (Editor's note: Pastner declined to elaborate on the nature of McClellan's injury.)

Wildcat: People say you never sleep. What is your schedule like these days, and what do you work on?

Pastner: You can sleep when you're dead. There is no need to sleep. It's a waste of time, as I look at it.

In all seriousness, obviously, you have to sleep. I try to exercise and keep in good shape physically so I can stay sharp in all areas. I'm just not a big sleep guy, and I don't need a lot of sleep. I'm very thankful for life and I'm very blessed and fortunate. I don't take things for granted so I can keep on the move. It all boils down to a matter of attitude is how I look at things.



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