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URI head coach David Cox watches the action from the sideline during Tuesday's season opener against LIU at The Ryan Center.

Cyril Langevine, Fatts Russell and head coach David Cox met with the media Thursday to preview tonight's game against Alabama.

Cyril Langevine

On the matchup: It’s another high level game. SEC team. They’ve got pros on their team. We’re ready for any competition that comes into the Ryan Center. Coach Cox is going to get us ready. We’ll all be ready to go out there and play.

On the last meeting with Alabama: We were young. I feel as though, as time went on, we’re completely different players. We’re ready for anyone.

On the opportunity: It’s big. Obviously, the fans are going to come out and show us a lot of support. It’s another opportunity for us to come out and get better as a team.

On the Maryland loss: It was a great wake-up call. Obviously, we didn’t want to lose but it got us ready for this game, to deal with the length. We’re just ready . . . The zone they threw at us caught us off guard. We weren’t ready for that. But we had it to get better. We’ll be prepared.

***

Fatts Russell

On takeaways from the Maryland loss: We’ve got to finish games. I felt like the first half was a pretty good half for us. We kind of wore down towards the end. Just got to finish games, the full 40.

On the Alabama matchup: We’re excited. We’re ready to get back on our home floor and play against really good competition.

On zone defense from opponents: We’re expecting it but we’ll be ready. It’s not last year’s team. We struggled a little bit last year, but we’re shooting it way better. We’ll be ready.

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David Cox

On the Maryland loss: I was pleased with the effort but obviously disappointed with the outcome. I thought we could have played a lot better in the second half, to at least keep it to a reasonable score. Maryland is obviously a very good team. I give them a lot of credit. But I think we have a talented bunch. We have the pieces. We just have to put them all together. We didn’t shoot the ball well, particularly in the second half, and that hurt us. But it also affected our defense and that can’t happen. So looking to see how we bounce back against a very talented, athletic and fast Alabama team.

On similarities between Maryland and Alabama: They have size, they have athleticism, they have length. But what cannot be duplicated by Maryland or any of us in practice is the pace at which they play. I think they just dropped to seventh in the country from fourth. They play at an unbelievable pace. They push the ball up and down the floor. They shoot a lot of 3s. They have one of the best point guards in the SEC in Lewis. We’re going to have to adjust to their speed.

On Nate Oats' influence: They’re well coached. I think the world of Nate as far as a coach and a motivator. They play extremely hard, extremely confident and extremely loose. If you know anything about Nate, he’s all of that.

On similarities with Nate Oats, given the coaching tree: The pressure on defense, the ball pressure. They like to get into the passing lanes and pressure the ball, kind of speed teams out. But outside of that, probably not much.

On the schedule: We’re in the teeth of it right now. With Alabama and the games that are slated for us in the next week or two, we’ve got to take every practice and every day, we’ve got to get better. We’ve got to have a great mindset and great approach to this game. We’ve got to get out and be ready for a war. It will absolutely be that. They’re a physical team, a confident team. They’ve very talented and very well-coached.

On the atmosphere: It’s going to be electric in here. The fans give us so much energy. I’m really excited to come in and I hope our guys feed off that energy. You can’t depend on the energy. Only we can play and only I can coach. The fans can’t come down and help us. But the energy they provide, it’s sure to be rocking here.

On a vist from a Power 5 team: It’s a big deal. I think it’s a degree of respect. Obviously, we played down there a few years ago so they’re returning the game, but I think there’s some respect from a power-five program to even have a home-and-home series with the A-10 and a program like ours. We feel good about it and we want to take advantage of the opportunity.

Cyril Langevine

 

It’s another high level game. SEC team. They’ve got pros on their team. We’re ready for any competition that comes into the Ryan Center. Coach Cox is going to get us ready. We’ll all be ready to go out there and play. 

 

We were young. I feel as though, as time went on, we’re completely different players. We’re ready for anyone. 

 

It’s big. Obviously, the fans are going to come out and show us a lot of support. It’s another opportunity for us to come out and get better as a team. 

 

It was a great wake-up call. Obviously, we didn’t want to lose but it got us ready for this game, to deal with the length. We’re just ready. 

 

The zone they threw at us caught us off guard. We weren’t ready for that. But we had it to get better. We’ll be prepared. 

Fatts Russell

 

We’ve got to finish games. I felt like the first half was a pretty good half for us. We kind of wore down towards the end. Just got to finish games, the full 40. 

 

We’re excited. We’re ready to get back on our home floor and play against really good competition. 

 

We played a really good first half, but towards the second half, there was a period of time where we stopped competing as hard. We’re emphasizing the full 40 minutes. 

 

We’re expecting it but we’ll be ready. It’s not last year’s team. We struggled a little bit last year, but we’re shooting it way better. We’ll be ready. 

David Cox

 

I was pleased with the effort but obviously disappointed with the outcome. I thought we could have played a lot better in the second half, to at least keep it to a reasonable score. Maryland is obviously a very good team. I give them a lot of credit. But I think we have a talented bunch. We have the pieces. We just have to put them all together. We didn’t shoot the ball well, particularly in the second half, and that hurt us. But it also affected our defense and that can’t happen. So looking to see how we bounce back against a very talented, athletic and fast Alabama team. 

 

They have size, they have athleticism, they have length. But what cannot be duplicated by Maryland or any of us in practice is the pace at which they play. I think they just dropped to seventh in the country from fourth. They play at an unbelievable pace. They push the ball up and down the floor. They shoot a lot of 3s. They have one of the best point guards in the SEC in Lewis. We’re going to have to adjust to their speed. 

 

They’re well coached. I think the world of Nate as far as a coach and a motivator. They play extremely hard, extremely confident and extremely loose. If you know anything about Nate, he’s all of that. 

 

The pressure on defense, the ball pressure. They like to get into the passing lanes and pressure the ball, kind of speed teams out. But outside of that, probably not much. 

 

We’re in the teeth of it right now. With Alabama and the games that are slated for us in the next week or two, we’ve got to take every practice and every day, we’ve got to get better. We’ve got to have a great mindset and great approach to this game. We’ve got to get out and be ready for a war. It will absolutely be that. They’re a physical team, a confident team. They’ve very talented and very well-coached.

 

It’s going to be electric in here. The fans give us so much energy. I’m really excited to come in and I hope our guys feed off that energy. You can’t depend on the energy. Only we can play and only I can coach. The fans can’t come down and help us. But the energy they provide, it’s sure to be rocking here. 

 

Embrace it. It’s a part of college basketball and sports at its best. We have a tremendous fan base. The students will be out in full effect. The season-ticket holders. I’m sure we’ll have some alumni and former players. Feed off the energy, but don’t necessarily depend on it. They can’t put the ball in the basket for us and they can’t get stops.

 

It’s a big deal. I think it’s a degree of respect. Obviously, we played down there a few years ago so they’re returning the game, but I think there’s some respect from a power-five program to even have a home-and-home series with the A-10 and a program like ours. We feel good about it and we want to take advantage of the opportunity. 

 

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