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Tony Bennett Comments Before Maui Invitational
(At coaches’ media gathering)

On playing in the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational.

“When you listen to the coaches talk about their teams and are aware of the national championships accumulated by the coaches here, it’s a terrific field, it really is. As I listened to each coach talk about what it will do for his team, I think everyone’s on the same page. The experience and having to turn around and play quickly win or lose, how you respond, what it will do in preparation for your conference play, those are all positives. Gregg Marshall at Wichita State said he has an experienced team and said he wouldn’t have wanted to bring his team here when they were young, it might have been too much for them. I felt a little twirl in my stomach as he said that. You go through these experiences and when you play in a league like ours it’s an opportunity. Just as we did at Stanford we’re going to learn a lot and see a high level of play that will prove beneficial down the stretch run.”

Can you talk about how the players have enjoyed being in Maui?

“This is one of the most breathtaking places. I had my honeymoon here and that’s brought back some memories. It is a good time to bond with the players. It gives the players an appreciation for what basketball has provided for them. The education they receive and the experience of playing in tournaments like the Maui Invitational; it’s quite an honor to have this opportunity. I think they appreciate it and will certainly point back to it as this season progresses and as the years progress.”

How does this Washington team compare with the Washington teams you’ve coached against in the past?

“This is the team Lorenzo (Romar) has been waiting for it seems to me. They have size. The experience in their backcourt and their explosiveness in the open court are typical of Lorenzo’s team’s, but with that kind of depth and experience is impressive. He’s built it and he’s sustained it and it’s impressive.”

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