Kelvin Sampson meets the media ahead of Temple trip

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Kelvin Sampson met with the media via Zoom Friday morning to discuss his team’s health and plans going forward for the Temple game on Sunday. Notes and quotes from his day-before-the-flight media availability:

– “As far as I know, the game is still a-go with Temple on Sunday,” Kelvin says to start.

– “We started this year with six guards, and I liked all six of em…our starting lineup earlier in the year, we had a scrimmage and we started Marcus, Kyler and Tramon…that was, at that time, our best backcourt. A very talented backcourt. High-level backcourt.”

– Tramon tore his labrum on both sides – the front and the back. “…we could tell Tramon’s shoulder was going to be an issue. So we reacted to his pain level.”

– On Tramon’s shoulder: “As a coach, you don’t like seeing your kids in pain. So I’m just grateful that that decision was made for him.”

– “A lot of days, especially second semester, (Jamal Shead) was the best guard on the floor and that was a Final Four team.”

– Kyler Edwards has a grade-two ankle sprain.

– “I don’t think anyone ever anticipates three guards, basically, in a day (chuckle). December 23 will always be Black Thursday.”

– “This week, we practiced with Jamal, Taze (Moore), and Ramon (Walker) and no other guards.”

– “We’re thin” in the backcourt. “Losing Marcus is obviously losing a lot.”

– “Somebody that just dropped down from Mars may look at us and say, ‘well, they’re not very good shooters. Well, no team has a good shooting team if you take your best shooters off of it. Our best shooters were Kyler and Marcus.”

“I can’t tell you the level (Marcus) was playing at. It was just ridiculous how good he was playing.”

– “I just don’t have the answers right now,” he said matter of factly.

– “I’m anxious to see em (the team as presently constructed). Anxious probably is not the right word. I’m excited. I’m excited to see these kids.”

– “We may have to move Fabian to the three. I’m not sure he was put on this earth to be a guard.”

– Tramon Mark is likely a candidate for a medical redshirt. “Those medical redshirts are becoming obsolete in today’s climate with everything going on.”

– Kyler Edwards had a “pretty nasty sprain” and has not practiced. “We knew it was going to take a while for him.” Kelvin does not give a timetable on his return.

– Some people “might forget we lost four starters off a 28-4 Final Four team. I didn’t (forget).”

– “I feel bad for the kid (Kyler). He was just starting to get comfortable.”

– “I don’t know who our best player is now…A lot of these guys were comfortable being the 3rd or 4th best guy.”

– “I prepare for the team that’s been playing,” he says of how you prepare for Temple. Can’t worry about who will play or who won’t – you have to prepare for them all.

– “We just prepare for their roster. I like that team” referring to Temple.

– “There’s nobody else to look at,” he says in response to a question about who else might get a look now. “We’re out.”

– “One of the great joys of life…you order something from McDonald’s – you get a small fry – and you realize you don’t need a medium fry. Then you look at it and it’s not as much as you thought. Then you realize there’s 10 fries at the bottom of the bag. And that’s exciting.

“There’s no fries in the bottom of my bag.”

– Kelvin goes into detail discussing old Celtics teams. Says it was his father’s favorite team and his favorite player was Sam Jones, who passed away Thursday.

– Emanuel Sharp has been going through standard medical checks and has been cleared. Kelvin said he was curious if he could make two free throws. “Sharp came out and made two-straight free throws.”

– Marcus Sasser and Tramon Mark will travel with the team when their health allows. Tramon has started rehab – it is a 5- to 5.5-month rehab. Marcus’ rehab will be about 8-10 weeks. A screw was put in Marcus’ foot.

Kelvin ends with “Happy New Year everybody. Stay safe.”

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