Q&A: McDonald confirms pair of signings

Head Coach Ken McDonald confirmed Thursday that junior guards Ken Brown and Kahlil McDonald have signed as part of Western’s 2010 class.

Here’s what he had to say over the phone:

“I think we are very, very excited about the admissions. Ken Brown is a true point that just has incredible quickness. He has a lot of energy and confidence coming in at the point guard position, can score a little bit and really creates shots for others.

He can defend, fights hard to defend, he just has a good motor and doesn’t get tired. I like his attitude. I think he is a really confident kid, and he has been tested and been around a bit so I am excited about that.

McDonald is a very versatile scorer. He has put up some good numbers in a good basketball league in JUCO. I don’t think he has even scratched the surface when it comes to his talent. I think he has a lot of ability that hasn’t even been tapped into. He has been put in a situation where he has had a lot on his shoulders and not a lot around him to help him, so I think that when he gets put in a system with some other players that can offset his scoring ability, I think it will really help him. He can play a couple of positions. I like his versatility.  Athletically, I think he is going to make good strides with our strength and conditioning coach.”

On added depth at guard: “At times you saw us this year when we were good, our guard play was really good. When we struggled, our guard play was up and down, so there is no question that we have to be better defensively out front. We have to push the ball better and have better depth to do that. I think we have to score the ball better — shoot the ball better. When you look at the areas we struggled at at times and finishing games, and just sheer athleticism at the guard position, I think we addressed those needs.”

On immediate playing time: “I think that’s definitely up to them. That was a big selling point. We have a lot of minutes leaving the program with A.J. (Slaughter) and (Anthony) Sally leaving the program. There’s a lot of potential with these guys, and I think they are excited about the opportunities.  Nothing is going to be given to them. They have to come in and earn it.”

On the program McDonald is developing: “It takes time — more time than you want to get your system in place. You’d like it to happen immediately. You learn from that process that it does take time. I’m really excited for the competitive nature of some of the guys we are bringing in. I think that’s got to be a standard for our program. It has to be the culture we want to create with this coaching staff, and that’s important to me to put a product on the court that fans are excited about. It takes time to get to that point, but where we are right now, I’m pretty excited about. I think there is a chance for this team to do something  and be a good basketball team. Everyone has to buy into the team concept, and that’s where chemistry is so important. I’m really excited we got more competitive kids and will have a more competitive environment.”

On the addition of juniors: “We got some kids that are coming of age and growing up and maturing, and some kids that are a little more mature and have been tested, so I like the position we are in right now.”

On whether or not he’s done recruiting: “You never know. The program is always in the position where you can’t get off guard. We are constantly recruiting. You are always making sure you are covered and seeing what’s out there and what is available.”

Mike Stunson

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