Changes won't modify 66ers goals
BY KEVIN HENRY World Correspondent
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
11/14/12 at 3:25 AM
While the Tulsa 66ers may be playing in a new arena this season with a new coach and a lot of new faces on the roster, one thing that hasn't changed is the organization's commitment to daily improvement and defense.
That point was emphasized repeatedly during the 66ers' media day on Tuesday morning at the SpiritBank Event Center. Meeting members of the media after just three days in training camp, head coach Darko Rajakovic definitely understands that when a team is an affiliate of the Oklahoma City Thunder, defense is a big part of the equation for success.
"Since we've been together, we have been talking about playing great defense and being unselfish with the ball," Rajakovic said. "From the first moment we came together, this has been a group that is hard-working, focused, and brings high energy. They all want to play basketball at the top level (NBA) and they know this is their chance to do that."
Travis Hyman, a 7-footer who was selected by Tulsa with the 22nd pick of this year's NBA Development League Draft, quickly understood the importance of defense to the 66ers and the entire Thunder organization.
"If you can't play defense, you can't win games," Hyman said. "I've always been more of a defensive player than offensive, and I love this style of basketball and the emphasis that is being placed on defense. People are talking more about blocked shots and the number of shots altered during a game, and I think that's great. It's a very important part of the game."
Isaiah Wilkerson, a 6-foot-3 guard who was Tulsa's eighth-round selection, told the media he couldn't ask for a better scenario than landing with the 66ers.
"I couldn't ask for a better coach (Rajakovic). He's a great guy and he has been a great teacher who has really talked about doing the little things right," Wilkerson said. "I have been wanting to improve my defense and he is a very defensive-minded coach. I'm ecstatic about that."
The 66ers have 16 players on the training camp roster. Tulsa is required to shave that number to 10 by the time the final roster is due to D-League headquarters on Nov. 21.
Original Print Headline: 66Ers Keep Goals In Revamp
66ers season opener
Vs. Texas 7 p.m. Nov. 23
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