Tuesday, February 09, 1999

Price: Mom knows best

Freshman vows to work harder

The Cincinnati Enquirer

Lloyd Price
        Xavier freshman Lloyd Price was home in Wilmington, Del., Saturday night, talking with his mother. Shirley Price surprised her son as she steered the conversation.

        “You need to pull up and shoot that jump shot,” she told him. “Do you work on it any?”

        “Sometimes,” Lloyd answered.

        “You're not working on it enough,” she said.

• When: 7 p.m. today
• Where: Cincinnati Gardens (10,100)
• Records: Duquesne 4-17, 0-10 A-10; XU 16-7, 8-2 A-10.
• TV: None
• Radio: WLW-AM (700)
• 88.7: Average points of XU's opponents in its last three losses
• 63.7: Average points of XU's opponents in the other 20 games
• 47.2: Percentage of Duquesne's points scored by Wayne Smith and Courtney Wallace
• 20: Duquesne's offensive rebounds in first game against XU
        Price is retelling the story Monday. He arrived at the Cincinnati Gardens at 1:30 p.m., 90 minutes before practice was to start and before the lights had come on in the arena.

        He wanted time by himself to work on his shot.

        Mama said there'd be days like these.

        “She doesn't even know basketball,” Price said, smiling. “My mom doesn't have a clue. If my mom can see that, I really need to start doing this. The time has come.”

        The coaches have delivered the same message repeatedly throughout the season. Former players have told him. Teammates have shown him.

        But Saturday night, Price said, “something clicked.”

        “I've got to start working on my game individually,” Price said. “This is something

        I feel I need to do to improve my game, to take it to another level. I see that now. I'm going to try to do this every day.

        “It's never too late.”

        Price, who started Saturday at La Salle, is expected to come off the bench again for the Musketeers' game tonight against Duquesne at the Cincinnati Gardens. He turned his left ankle during practice Monday but is expected to play.

        The 6-foot-5 wing player started the first nine games of the season, then came off the bench for the next 13. That had nothing to do with Price; coach Skip Prosser wanted a bigger lineup and inserted 6-10 Obi Harris.

        Against La Salle, Price started to give XU better perimeter defense. Tonight, it may be freshman Aaron Turner's turn to start at center.

        Price, the highest rated recruit ever to come to Xavier, is averaging 8.8 points a game, but only 5.7 in Atlantic 10 games. In league play, he is shooting 38.6 percent from the field and just 12.5 percent from three-point range. He knows there is room for improvement offensively.

        Shooting extra on his own is admittedly not something Price has done much during his basketball career.

        Price said extra practice is something he should have been doing for years.

        “A lot of kids, things have come easy to them,” Prosser said. “They've been told they were the greatest thing since Cheerios since the sixth grade, and in the recruiting process you tell them that as well.

        “ ... If you want to be good at anything, you do more of it. Unless you're incredibly gifted, usually the harder you work, the more success you have. I think the real good players and real good teams do a little bit extra.”

        After each game, particularly a loss, Price said he evaluates what he might have been able to do to help the team win.

        Working out on his own, he plays this game against an imaginary opponent. Taking all jump shots, two-pointers and three-pointers, if he misses, the points go to the other guy. If he makes, he gets the points.

        He lost two of three games Monday.

        “I could be so much better if I just shoot, shoot, shoot,” Price said. “A million people could tell you, but if it's not in your heart you're not going to do it. That's with anything. Shooting. Lifting weights.

        “I don't like the weight room, but I have to get in there, too. I could say I'm going to do it, but actions speak louder than words. So I'm just going to get in there and get going.”

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