20070503 Kevin O'Neill Introductory Press Conference Quotes(1) - The University of Arizona Official Athletic Site

 
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20070503 Kevin O'Neill Introductory Press Conference Quotes(1)
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 05/03/2007
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<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-outline-level: 1"><A name=OLE_LINK4></A><A name=OLE_LINK3></A> </P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-outline-level: 1"><SPAN style="mso-bookmark: OLE_LINK3"><SPAN style="mso-bookmark: OLE_LINK4"><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><SPAN style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial">May 1, 2007<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p></SPAN></B></SPAN></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="mso-bookmark: OLE_LINK3"><SPAN style="mso-bookmark: OLE_LINK4"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"><o:p> </o:p></SPAN></SPAN></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="mso-bookmark: OLE_LINK3"><SPAN style="mso-bookmark: OLE_LINK4"><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Opening Statement<o:p></o:p></SPAN></B></SPAN></SPAN></P><SPAN style="mso-bookmark: OLE_LINK4"></SPAN><SPAN style="mso-bookmark: OLE_LINK3"></SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">It&rsquo;s great to be back here.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>I&rsquo;ve been gone several stops in the last 18 years.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>I feel like it&rsquo;s an honor and a privilege to be back here working with Lute (Olson) and working at the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on"><st1:PlaceType w:st="on">University</st1:PlaceType> of <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Arizona</st1:PlaceName></st1:place>.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>I&rsquo;m excited about the possibilities of it ? competing for national championships is something this program has always been about.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"><o:p> </o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Having been in the NBA for the last seven years, I had the opportunity in the past year to explore some college things, and be involved in some college situations, but when it came right down to it, the only one that I really had any interest in was this one.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"><o:p> </o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">I&rsquo;m appreciative of Coach Olson for bringing me back here and appreciative of the opportunity to coach at such a great place in a great town.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"><o:p> </o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">The team seemed to lack a bit of motivation.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>What can you bring to try to motivate these players?<o:p></o:p></SPAN></B></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">I&rsquo;ve watch some of the game films and I watched a lot of games on TV.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>This is the first year that I really had a chance to sit and watch college basketball.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>I think it&rsquo;s important that any team that is going to compete for league championships and national championships needs to play with a high level of intensity.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>I&rsquo;m sure our guys will do that.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"><o:p> </o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">What made you decide to come back to the college game?<o:p></o:p></SPAN></B></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">I was undecided as to whether I would come back to college or stay in the NBA.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>Frankly, I had some other opportunities in the NBA that I could have pursued, but the thing that really intrigued me was the coming back to <st1:State w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Arizona</st1:place></st1:State>.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>If I was going to come back to college basketball, it was going to be at a place of <st1:State w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Arizona</st1:place></st1:State>&rsquo;s caliber, and preferably at a place where I know people.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>This was a good opportunity that happened at the right time.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"><o:p> </o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Do you now see your long-term future in college?<o:p></o:p></SPAN></B></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">I never ...I&rsquo;m not sure I have a long term future (laughs).<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>The way that I&rsquo;ve been in the business, I&rsquo;ve moved ? I was in the college ranks for a while, and then in the NBA you move quite frequently.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>For me, I just try to take this thing one season at a time and see what it brings.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>It would be nice to get a feel for college basketball again, to see if it&rsquo;s what I remember it as.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>Unfortunately, it probably is (laughs).<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>I don&rsquo;t have any long-term plans to be honest with you.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>I want to coach for another 25 years.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>That&rsquo;s my only long-term plan.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"><o:p> </o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Are you ready to get on the recruiting trail and all of that good stuff?<o:p></o:p></SPAN></B></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">I don&rsquo;t mind recruiting at all.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>I never did mind recruiting as long as you are recruiting at a high level.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>At times I&rsquo;ve gotten tired of recruiting.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>Al lot of times it depends on where you are recruiting to.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>I won&rsquo;t mind that at all.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>I&rsquo;ve traveled way more during the NBA season than you travel in college.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>To me that won&rsquo;t be an adjustment at all.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"><o:p> </o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">How much do you think your NBA experience will help you in recruiting?<o:p></o:p></SPAN></B></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">I think, unfortunately, every kid thinks he&rsquo;s going to play in the NBA.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>If you went to any lockerroom and said how many guys think they are going to play in the NBA, I think a lot of hands would go up.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>The thing that players don&rsquo;t understand is that it very difficult to play at that level.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>It&rsquo;s very, very difficult to achieve at that level and even more so.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>I think it will help.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>I think kids want to talk about the NBA.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>They want to hear the NBA.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>I don&rsquo;t think it will hurt.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>I don&rsquo;t think it will make the ultimate decision.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"><o:p> </o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">What can you bring from that experience in the NBA to this program?<o:p></o:p></SPAN></B></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">I just think I got to be a whole lot better of a coach.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>It&rsquo;s been often a misnomer that NBA coaches don&rsquo;t ?really coach.&rsquo;<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>You make a lot of decisions in every NBA game.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>There are 14 to 18 timeouts depending on the TV stuff.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>There are all kinds of decisions down the stretch.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>If anything, I&rsquo;ve become a better coach in the last seven years and would hope that I could learn more and become a better coach and learn more this year.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"><o:p> </o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">The thing I could say to anyone at this level that is true at the NBA level is that no matter you coach at or play at, if you don&rsquo;t do it to the hardest of your ability, you are not going to be successful.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>I&rsquo;ve now been fortunate to coach on every level as a head coach and an assistant.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>I have learned that if you don&rsquo;t play hard every night and every practice, you will not be successful.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>If anything, the NBA made me realize that more than anything.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"><o:p> </o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Defensively, is it a change in the scheme or the mentality that is needed here?<o:p></o:p></SPAN></B></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">I haven&rsquo;t really talked to Lute specifically about that.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>I&rsquo;ve always been a man-to-man defensive guy.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>I&rsquo;ve always been a guy who felt that defense wins championships and wins games.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>I think that holds true in most every league you play in no matter what level it&rsquo;s at.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>I would say that I&rsquo;m a defensive oriented guy first.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>I would hope that our team ends up being a very good defensive team.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"><o:p> </o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">How have you changed since the last time you were in a role here?<o:p></o:p></SPAN></B></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">The things that haven&rsquo;t changed about me that I really would never want to change is that I love the game of basketball and I love coaching.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>Like I said, I want to do it for another 25 years.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>It&rsquo;s my hope that my love of the game would never change.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>This past year was a test for me.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>I wasn&rsquo;t coaching for the first time in 27 years and it was really difficult for me.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>It happened at the right time.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>My mom passed away in December, so I was able to be there for that.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>I think the basketball gods were kind of looking out for me and now it&rsquo;s time to get back to work.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"><o:p> </o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">How much of an adjustment will it be to be an assistant coach on this level?<o:p></o:p></SPAN></B></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">I&rsquo;ve learned over the course of my time in the NBA that it doesn&rsquo;t matter if you are a head coach or an assistant coach.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>It matters who you are working with and what program you&rsquo;re at.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>Assistant coaches dictate often times how much you win and how much you lose.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>They are a big part of winning and losing just like the head coach.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"><o:p> </o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Will it bother my ego to be an assistant in college?<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>Not one bit.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>I don&rsquo;t want to be an assistant in college at <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Northbrook</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">College</st1:PlaceType></st1:place>, you know what I&rsquo;m saying?<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>This is a unique situation, obviously, for me to come back to the college ranks as an assistant because it&rsquo;s someplace that I have a great love for and a guy that&rsquo;s coaching that I have great respect for.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>So that&rsquo;s why I&rsquo;m here more than anything. <o:p></o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"><o:p> </o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Do you get the sense that people feel that you are the &ldquo;big fix?&rdquo;<o:p></o:p></SPAN></B></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">If they do, I hope they are right.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>I don&rsquo;t know what&rsquo;s been wrong.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>I haven&rsquo;t been associated with it.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>To me, there isn&rsquo;t much wrong, to be honest with you.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>How many straight NCAAs (tournament appearances)?<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>Twenty-three.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>If that&rsquo;s wrong, I think we&rsquo;d all take that.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>I just hope that I can add something to help the team be better every day...to help Lute do a better job and help the university win.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>I don&rsquo;t really see myself as a fix.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>I just hope I can contribute in ways that are positive.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"><o:p> </o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">How did this come about?<o:p></o:p></SPAN></B></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">It was toward the end of <st1:State w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Arizona</st1:place></st1:State>&rsquo;s regular season or maybe the Pac-10 Tournament.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>Coach just asked me what I was doing...what was going on.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>Stuff like that.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>Then I didn&rsquo;t hear from him at all for a long time.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN><SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>I had a chance to talk with him a couple of other times.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>It just went from there.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>I talked with several people.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>A guy that I have great faith in, Mark Bartlestein, who has been my agent for a long, long time.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>I spent a lot of time with Mark talking about this, talking with my wife Roberta about it.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>It was an opportunity to do this for the first time in a long time.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>You don&rsquo;t get out of NBA contracts.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>You have to be out of them (laughs) in order to take this opportunity.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>It just kind of came about in passing.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"><o:p> </o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">During this year, I explored a lot of things in college situations.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>I talked to some people about their jobs.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>I was offered a few jobs.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>But I wasn&rsquo;t determined to go back to college.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>I want to reiterate that this is one of the few places that I would come to be involved in college basketball.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>I think the reasons are obvious.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>I appreciate what Lute did for me.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>He got me a start, got me the <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Marquette</st1:place></st1:City> job.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>He has been instrumental in a lot of my successes.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>More than college basketball per se, it was <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:State w:st="on">Arizona</st1:State></st1:place> basketball that caught my attention more than anything.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"><o:p> </o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">What about your future beyond <A class=ARTICLELINK href="/ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=39523"><A class=ARTICLELINK href="/ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=39523">Lute Olson</A></A>?<o:p></o:p></SPAN></B></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">That has never come up.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>That&rsquo;s never been talked about with myself with Lute or with (athletic director) Jim Livengood.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>That&rsquo;s not part of the equation as far as I&rsquo;m concerned.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>The only part of the equation that I&rsquo;m really concerned about do we get better this year...go farther.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>(Succeeding Lute) has never been talked about at all.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"><o:p> </o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Have you had a chance to speak with <A class=ARTICLELINK href="/ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=39540"><A class=ARTICLELINK href="/ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=39540">Jim Rosborough</A></A>?<o:p></o:p></SPAN></B></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">I have not.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>I don&rsquo;t think that&rsquo;s my place because I wasn&rsquo;t involved in that.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>I have the utmost respect for <A class=ARTICLELINK href="/ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=39540"><A class=ARTICLELINK href="/ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=39540">Jim Rosborough</A></A> as a coach.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>I think he&rsquo;s had a great career of coaching basketball.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>I think he was a big part of this program for a long, long time.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>I have not spoken to him and at some point, I&rsquo;m sure I will.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>I&rsquo;d like to.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>I worked with him at <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Tulsa</st1:place></st1:City> when I was there (1985-86) and have a lot of respect for what he&rsquo;s accomplished and helped the program accomplish over the years.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>He&rsquo;s been a big part of the successes.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"><o:p> </o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">What do you make of the comparisons between Sean Elliott and <A class=ARTICLELINK href="/ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=542241"><A class=ARTICLELINK href="/ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=542241">Chase Budinger</A></A>?<o:p></o:p></SPAN></B></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">I just saw Chase on TV a few times.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>He&rsquo;s obviously a very talented guy.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>You always hear comparisons of players to players.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>If he ends up as good as Sean, he&rsquo;s going to have one heck of an NBA career.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>I&rsquo;ve always stayed in touch with Sean.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>I think the world of him.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>That guy had a great career and accomplished many things outside of playing basketball that all of us would be proud of doing.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>If Chase ends up like Sean, then we have a hell of a player.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"><o:p> </o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">What&rsquo;s the biggest difference with working with NBA players and those in college?<o:p></o:p></SPAN></B></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">I didn&rsquo;t find any difference.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>When you got NBA players in individual work, I thought they worked much harder than any of the college guys ever worked out.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>The NBA has its own set of problems also and those are well documented.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>For the most part, players are players at any level.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>If you demand of them, work them hard and have expectations of them, I think they will try to meet them.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>I really didn&rsquo;t notice a big difference between the NBA and college guys.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>I enjoyed working with guys on both levels.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"><o:p> </o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">How does toughness factor into competing in this conference?<o:p></o:p></SPAN></B></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">I think naturally as a team we&rsquo;d like to get tougher.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>You always want to be more hard-nosed.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>I have great respect for what the rest of the coaches in this league have done.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>This is a great basketball league.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>It&rsquo;s our job to be competing for Pac-10 Championships and national championships.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>That would be our goal.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>Anything I can do to help, I&rsquo;m going to give my best effort and put in the time and work as hard as I can to help us get better.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"><o:p> </o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Do you expect to have autonomy over the defense?<o:p></o:p></SPAN></B></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">You guys all know Lute well enough to know that no one has autonomy except him (laughs).<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>He didn&rsquo;t hire me for my looks or my offensive prowess or any of that.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>I&rsquo;ve been fortunate to have had a good niche in the NBA and in college of being a good defensive coach.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>That would be something that I would think that he would want to get input from me on among other things.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>Yes, defensively, I&rsquo;m sure I&rsquo;m going to be involved with that stuff.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"><o:p> </o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Are you still the firey practice coach who is not afraid to get in anyone&rsquo;s face?<o:p></o:p></SPAN></B></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">That changes in the NBA.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>You don&rsquo;t get in anyone&rsquo;s face in the NBA.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>You basically coach hard.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>I didn&rsquo;t have any problem ever telling NBA players what I thought should be done or what&rsquo;s expected.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>I have no problem pushing guys at any level.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>I think that&rsquo;s important.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>The important thing is that our players push themselves and push each other.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>We push them and they push us and we all are pushing in one direction.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>That&rsquo;s going to be the important thing for us.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>You do things hard.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>That&rsquo;s something that I would like to think that I would always bring to the table is an intensity to do things the right way and the hard way.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"><o:p> </o:p></SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">How do you make a team tougher?<o:p></o:p></SPAN></B></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Some guys are just naturally tougher than others.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>Let&rsquo;s face it.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>That&rsquo;s just the way it goes.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>But I think you have to set down an expectation level about what&rsquo;s tough and what&rsquo;s not. <SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>If you are ducking out of charges, you are not very tough.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>If there is a loose ball on the floor and our jersey isn&rsquo;t on it, then we&rsquo;re not tough enough.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>There are certain measures of toughness that we all can see.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>It&rsquo;s easy to tell which team is tougher often times on the court.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>Changing that or improving that are a cultural mentality more than anything.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>A lot of guys talk tough.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>The guys you should worry about are the guys who don&rsquo;t talk at all and they just knock your socks off.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>Those are the guys that are really tough.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>Being tough mentally is as important as physically.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>If you are tough mentally, you will do the right thing every time.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>A consistency in intensity and toughness would help any team get better.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
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