What are your expectations for this year? How do you get to the NCAA Tournament?
Obviously, you want to win a national title, that’s the ultimate goal. But you have to take baby steps within that, and our first baby step will be to win our conference. I think anytime that you win your conference, you position yourself well for the NCAA Tournament.
You’re in a weird position. It’s not every time you are going to be a head coach when there is a head coach in place. Do you think about that?
Well, I’m faced with it every day. The reality of it is, I will concentrate on that more next year. I get the opportunity, a great opportunity, to continue to learn as an assistant, to transition into being a head coach, just sitting and watching. At the same time being involved because I will be in the head seat next year. I still have a lot to learn, this will be my first opportunity to run my own program. … And I’m looking forward to it.
Have you always wanted to be a head coach of a program, or is it just an opportunity that presented itself?
I never thought about being a coach, period. I was playing professional basketball. It never even crossed my mind. It was just something that was a natural transition for most players. Now if you look at it, you either go into coaching or you go into broadcasting. Coaching is for me, because I enjoy being around the game of basketball and sharing the game and my experiences with the guys. College coaching never really crossed my mind, but it was an opportunity that presented itself years ago and here I am.
Do you think next season you’ll hope to rely on Coach Dunphy as a mentor?
Absolutely. I think he’s always going to be a resource for me. He’s a hall-of-fame coach. I’ve learned a great deal from him, just being here at this program, just sitting and watching him work day-to-day. Everybody’s different as a coach and their approach is different. Everybody looks at coach Dunphy as this quiet, unassuming man. But any time they get the opportunity to come to practice and watch him, coach, they’re taken aback by how he is in practice. He’s a fiery guy, he’s competitive and he wants to win.