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Season preview: CHD interviews Albany PF Sam Rowley

To prepare for the tip-off of another great year of college basketball, CHD is reaching out to coaches and players around the country to get the inside scoop on what we can expect this time around. Jon Teitel continues our season preview series by chatting with Albany PF Sam Rowley about winning the 1st NCAA tourney game in school history.

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You grew up in Australia: how did you first get into the sport of basketball, and how did so many of you end up in Albany? Basketball is definitely a secondary sport in Australia to rugby, AFL, cricket, yet its popularity is always increasing and a huge number of people now play it. Also being pretty tall as a kid I was always encouraged to give it a try and ended up loving it. As for ending up in Albany, we all owe our thanks to Luke Devlin, who was a class above me. Coach Brown took a chance on him as a talented but relatively unknown foreign player, and his success paved the way for more Australians to follow in his footsteps. Continue Reading

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Season preview: CHD interviews Portland State coach Tyler Geving

To prepare for the tip-off of another great year of college basketball, CHD is reaching out to coaches and players around the country to get the inside scoop on what we can expect this time around. Jon Teitel continues our season preview series by chatting with Portland State coach Tyler Geving about the importance of senior leadership.

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You spent four years as an assistant to Ken Bone at Portland State before taking over in 2009: what makes him such a good coach, and what is the most important thing that you ever learned from him? He is probably one of the best Xs and Os coaches out there. I always felt like we were prepared and had a a good strategy going into every game, and he was able to make adjustments during the game. He also kept an even keel that we fed off of: he was never too high or too low. Continue Reading

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Season preview: CHD interviews Albany SG Peter Hooley

To prepare for the tip-off of another great year of college basketball, CHD is reaching out to coaches and players around the country to get the inside scoop on what we can expect this time around. Jon Teitel continues our season preview series by chatting with Albany guard Peter Hooley about winning the first NCAA tourney game in school history.

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You grew up in Australia: how did you start playing the sport of basketball, and how did so many of you end up in Albany? I got into basketball at a really young age. I assume it was by accident somehow since my dad played professional soccer in England and my mum played softball at a high level in Australia. After the U20 National Championships in 2011 I got an email from Coach Brown stating his interest in me. Luke Devlin was already at the school, so I just spoke to him and took a blind pick, but it has worked out well so far. Continue Reading

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Season preview: CHD interviews Western Michigan coach Steve Hawkins

To prepare for the tip-off of another great year of college basketball, CHD is reaching out to coaches and players around the country to get the inside scoop on what we can expect this time around. Jon Teitel commences our season preview series by chatting with Western Michigan coach Steve Hawkins about trying to win the MAC West Division seven out of the last eight years.

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After high school you worked as an assistant at UCLA basketball camps while serving as a chauffeur for Hall of Fame coach John Wooden: what was it like to spend time with the legend, and how much of an influence was he on your life both on and off the court? It was Coach Wooden’s camps. I do not know if I can put his influence into words. It was about a 30-minute drive in each direction for 25-30 days each summer, so I got ask a lot of questions and get a lot of answers. It was like sitting in on a tutorial every day. I did not take away a lot of Xs and Os from him, but learned how to focus on the fundamentals of passing/shooting/dribbling. The majority of what I learned from him took place off the court, such as the Pyramid of Success and doing the best at everything you do. It is like your connection with a parent: you do not really appreciate everything they tell you until later in life. Continue Reading

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1 + 1 = Stu: CHD interviews Penn stat guru Stuart Suss

Most of the interviews we do are with players/coaches, as those are the people who create the magic that is college basketball.  However, while we also obsess over their respective stats, it is crucial to understand which stats matter the most and how they affect a team’s success.  To that end, we turned to Penn basketball legend Stuart Suss, who tracked the Quakers on offense/defense for more than 40 years.  CHD’s Jon Teitel got to chat with his fellow Penn alum about working for Chuck Daly, which rebounds are most important, and the increasing importance of offensive efficiency.

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You enrolled at Penn in 1970 and the following year the Quakers hired a new basketball coach named Chuck Daly: how did you and Daly first meet, and how did you end up doing stats for the basketball team? I was the football statistician as a freshman, and both the basketball/football teams hired new head coaches after my freshman year. There was no email back then, so I expressed my interest to Daly about doing basketball stats by delivering a letter to his secretary. I introduced myself to his two assistant coaches, one of whom was Rollie Massimino (who later led Villanova to the 1985 NCAA title as head coach). The other coach threw me out of the office because he thought I was just trying to get into games for free! The secretary was kind enough to forward my letter to Daly, who had me do some stats for an intra-squad scrimmage and then gave me an article from a coaching magazine on “offensive efficiency rating”. I read the article, started keeping some helpful stats, and the rest is history. Continue Reading

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Seals of Approval: CHD interviews Tulsa legend Shea Seals

Basketball fans were horrified by Paul George’s gruesome leg injury in Las Vegas, although George has said he hopes to come back better than ever.  One guy who knows all too well about how an injury can derail an NBA career is Shea Seals.  After choosing to play in his hometown of Tulsa, he made the NCAA tourney for 4 straight years and graduated as the all-time leading scorer in school history.  After joining the Lakers his NBA career came to a crashing halt after four games due to an injury and the 1998 NBA lockout.  He later played pro basketball overseas and in the US, then spent a few years as a high school coach, and currently works for his alma mater as Director of Player Development.  CHD’s Jon Teitel got to chat with Shea about playing for Tubby Smith, playing against Dream Team III, and making it to the NBA. 

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In 1993 you chose to attend college in your hometown of Tulsa despite the fact that the entire athletic department had spent the previous year on probation with no postseason play for any of its athletic teams: why did you choose to go to Tulsa despite the probation situation, and what was it like to play in the same city in which you were born? I got to know Tubby Smith and the rest of the coaching staff and players beforehand. I wanted to stay home and be around the people that had always supported me, and I was happy about the direction that Tubby was taking the program. It was an opportunity for a great education and I liked the chance to start as a freshman. Continue Reading

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Ram Tough: CHD interviews Boyd Grant about Colorado State legend Jim Williams

Jim Williams spent more than a quarter-century as the head coach at Colorado State and was a model of consistency, never winning more than 18 games in a season and never losing more than 17.  Before arriving in Fort Collins he led Snow College to the 1954 NJCAA tourney title game, and he made 4 NCAA tourneys during his time with the Rams. He was a fiery leader on the sideline, and was good enough to go on the road and beat the legendary John Wooden on more than 1 occasion. CHD’s Jon Teitel got to chat with Williams’ former player/assistant Boyd “Tiny” Grant about the role that his mentor played in his life. 

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Williams served in the Army during WWII as a company commander in New Guinea and the Philippines: what impact did the war have on him either on or off the court? Not a huge impact, but he once talked to us about being lost and then arriving at a hill and seeing the American flag. He remembered exactly where he was sitting: he said that if the US had lost the war then none of us might be playing basketball that night.

In the 1954 NJCAA tourney title game as coach at Snow College he had a 5-PT OT loss to Moberly Area CC: how did he feel about coming so close to winning the title? I think it meant a lot to him. We had a shot at the end of regulation right under the basket that was going in, but it went in-and-out and we lost the game. We were 1 of the last seeds to make the tourney but we had a lot of respect for the winning team. We had a great reception when we got back to town, which was 1 of the greatest experiences of my life.

In the 1962 NIT Bill Green scored 37 PTS (14-14 FG) for Colorado State in a 1-PT loss to Holy Cross: was it just 1 of those scenarios where every shot Green put up seemed to go in because he was “in the zone”? Bill was a guy who scored easily. My wife once told me that he did not seem to score a ton of points on a particular night…and I told her that I guess not because he only scored 42! I told him to work on his FTs and his scoring went up a lot the following year, making him 1 of the best scorers in the country. If you got him the ball in the post he would score or get fouled.

What are your memories of the 1963 NCAA tourney (Green had 19 PTS/12 REB but his team blew an 11-PT halftime lead in a 3-PT loss to Oklahoma City)? That was probably Coach Williams’ most disappointing loss. They started double-teaming us in the 2nd half and we did not handle it well, plus they made every shot they took down the stretch. I felt that coach took that loss awfully hard: we all knew that we should have won the game because in those days before a shot-clock you could control the ball for a long stretch of time.

What are your memories of the 1965 NCAA tourney (Sonny Bustion had a tourney-school-record 30 PTS/20 REB but Oklahoma City scored the winning basket with 1 second left in a 2-PT win over the Rams)? Not many, but I guess we could just not beat them!

In the 1969 NCAA tourney Lloyd Kerr scored 17 PTS in a 2-PT win over Dayton: how big a deal was it to get the 1st tourney win in school history? It was awfully big: we played a tremendous defensive game because we knew exactly what they would do on offense.

Clifford Shegogg scored 20 PTS in an 8-PT win over CO: was it extra-special to beat your in-state rival? The sun did not rise in Boulder the next day! The headline in the Rocky Mountain News the next day was “the sun will rise in Boulder today”. 1 of their assistant coaches admitted that he did not think we would beat them, so it was a shock to the citizens/media of Colorado. It was 1 of the greatest moments of Coach’s career because we did not play them at all during the regular season.

He once received a whopping 7 technical fouls in a game against Tulsa: what kind of a temper did he have? He got most of those technicals from Irv Brown, who was 1 of the best college refs I have ever seen. Coach just got out of line: he was described by Lute Olson as the nicest guy off the court who would change personalities on the court. He was a 1st-class competitor as well as 1 of the best coaches ever. A lot of my own success as a coach comes from what I learned from him.

He beat John Wooden’s UCLA Bruins twice in Los Angeles: how was he able to coach his best against the best? He could really prepare his team. Both of those games went right down to the wire. Coach Williams might be the only guy with a .500 record against Coach Wooden.

He remains the winningest coach in school history: do you think that anyone will ever break his record? He is the winningest D-1 coach in the history of the state of Colorado and I think he is the best coach in school history.

He passed away in 2007: when people look back on his career, how do you think he should be remembered the most? As a fierce competitor, a man who knew the game and would play anyone/anywhere/anytime. He would study film for 3 hours every morning and knew exactly when the opponents were going to do something based on their footwork. He had a tremendous mind and was an offensive genius: he knew how to get the most talent out of everyone he coached. A lot of people asked me if it was hard to work for him but I told them that he was the easiest guy to work for because he never questioned anything I did in terms of recruiting.

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His scoring touch was golden: CHD interviews IUPUI legend Carlos Knox

Tamika Catchings just made the game-winning shot in the WNBA All-Star game earlier this month, and George Hill helped the Pacers to the number seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs this past spring.  What do these two basketball stars have in common?  They were both trained by a former college superstar named Carlos Knox.  He was the 1998 D-2 national POY, a two-time scoring champ, and a three-time All-American at IUPUI who scored more than 30 points during his college career.  After a pro career overseas he coached at his alma mater, in the WNBA, and also the CBA.  He suffered a serious knee injury during college, so now he also trains players to overcome injuries and strengthen their skill set.  CHD’s Jon Teitel got to chat with Carlos about his sensational scoring and training triumphs. 

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You suffered a knee injury during your junior year at IUPUI: were you worried that you were never going to be able as good as you had previously been? I was young and did not understand the medical world. Some people called it a career-ending injury so I was not sure how I would handle it, but I worked hard the following summer with the right trainers to get my rehab together.

After your junior year you declared early for the NBA draft but later changed your mind: why did you declare early, and why did you withdraw your name? I declared early because that was my hottest year and I had been able to do some damage at camps where I held my own with stars like Vince Carter/Allen Iverson. I was talked out of leaving school by my head coach, who wanted me to come back and continue to build the program. I do not know if I would do it the same way again. Continue Reading

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Alright Hamilton! CHD interviews Georgia State legend Rodney Hamilton

Georgia State has not made the NCAA tourney in more than a decade, but after winning 25 games last season they were on the doorstep before a heartbreaking one point overtime loss in the Sun Belt tourney title game.  They bring back one of the best backcourts in the country in Ryan Harrow/RJ Hunter, but the best guard in school history now roams the sidelines a few hours away in Tennessee.  Rodney Hamilton was a star player for the Panthers back in the 1990s, and was good enough for the school to retire his number.  After a pro career overseas he has spent several years as an assistant coach at various schools: this year he will be a trusted assistant for new Tennessee State head coach Dana Ford.  CHD’s Jon Teitel got to chat with Rodney about dominating the Atlantic Sun Conference despite standing only 5’9″. 

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Why did you choose to attend Georgia State? I chose Georgia State because it was located in the city of Atlanta. Basketball was the primary sport on campus during the 1990s, and I had the opportunity to come in as a freshman and compete immediately for the starting PG position.

In December 1996 you had a career-high six blocks in a loss at Winthrop: how on earth does a 5’9” guy who is the best point guard in school history block six shots in a game?! As a PG I never thought about blocking shots so when those happened I was as shocked as anyone else. I just ended up being in the right position at the right time. I was able to hide behind the taller guys and sneak up behind them and block more than a few that night. I felt like I was 6’9” that game! Continue Reading

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One Proud Poppa: CHD interviews Iowa legend Roy Marble

Iowa’s Roy Devyn Marble was selected 56th overall by the Denver Nuggets in last month’s NBA draft.  However, this summer marks the 25th anniversary of the first Roy Marble from Iowa to ever be drafted.  Roy Sr. was a high school All-American before deciding to become a Hawkeye, where he helped lead his team to 4 straight NCAA tourneys and became the all-time leading scorer in school history.  Now they are poised to join a long list of fathers and sons who have each played in the NBA: Henry and Mike Bibby, Mike Dunleavy Sr. and Jr., Dolph and Danny Schayes, etc.  CHD’s Jon Teitel got to chat with Roy about switching positions, losing a tourney game in double-OT, and why the 4th of July holds a special place in his heart. 

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In 1985 you were named a McDonald’s All-American: which of your fellow high school seniors impressed you the most (Sean Elliott/Danny Ferry/other)? I remember both Elliott/Ferry being prominent players at that time. Continue Reading