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Season preview: CHD interviews Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy

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 Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy about coaching one of the best tight ends in NFL history.

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Last March in the SEC tourney you had an 8-point 2-overtime loss to Missouri: what did your team learn from that loss that you think can help you this year? I think we learned the importance of all the little things at the end of the game: making free throws, boxing out, finishing strong. That will let us take the next step. Continue Reading

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Season preview: CHD interviews Missouri State coach Paul Lusk

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 Missouri State coach Paul Lusk about almost ruining Wichita State’s undefeated regular season last January.

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You became head coach at Missouri State in 2011: why did you take the job, and did you get any advice from the guy you replaced (Cuonzo Martin)? Zo and I are lifelong friends so we talk about everything from basketball to our kids. I am a Valley guy who played in this league so I knew what a great situation they had at Missouri State.

After losing a school-record 22 games in year number two with one of the youngest teams in the nation, you bounced back last year by winning 20 games: how were you able to turn things around in only one year? We have taken a slow process by taking a lot of high school kids. It got even tougher when Jarmar Gulley went down, but the young guys were very coachable and we finally turned the corner in year 3 and are now heading in the right direction. Continue Reading

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Season preview: CHD interviews Louisiana Tech PG Kenneth “Speedy” Smith

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 Louisiana Tech guard Kenneth “Speedy” Smith about being one of the best defenders and passers in the nation.

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Your nickname is “Speedy”: who gave you the nickname, and how do you like it? My grandmother gave me the nickname when I was born. It is a Grade-A nickname that has stuck with me my entire life.

You grew up in Florida: what made you choose Louisiana Tech? I only had one D-1 offer so it was a great opportunity for me to continue playing basketball at the highest level.

You play for Coach Mike White: what makes him such a good coach, and what is the most important thing that you ever learned from him? We are able to relate to each other on many levels because he is a former point guard. He makes me better both as a player and as a person. Continue Reading

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Season preview: CHD interviews Georgia State RJ Hunter

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 Georgia State SG RJ Hunter about making 12 3-point shots in a game last season.

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Your godfather Ron Harper won five NBA titles with the Bulls and Lakers during his 15-year pro career.  Has he given you any great advice about what it takes to succeed on the court? Ron has been a great help to me over the years. I look up to him because he has been successful at the top level: what he has is what I work towards every day. He is a great man who I have had the pleasure of knowing all of my life, and I know that anytime I have a question about basketball he is someone I can reach out to.

You play for your father Ron: what is the best part of playing for your dad, and what is the…not-best part of playing for your dad? The best part of playing for my dad is that I get to see him every day. He is a great father, coach and mentor and I am thankful every day that I decided to play for him. The toughest part is when he gets on my case, but I know that he only does so to make me a better player, so it is not really a bad thing. Continue Reading

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Season preview: CHD interviews West Virginia coach Bob Huggins

12HUGGSTo 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 West Virginia coach Bob Huggins about having the 3rd-most wins among active coaches.

In the 2014 NIT you lost to Georgetown: what did your team learn from that game that you think can help you this year? We do not want to have to play in the NIT on Georgetown’s campus again: it is an awfully small place to play.

Your non-conference schedule includes games against LSU, NC State, and Virginia Tech: which of these games do you feel will present your biggest test? Before those games we head to Puerto Rico and might have to play the defending national champs. The Puerto Rico field is a great field and will tell us more than the other games will because it is early in our schedule. Continue Reading

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Season preview: CHD interviews Florida Gulf Coast PG Brett Comer

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 Florida Gulf Coast PG Brett Comer about becoming the 1st #15-seed to ever make the Sweet 16.

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You won an AAU Championship at age 10 and later a pair of high school state titles with teammate Austin Rivers, who is now in the NBA: how good was Austin back in the day, and how proud are you of everything he has accomplished? At the time I thought he was the best high school player in my class: he could do things that I had never seen before and he had an incredible work ethic. I am proud of him for living the dream. He always wanted to be the NBA, but I think this is going to be his breakout year.

As a freshman in 2012 you led the conference with 5.6 assists per game: how were you able to come in and contribute so quickly? Our style of play was so free, and when we had no idea what we were doing I would just throw it around to our athletes and shooters. Continue Reading

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Season preview: CHD interviews Brown coach Mike Martin

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 Brown coach Mike Martin about having the 1st home postseason game in school history last March.

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You played basketball at Brown: what made you pick the Bears? Probably because nobody else wanted me! I wanted a good education and my parents both stressed that to me growing up.  I connected with Coach Miller and his staff and loved Providence.

You still rank in the top-10 in school history in career assists: what is the key to being a good point guard? I was not a point guard, but rather a 2-guard. However, the best point guards seem to be the best leaders who control a team and command respect. Continue Reading

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Season preview: CHD interviews Vermont SF Hector Harold

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 Vermont SF Hector Harold about almost pulling off an upset in Cameron Indoor Stadium.

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You played for a great high school team at Northfield Mount Hermon.  Which of your teammates impressed you the most (Aaron Cosby/Majok Majok/Laurent Rivard)? I have been very impressed by all three of them. Laurent had a great career at Harvard while appearing in a few NCAA tourney games. Aaron is poised for a huge season at Illinois and had a great two years at Seton Hall, and Majok is now playing professionally in Slovenia’s top league. I am extremely proud of all of them.

You also played in the 2010 High School Academic All-America Game: which of your teammates impressed you the most (Miles Cartwright/Kendall Williams/Dwight Powell)? Kendall and I go back to U-16 basketball when we won the Nike Main Event tournament in Las Vegas while playing for the West Coast All-Stars, so I would say that I am most impressed with him after seeing how far he has come. His college career was remarkable and to see him develop over the past few years has been truly amazing. I have not spoken to him in a while but if he sees this interview, hit me up Ken: ha! Continue Reading

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Season preview: CHD interviews St. Mary’s PF Brad Waldow

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 St. Mary’s PF Brad Waldow about playing the game of his life after losing a tooth.

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Your jersey number is 00: why did you pick that number? I got that number as a sophomore in high school. I wanted number seven but I was not allowed to get it because you cannot have a number that is higher than five so that the refs can signal it with two hands. My coach suggested 00, and I just stuck with it.

You play for Coach Randy Bennett: what makes him such a good coach, and what is the most important thing that you ever learned from him? He is a good player’s coach and is great at developing players who end up in the NBA (like NBA champion Paddy Mills). He is always there to talk with you if you are struggling in school or have off-court problems. Continue Reading

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Season preview: CHD interviews Georgia State PG Ryan Harrow

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 Georgia State PG Ryan Harrow about leaving John Calipari to be closer to his father.

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You began your career at NC State in 2010 before transferring to Kentucky: why did you decide to leave the Wolfpack, and what made you choose the Wildcats? After the coaching change at NC State I just felt like it was the right time to move on. Kentucky is obviously a great program and at the time it was the right fit for me.

In the summer of 2012 your father Mark suffered a stroke at home in Georgia: how hard was it to play an entire season at Kentucky after that happened? It was really hard: my dad and I have always been extremely close so being that far away from him was tough. He was in really rough shape and I felt like I could not help being all the way up in Lexington. Thankfully he is doing a lot better now and I am glad that he gets to come watch me play all the time. Continue Reading