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 Siena SG Rob Poole about connecting with a new coach.
You have a new coach this year after Jimmy Patsos was hired in April. What do you think of him so far, and what is the key for a new coach who is trying to connect with his players? He is a players’ coach and everyone loves him. He is tough on the court but everyone respects him because that is what we need. You need to be stern: none of us talk back to him and I am happy that he is my coach.
You lost two of your top-three scorers from last year (OD Anosike and Rakeem Brookins). How much pressure do you feel to be a leader this year? I guess I feel a little pressure but we have a lot of guys beside me who can score. I will not press anything and just let the game come to me. OD and Rakeem were great players for us.
Your non-conference schedule includes games against La Salle, Purdue, and Memphis. Which of these three games do you feel will present your biggest test? We have a really tough schedule this year. Those games will be good for us because it will prepare us for our conference schedule by giving us some good competition. Out of the three you mentioned I think La Salle will be the toughest.
Evan Hymes hurt his hand during your team’s trip to Montreal in August: what did you get out of the trip, and any idea when Evan will be back on the court? The trip was great: it helped bring us together and grow closer as a team after bringing in a lot of new guys. I think Evan will be back in a couple of weeks: he is a scorer and a leader.
What are your expectations for the upcoming season? Of course you want to have a winning record, but we will just try to go out, play hard, and compete every day…otherwise it will be a long season.
You played in all 31 games as a freshman in 2012. How were you able to come in and contribute right from the start? We had great leaders who helped mold me into the player I am. It was tough at 1st but I learned my role.
You led your team by making two threes per game last year: what is your secret for making shots from behind the arc? Just concentration. I take a lot of shots during practice and then during a game I just let it go: luckily a lot went in last year!
You tied a school record with 24 losses last season: what will it take to turn things around this year? We just need to play a lot harder. It was hard to lose 24 games, but Coach Patsos has instilled in us the effort needed to play together as a team.