Gottfried Addresses Media Questions

It will be three months before college basketball teams can officially take the floor for practice, but basketball was the hot topic Wednesday morning as the 12 head coaches of men's basketball teams took questions from the media on the Southeastern Conference Basketball Coaches' Summer Teleconference.



Following is the transcript from the questions University of Alabama Basketball Coach Mark Gottfried took from the media.

On whom the returning starters are from the 2008 team:

"The guys are excited about this year. We return Alonzo Gee who started in every game last season and then Demetrius Jemison started in nearly every game. We lost a lot in (Richard) Hendrix and (Mykal) Riley and then Rico (Pickett) started a lot at point guard. So we have holes to fill but we're excited."

On incoming freshman forward JaMychal Green playing for the USA U18 National Team:

"I went to Washington D.C. and watched them practice the day that they left to go to Argentina so I watched the team practice. I thought that he did exceptionally well. I think he's played well there. I think the coaching staff that's coaching that team really liked him and liked his attitude and liked how hard he plays and those type things. I think it's going to be a great experience for him. He's getting great coaching with Bob McKillop, John Thompson III and Anthony Grant. I think that the team is a very good team. He's playing with good players and he's also playing against some great competition so I think all in all that's going to be good for him."

On how that will help Green:

"I think the area where it helps is that you have a player who now has gone through college practices. The coaching staff there, they set up their practices. They worked them really hard. They went through two-a-days and practiced before they left so he got a head start as far as what to expect when we begin practice, so I think in that regard it's going to be a big plus for him."

On Green's style of play:

"He's a high energy guy. He plays really hard. Very active. He's got quick feet. He's one of those guys that when the ball is up on the backboard, he's going after it every time. He's like most freshmen in that he'll have to learn how to score and how to develop some post moves and get comfortable with that. But I think he'll bring a lot of energy. He wants to win. He's been a part of a lot of winning so he's used to that. He brings a lot to the table right from the start."

On how he thinks the newcomers will perform:

"Well, we'll see. A lot of times you always want to wait and see how guys do after they get here. I've had players that were rated real high that maybe weren't good and some who weren't rated at all that became great players. But we are excited about them. I think this is a good class. I think with JaMychal and then Andrew Steele and Tony Mitchell you've got three really good high school players coming in and then with Anthony Brock we signed a terrific guard as well in him. We like this class a lot."

On moving the 3-Point line:

"We put the line down, the new line, as soon as the season was over, so our players have been playing pickup games and doing shooting workouts with the deeper 3-point line on the court. I think it will make a difference in the games. I think you'll see some different things from coaches. I'm going to be interested in seeing how many players can make that shot with a high percentage as opposed to a foot in. I think it makes a difference."

On the NBA Draft Process:

"I think most coaches around the country agree and I share the same opinion that the process takes too long. I don't think that we've ended up where we thought we'd be when those rules were put in. And I think that it's very hard for a young guy to go through that process. It's basically a two-and-a-half-month process. I personally would like to see that shortened. I think there's a lot of different ways you can go to change those rules. The number one thing is you want to do what's best for the student-athlete and what's best for these young guys and I don't think the two-and-a-half-month process is what's best for them."

On how the moved 3-point line might change defensive play:

"I think the rule is intended to stretch the defenses out and open up the middle of the floor. I think that the opposite may end up happening. I think if you are playing against a team that can't make the new 3-point shot with a very high percentage, you're going to see defenses start to step back and clog up the middle. I think where the line was before there were so many players on the floor that could potentially make that shot that you did have to stretch your defense out. Now it's going to be interesting to me to watch that develop. My personal opinion is I do think that teams are going to start packing the defenses in."

On if he finally feels he can move ahead now that the draft process is over and he know who is on his roster for sure:

"Like we just talked about, the process now is a long process. For programs that have players testing the waters, it ends up being difficult because you don't know for such a long period of time what your roster is going to be. We're at the point now where we know who we have and we're excited about our team. I think we have a chance to be very good this year. Obviously when you say you have a chance that hinges on a lot of things but I think we're going to be a pretty good basketball team. Our guys are here working hard right now. We do have some experience mixed in with some young guys. We're excited about getting started and seeing where we can end up."

On Billy Packer:

"I think he's been a phenomenal asset to basketball. I read a quote I think Jay Bilas mentioned that he should be in the Hall of Fame and I would agree. He's given so much to the game. For most of us, our entire lives we've listened to him broadcast the Final Four. That will be different now. I've grown up listening to him my whole life as a fan of college basketball and someone who loves the Final Four. I think he's been remarkable and very good."

On the NABC's recommendation that coaches wait until after a player's sophomore season in high school to recruit/have him commit:

"I think it's a good thing. As a coach I completely understand the dilemma that we're sometimes faced with. You have a young player who maybe wants to come to your school. But I think generally when you look at the big picture, I think it's healthy to wait, number one academically to see how they've done in school and as you try to project them academically and two as a player, also. I think it's the right thing to do."

On why he thinks coaches do allow 8th graders to commit:

"I think that we're always hunting for the best players and I think if we have a sense that a particular player is potentially going to be good enough to play in the program you can see why coaches want to hurry up and get those done. But I also would agree with the NABC's position that it's much healthier to wait."

BamaMag Top Stories