By Jody Demling - Cardinal Authority

Mike Balado meets the media in Little Rock

Coach Balado meets the media in Little Rock

New Arkansas State coach Mike Balado has had a busy first week.

And mostly it has revolved around players, mainly the ones remaining with the team.

Aside from talking with them either in person or via phone, Balado has been getting to know them on the court too.

“I’ve been watching all of last year’s games,’’ he said while in Little Rock on Thursday. “It has taken a while but I wanted to act like I was scouting Arkansas State and I tried to see what the difference was between the end of the year and the beginning of the year because they lost six of their last eight.

“I wanted to see the personnel, who were the best players, what kind of energy the guys brought. I watched a lot of the body language and studies them. I learned a lot of from that film and I’m excited for the guys to get back on campus.”

Balado said a team meeting is scheduled for Sunday night after the players returns from spring break.

“One of the first things is the current state of the team; the state they are in,’’ he said. “They are in different circumstances with somebody leaving, and coach Mac did a great job. A lot of these guys are uncertain. I’ve talked to all of them. They have answered the phone when I called so that is a good sign. We’ve had good conversations. We are going to reset and move forward.”

After watching the film he said the Red Wolves will play the same defensive scheme as Louisville, where he’s been the last four seasons, but will change some on offense.

“It will be a little different because of personnel. I’ve seen all the guys on file; I’ve seen all the personnel so I know we can do it and and the way I want to play.”

Additional coaches should be added next week with the first announcement likely coming Monday. He has hired A-State alum Josh Pierre as director of operations.

“After meeting with this young man on my first day, it blew my mind how prepared, enthusiastic, organized and ready Josh was for a position like this,” Balado said in a release from A-State. “He is loyal to this university, a Red Wolf at heart, and I am truly blessed that he decided to be a part of this incredible journey.”