Opening Statement: "We obviously lost four really good players who meant a lot to our program the last several years and had a lot of success. We've got some other guys returning that have to step up into different roles than they were in this past season. I do think we've got a good group of guys. The experience they went through last year will hopefully help them get ready for this year."
Q: "Can Teddy Dupay be a coach at the high school or college level one day?"
A: "I've always thought that he would be a great coach. He has a really good understanding of the game and has been in a lot of different business adventures since he left college. His passion is in basketball. He's dealing with a lot of young kids that are in high school. I think for him, in coaching Teddy while he was here, he had a good grasp of the game, was really smart and articulate. I think he's got a lot of great qualities to be a terrific coach."
Q: "Where does he stand in terms of competitors that you've coached?"
A: "I think he was as good of a competitor as I've had a chance to coach. He was always a fearless guy that wasn't afraid to take big shots, very gutsy. He made a lot of big shots for us, a real competitor. He had back surgery and was supposed to be out for a few months, but he made it back in four weeks and was back out on the court playing. He loves the game, loved big moments and thrived in those situations. He was as good of a competitor as I've coached."
Q: "How is the recruiting process different for a transfer than a high school player?"
A: "In a lot of ways, it's completely different. When you've got a high school player going through the process, there's so many things coming at them and they don't have experience of playing in college, so they don't know what college life is like or getting acclimated to a new team. There's a lot thrown on these guys' plate. When you go out and recruit a kid that transferred in, there's a different level of maturity and understanding because they have a good foundation to have an idea of what's important to them and what's going to make them happy. There's a lot of variables and reasons (kids are transferring). They look at things after they transfer from a totally different perspective on life."
Q: "How do you identify transfers that can help your program on the court and off?"
A: "I've always felt like this with transfers. One, we've had some guys that we recruited here and were involved with while they were in high school, so there was a previous relationship established. I think you always want to get to the core of why a kid may be transferring. In a lot of ways, the problems they're enduring at one institution aren't necessarily going away at the next one. The things that you're being required to do on the court may be the same at the next place they go to. Trying to figure out why a young man wants change would be really important to me. Sometimes change is good. It's good for the coaches, players and all around. Sometimes guys are looking for things in change that may be unrealistic or you can't provide for them. I've had kids that transferred that I recruited and was because they didn't get enough shots, didn't score enough or wanted more freedom on offense. Those things are fine provided it fits into what you're trying to do as a program and the understanding that there's another 12 guys on the team besides that player, too. I'm always trying to figure out why they're leaving and what the reasons are."
Q: "What were your thoughts on the experience with the U19 USA Basketball team?"
A: "USA Basketball did a great job of bringing in a lot of talented players. Because of what happened on the national team level, that stuff always trickles down throughout college and high school where kids want to be a part of USA Basketball. I'm honored they asked me to come back and do it again. It was a great group of guys. The one thing you see when competing and representing our country is most of these guys put their egos aside and go out to compete and win because they're playing for a big cause. When they get an opportunity to play on a team like that, they understand the standard of what USA Basketball is trying to do nationally. They've created an environment where a lot of kids want to be a part of it and experience that."
Q: "Being around an elite athletic department, does that help when you have other successful athletic programs around you?"
A: "It helps a lot. Athletic director Jeremy Foley, he does a really, really good job of creating an environment and culture here on campus where everybody is pulling for everybody. At the same point, whether they're on campus, at training table or another team's sporting event, you can't help but notice the excellence in a lot of other sports. Anytime you have athletes, whether it's swimming and diving, softball team or our baseball team, whatever it may be, I think that here at Florida, you have a lot of kids around a lot of competitive athletes that may not be in their same sport. They can see firsthand and be a part of firsthand why those individuals are so successful. From an athletic standpoint, it's a highly energetic campus with motivated student athletes. For everybody here athletically, it's a positive."