Former Pro Silas Likes Bzdelik Hire

It's not typical to talk in depth with a player's parent about the ins and outs of a new basketball hire. But James Silas is a little different. His son Xavier Silas will be a sophomore on the CU team next season. James' hoops credentials include a 10-year professional basketball career that spanned stints in both the ABA and NBA. Inside, Silas reacts to the Jeff Bzdelik hire.

Silas was a two-time ABA All-Star with San Antonio and his jersey was retired from the Spurs in 1984, two years after he retired from pro basketball. Silas was a constant presence at CU basketball games this past season.

BSN: What do you think of the hire?
Silas
: I think it's a good choice. First of all, he's coached on all levels. I think he's a players' coach, and every player likes to have a coach like that. I think he will be fantastic as far as getting the community back involved in basketball, getting the students back involved in basketball. That's something that Colorado really needs, and I think he can do that.

BSN: How much did you watch Air Force this year? Did you see the Air Force-Colorado game this year?
Silas
: I was there. And as a matter of fact, once I knew he was in the top of the running for the job, I watched them all through the NIT. I really like the movement that he has in his offense. They play defense well. When I looked and saw his players, they really knew their assignments. They knew what they were supposed to do.

That's the sign of a coach and a coaching staff really teaching the players what they need to know on the floor. That's something that Colorado didn't show me last year. I think that this coach will really teach them things.

BSN: It remains to be seen whether he'll bring that exact style of offense to Boulder or not, but how would that translate to the Big 12 do you think?
Silas
: I know he's been around the game a long time. A coach of his knowledge knows how to adjust. A lot of people are saying, ‘He didn't have to recruit at Air Force.' But he took mediocre players and really made them play hard and play smart.

Now you've got guys with talent, real talent. That only adds to Bzdelik as a teacher. That only makes him better. And what I think he's going to do that Patton wasn't able to do in the last few years – he's going to be able to go into certain players' homes and he's going to be able to sit down and convince people to come to Colorado.

There's no way that the University of Colorado and Boulder should lose any top player in the state of Colorado alone. And I think he will be able to go into people's homes and convince parents to let their kids come to the university.

BSN: Does a guy coming into a living room with his NBA credentials – do people pay attention to that?
Silas
: It's huge. It's huge. If you get the top player in the state of Colorado or Indiana or Texas or wherever, that guy wants to believe that he can play at the next level. And when you've got a coach that has been there and who can share things with you to help you get there, it means all the difference in the world. It's a good selling tool that he has.


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