MBB Media Day: McDermott Part One

Tuesday was MBB media day and as always CN was there to cover. Find out what brand new Iowa State head coach Greg McDermott had to say to members of the local media today in part one of the inagural, Greg McDermott Presser Report.

McDermott: You're probably all wondering if we're ready to play a game on Friday. So am I, so we've got that in common. We've got some work to do and I think anytime you bring together a group of guys, most of which are new, and you try to introduce a new system, with new terminology, new techniques, that just takes time. We're going through that process right now. We're making a lot of mistakes. Its different guys making mistakes at different points in time but in the game of basketball, five guys functioning as one is so important. Anytime that you have somebody who slips out of that, even if it's momentarily, it can cause a breakdown on the offensive or defensive end of the floor. That's not in the best interest of the team. We're trying to clean those up right now. The effort has been good. The enthusiasm has been good. It's just tough to have a team of leadership when everyone is learning everything for the first time, and that's really where we're at. Some of the guys who are returning are trying to be leaders, that's quite a weight to put on someone's shoulders, when they have to learn everything themselves and yet we're expecting them to try and help us with the young guys.


We will have to put four freshmen on the floor these first few weeks of the season. Anytime you play freshmen at any level, there are some peaks and valleys. The person that has to be the most patient is me. That's hard for me sometimes. I don't like to lose. I understand that there will be some tough times as these guys grow up in front of our eyes. The work ethic is there, the enthusiasm is there, they seem to get along extremely well. We're developing some team chemistry that I'm really proud of. I think that will continue as we move forward.


My coaching staff that I have here today has done a terrific job. You really have to coach, when you take a group of 17 or 18 guys and everything is new to each one of them. I'm fortunate that I've surrounded myself with a group of people that understands how patient you have to be, how understanding you have to be, and how much extra work it takes to help some of these young guys along as they learn their way into college basketball. We're making strides. Some days it's one step forward and only two steps back instead of three steps back, but we're getting there. We just have to remind ourselves what it was like during practice three and practice four as we look at practice 15 and 16 now, just to see how much progress we've made. We have made some good strides but we still have a long ways to go.


Q: Having gone through this before, what did you learn from that to apply to this situation?


A: Well this is actually the second time I've gone through this, the first time at Wayne State as well. I wasn't at North Dakota State long enough really. The program was in a different place when I took the job over. You learn to be patient, but once you have success, it's easy to forget what that first year was like. You want to forget it on purpose. There are a lot of trying times. You pull your hair out because you see some of the same mistakes over and over again. That's frustrating, but that's part of the process. You just have to remind yourself of that. That last couple of years at UNI we had such an experienced team, virtually last year, everyone of the guys who played for us with the exception of Travis Brown, nobody else who was new to the program even saw the floor. You could really move at a rapid pace and throw a lot out at the players and they could respond to that. We're having to move at a very slow pace, which is understandable. I don't think that you ever get used to it. You certainly learn patience and you really learn to listen to your players. Everybody learns at a different rate. Some players, you can tell them once and show them once and they get it. Some people need the repetition on the floor, some need to see it on film, some need to write it down. Everybody is a little different in how they learn things and we're still sorting through as a coaching staff what's best for each individual player on our team, and I think we're moving in the right direction.


Q: How is Rahshon (Clark) dealing with you and your changes to the program?


A: Rahshon has been great. He's been coach able. I'm not going to let Rahshon stand still with his game. I want Rahshon to improve. He's got a lot of areas where he can improve, we've talked about those. His ball handling needs to improve. I want him to become a good shooter instead of a great shooter. I think he has an opportunity because of his length and his athletic ability and the fact that he plays with so much energy to be one of the best defensive players in the Big 12. I'm not sure that he's thought about all of those things. As I mentioned earlier, I'm asking a lot out of Rahshon on an individual basis and we need him to be a leader as well. He's learning along with everyone else. He approaches practice in a positive way. He's shown glimpses of how good he can really be. We're going to need him to do a lot for this team, especially on the defensive end and rebounding the basketball.

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