1-on-1 With Assistant Coach George Brooks

Mississippi State men's basketball assistant coach George Brooks talks one-on-one with Gene's Page.

What did it mean to you, as a former Mississippi State player, that you were retained on Coach Howland's staff?
"It meant a lot to me because it is home to me. But the thing that magnified it even more for me is the fact that it has become home for my family, my wife and my kids. If you ask my daughters, they will tell you they are from Starkville, Mississippi. Having the chance for my family to stay home and be happy, that is all a man can ask for."

Ben Howland has had a lot of success no matter where he has coached. You have been an assistant coach for him for about three months. What have those three months been like for you?
"In the first few months he has been very beneficial to my coaching career and helped me become a better coach. He has already pointed out some things in recruiting. Really, he has a great ability to get the best out of people."

You mentioned that he has helped you in recruiting. How has he helped you?
"He gives you a different avenue, a different perspective, on how to look at situations. He has you look at the entire process, not just from one angle or one method of thinking. And he is also an easy sale due to the guys that he has put in the NBA, the championships that he has won, the three Final Fours, the 300+ career wins. You have a lot to sell with him as your head coach. And the great thing about that is it is not an opinion. You have facts to back all of that."

With him as head coach, have you seen more recruiting doors open for you when you are out recruiting?
"Yes, what he has done as a coach at a high major level helps the Mississippi State brand. Due to that, it is a good time (recruiting-wise) for Mississippi State."

Coach Howland was very high on you when I talked to him about his coaching hires. You have done really well recruiting in Mississippi and Alabama. Was that something that you and he talked about when he hired you?
"Yes, he wanted to have someone on staff who has a good presence in the state. Even though our recruiting base is a broader base due to having Coach Howland as our head coach, we are still going to recruit Mississippi first then out. And it is important that you have someone on staff who knows the lay of the land, has a good relationship with the high school coaches, the community college coaches and the AAU coaches in Mississippi."

A couple of the players told me that they love this coaching staff. What has been the chemistry like with the new coaches?
"I think we all get along fine. The one thing that we have been able to do in a short amount of time is build a good level of trust. When I say trust you have other guys on the staff working hard, working as hard as you in recruiting and making phone calls, sending text messages and trying to stay on top in recruiting."

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.

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