How are things going Coach?
Great! Obviously we feel good about the start we are off to and there is a good feeling to the program right now.
Let's talk about the Lobo victories over the Aggies last week. I'm of the opinion that the Aggies played a lot harder in Loss Cruces then they did here in The Pit. Still, it was the same result as the Lobos willed themselves to win at the Pan-Am going for the throat earlier.
You're right they did play. They shot the ball very well at both places. They have a team of very good individual scorers, guys that can score one-on-one. They did a very good job, but obviously I was very proud of our guys especially down in Las Cruces, the way they didn't get rattled, they didn't get NMSU quick start get them down. Every time NMSU made a run our guys hung together and weathered the storm and came back with a run of our own.
After all the losses on the road and this being your first victory as a coaching staff and team here at UNM, Lobo fans want to know how the bus ride home was.
( laughing ) It was great! It's funny, more then anything it was just peaceful. It was just nice to sit on the bus and not be thinking about or stressing out what are we doing wrong, what do we need to change…
We just sat back and we put the tape back in of the game and it was fun. Every shot a guy made the other guys were laughing and yukking it up. Especially with Boom's dunk at the end that drew a standing ovation for Boom!
Was Boom's dunk at the end like the final stake in the heart of the road-losing streak and lay the ghost to rest?
That's right, great call! Hopefully it will be good for Boom's confidence as that was a big time play.
Coach after two big victories over the intrastate rivals, breaking the road losing streak, and a couple of weeks away from some very big games vs. Wake Forest and Tennessee how hard is it to keep the players motivated for this week's games vs. Ark-Pine Bluff and the University of Northern Colorado?
Obviously it is an issue, we have talked a lot about it because the players are looking forward to Wake Forest and Tenn. How could you not? Everybody is. The things that we stress to them is if you don't take care of business the next 2 games the meaning of the Wake Forest game and Tenn. game aren't nearly as great, and we want those games to mean a lot. They definitely mean a lot more if we go into them 9-1 instead of a record less then that.
The other thing we always talk about is defending The Pit. We've put it out there, and we talked about it. The good thing is we have a veteran group; we have mature players so hopefully they understand exactly what is expected of them and we will take care of business.
Coach, there are two players right now that are very instrumental in your early season success. I'd like to talk to you about. First Mark Walters now that he is back to 100% he really looks like a different player on the court this year.
Mark is playing as well as I have ever seen him play right now. The thing I'm so impressed with is his poise. He is that he is playing the game like a veteran. He is playing the game like things are going on in slow motion around him. While he is in fast forward the game is moving slower around him. The big thing is his confidence is back. Last year with the knee injury it was hard for him to feel confident in himself physically because he wasn't sure what he could or couldn't do, and now he is playing with so much confidence both mentally and physically.
The other player I would like to talk about today is Kris Collins.
Every JUCO player goes through a period of adjustment where they are trying to learn a new system and level of play and Kris making that adjustment really quickly. Kris does very well against guards that are smaller then him because he is so big and strong, when he puts his head down and goes to the rim he is hard to stop.
Coach, are last question today comes from Richard E.
How much is it easier or harder to recruit to UNM compared to some of the other stops in your career?
Compared to other stops I would say it is easier, because everybody wants to play in front of huge crowds. Every kid dreams of growing up and playing in front of huge crowds, so The Pit really makes it easier then where else we have been. The only difference is at Oregon St. when you are recruiting west coast kids they all dream of playing in the
PAC-10. So that was the advantage there.
When you show a kid The Pit though a kid really gets excited which makes it a lot easier then anywhere else we've been.