Ask Coach D

March Madness is here and our University of New Mexico Lobo basketball team is ready!

Well Coach it looks like we are off to Denver…


Yeah, we leave Wednesday morning and play Thursday night… It is really coming up quick.


And hopefully you won't be back until Saturday night/ Sunday morning…


Yeah, Sunday morning… Hopefully we won't get much sleep Saturday night after celebrating.


Coach you start off with BYU and once you beat them then it is on to the winner of Air Force / San Diego State. What do you think about your team's draw in the bracket?


I like our draw. There isn't a team on our side that we haven't beaten this year. So we're preparing for Air Force, SDSU, and even Utah. As Assistant Coaches we're watching our film, and getting our game plan and scouting reports ready. With the team we aren't talking about those other schools at all. We are doing the proverbial ‘one game at time,' and really all we talk about is BYU!


Coach this will be the 3rd time you play all teams you will face in the tournament. The first is BYU. How or what do you change in the tournament vs. the teams that you will be playing?


There really isn't a whole lot of different things we will do. We aren't going to do anything tricky or innovative in trying to play them the 3rd time. In March, when you get in the tournaments, it is all comes down to execution. If we can execute our half-court offense we will be in good shape. BYU's biggest struggle in playing us is they don't have a match-up for Danny Granger. I would expect to see different defenses from them to see if they can contain Danny. Hopefully Danny and the rest of the guys will handle that well and step up for a victory.


Coach this is a question from one of our members of


He wants to know what you mean by ‘scouting' a team and what it entails.


What it really means is you spend a lot of time watching film. As we speak I'm watching the Air Force vs. UNLV game from last week. So what we do is watch a lot of Air Force tape, especially our games vs. Air Force, put different clips on the video tape that lasts about 10-15 minutes, and after Thursday's game if we win we will be back into the hotel room watching the clip of Air Force seeing what their tendencies are and what did and didn't work for us the last time we played them. We will also hand them a sheet of paper that has Air Force's personal on it, talks about each individual player, what their strengths, weakness, and tendencies are, and how we are going to defend them. As Asst. Coaches we prepare those sheets and videos in advance so that if we do win we are ready to hand that material to the players right after their first game is over.


So the tournament is all work, work, work… It's all business.


Absolutely, my hope is that every night that we are going to be up till 3-4 in the morning watching more film and getting prepared. If you're not doing that, (laughing) you're not winning. So hopefully there is nothing but work 3-4 straight days.


Do you guys take any court time while you're out there?


Very little… In the Pepsi Center itself you get half an hour… Which is basically nothing. If you chose to you can go to an offside facility whether a local college or high school to have a normal practice there… but at this time of year, your practices look very different then early in the year. We aren't really trying to put in new things or work on new ideas. We are just fine tuning what we have been doing all year. So practices go very very quick. Even today our practice will only last an hour. It's just the time of year you're trying to save their legs while keeping them sharp both mentally and physically.


Coach what did you think about senior night last Saturday vs. CSU? It got a little emotional there.


It did get emotional… and I'm glad that it did. That is the meaningful part of college basketball… that sense of family that you build, that it is meaningful in your life, and that it isn't just a game. What really stuck in my mind was that 18,000 people showed up to show their appreciation for this team and for those 3 guys in particular. It was nice to see that it didn't' matter who the opponent, what time of night it was, it just didn't matter! People just wanted to show up and show their appreciation for this group of guys and that really meant a lot to us as a coaching staff to have a sold out arena. (I hope Coach D. doesn't get angry letting this out… but Coach D got a little choked up during this part of the interview while we were talking about senior night in The Pit.)


In case you missed it has exclusive videos and pictures of senior night in The Pit.

Click here to view the videos!



The game itself you guys were using a lot of different combinations of guys. Was that the coaching staff preparing for the upcoming tournament, or was that just coincidence?


A little bit of both, we did have a little bit of early foul trouble. Danny and Dave picked each picked up 2 in the first half so we had to throw some other guys in there. The big thing was that the guys that came in off the bench played well and there wasn't much of a reason to take them out. Ryan Wall and Tony Danridge in particular both played very good games and earned their playing time… so… those two guys in particular I think we need them both to be ready to play those kind of minutes as we go into the 3 games in 3 days. I don't think you can expect your starters play 38+ minutes for all 3 games.


Coach I know you're a little biased J, but the All-MWC Awards were given yesterday and I was wondering if you had any thoughts or complaints about them.


Yeah… I think all 5 of our starters should have been 1st team… (Laughing)

No I think the only surprising thing to me is that Danny didn't get Defensive Player of the Year, so I was a little disappointed for Danny there. Justin Williams is a great defender and a great shot blocker. I would love to have him on our team blocking shots. I don't think he was undeserving of the award, but at the same time I think Danny is the all around best defender in the league.


Other then that I was glad to see David and Troy get the recognition they deserve. I think they both probably deserve the 2nd team rather then 3rd, but that's the way it goes. I think our 5 guys are penalized a little bit individually because collectively they play so well together. Since they share the ball their numbers aren't as spectacular as they could be if they were at other places.


Well coach you are on a serious hot streak as you are beating all your opponents by double digits lately and hopefully there is no looking back. would like to thank Coach Scott Didrickson of the University of New Mexico Men's Basketball coaching staff for once again answering all our questions. If you have a question for Coach Didrickson please feel free to e-mail us with at or put it on our message board which you can find at this link.

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