Pour the Vino, Friars Land Keno!

Friartown gave a big welcome to new head basketball coach Keno Davis during a spirited press conference held at Mullaney Gym late Tuesday afternoon. Keno Davis was the consensus National Coach of Year this past season, leading Drake to a 28-5 record.

Here are some Q and A's from the press conference of new head coach Keno Davis, the 14th men's basketball coach at Providence College:

Q: Had you thought much about coming back east after growing up here?

A: I had always wondered if I'd get an opportunity to come back this way. You just never know in the coaching profession. You feel like things lead you in a certain direction, and maybe a lot of people feel that about their own jobs. It's just one of those things where I was guided back here with the Providence job, and it's a real blessing.

Q: Have you seen any tape of Providence this season?

A: During the season, you really only have time to see your own team, and the teams you are scouting. So you do watch some basketball, and obviously Providence has been on some, so I've seen bits and pieces of them this year but I'm looking forward to grabbing some DVDs and getting myself as familiar as possible with the players.

Q: Providence shot the three point shot probably in the top 3 of the Big East this season; was that any sort of factor in you coming to Providence since your Drake team also shot a lot of 3's?

A: No, it really wasn't a factor but I like that though. You always like a team that can shoot the basketball, and with the three point line moving out next year, that might be more of a factor, because I'm sure coaches are figuring out right now how that is going to affect they way they play with the X's and O's, with the defense and the offense. I think shooters will be at a premium in the recruiting process for all coaches.

Q: Speaking of the recruiting process, how many of this year's Drake players did you bring into the program?

A: All but one. Clayton Korver, who is the brother of Kyle Korver now of the NBA Jazz, he was a 5th year senior, so he had been recruited by the previous staff but we were there for all five years with him. So we recruited everyone else, and it was a joint effort. I made Chris Davis my associate head coach, and deservedly so, for how hard he recruited with me. But all of us as a staff looked for not only the best talent, but the best character. We thought we could sell that type of kid on Drake University. It was our belief that those kids could succeed, even though they might not have the stats to back it up in high school, we were trying to get the right sort of kids to Iowa and Des Moines. That was the way we thought was the best approach and it worked out pretty well for us.

Q: Is that how you'll try to bring kids to Providence as well?

A: What I think is that you try to bring in the best talent you can, and you do as much homework as you can on the character of that high talent pool and find those that will be the best fit here. Everyone can identify who the talented players are, but they have to have the right character and work ethic. If we don't do a real good job with that, then we won't have good chemistry with our team. So hopefully our staff will work very hard at that.

Q: Do you think your style of play at Drake will work in the physical Big East?

A: Well, as a coach you have to be able to adjust, and the style of play we had this past year at Drake, it's not 100% the style I would play every year, but it fit our players. So, being able evaluate the Providence players we have right here, right now – that's what is important now. It's not about the recruits who will be here three years from now, it's about the players we have right now at PC. We're going to figure out the best way to succeed here with this team, and we are going to do that before practice starts so that'll we'll be ready to go right away.

Q: I assume the off season will be a busy one with the big recruiting class that you'll need to address?

A: It's always busy for coaches. There isn't any off season. I laugh when people ask me what I'm going to do in the off season. It's recruiting, it's everything. It's maybe more important to put in your work in the off season than once the games start. You've got to make sure you are building the program in all areas and that you are moving forward.

At the end of the season, you always ask yourself if the season was successful. I think too often, it's only looked at in terms of whatever the wins and losses were and how that matched predictions before the season. Sometimes the ball is going to bounce in funny ways, but you've got to be able to look at your team and program and be able to say you took a step forward in that season, even if it wasn't exactly the amount of wins you had hoped for. I would have been proud of my team at Drake had we not won 28 games. They had incredible work ethic and focus and we were also able to great things with attendance and marketing. So, you want to see all those things mesh and come together. It's all those things working together that will bring great success.

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