Q - Coach, how about Hamady N'diaye? Did you coach him last year?
A - Yeah, I coached some games last year as a fill-in coach, so I was able to coach him a little bit as well.
Q - What can you say about him? He hasn't been playing basketball that long. He's a little bigger this year. What do you think Rutgers has in him as a player, and what do you see for him down the road?
A - I think he's going to play a major role in their success, not just this year but the next couple of years. It's great to see how much he's improved from a mental point of view in regards to understanding the game. Physically things are starting to shape into form for him, so right now defensively he's a major presence. Right now he's getting some of the offensive skills that he's going to need to have a major impact for Rutgers in the next year and the years to follow.
Q - Do you believe that before his career is over that he's going to be an impact player in the Big East?
A - I believe so. I believe that with his size and his ability to get up and down the court the one thing that he has to get comfortable with is on the offensive end, and right now he's still unsure, but once he gets into a pet move, a jump hook, something he can rely on he really has the potential to be one of the best big men in the Big East.
Q - How about JR Inman? His game seems to be pretty complete. He's going to be a junior this year, he's a lot bigger. He can handle it, he can shoot it, he can do a lot of things. He seems like he can be an impact player, an All-Big East player this year. Do you think so?
A - Without question. JR has all the skills. He can step outside and shoot the ball, he can beat you off the dribble. His biggest thing right now is just the level of consistency, and generally when players are getting to that next level in regard to being an all Big East player, there's a level of consistency. And right now he has all the skills and the potential to get to that next level, so now it's just a matter of consistency from him - and I think he's not too far off from that.
Q - And Justin Sofman. He spent last year prepping. What would you say about his game from what you've seen so far?
A - I love his energy. Justin is a player that every team needs, because he does a lot of the intangibles. He has the ability to get loose balls as well as knock down the appropriate jump shot, and I think he has a major impact on Rutgers program as well, because he'll be the type of person that can stretch out the defense. For JR, when they're doubling down on JR or Hamady, as well as being able to spot up one of the guards and be able to penetrate and kick it out. So, he brings a lot of the intangibles that every team needs, and it's great that Rutgers has the opportunity to use him in their system
Q - I don't want to leave anybody out. How about invited walk-on, Charlie Rigogliosi?
A - He brings a lot of energy. Right now, it's his energy. His ability to understand
the pace of the game is not there yet, but by the time he gets to pre-season
you see he has the ability to shoot the ball. He has the
tenacity on defense, and really tries to get after it. So he's really going
to be able to give them what they need from a practice standpoint on a day-in,
day-out basis, and he should have an opportunity to contribute to Rutgers in
some form over the next couple of years.
In Part 2, we'll hear from Kean University Head Coach Sean Drennan, this year coaching Suydam Insurance, to get his impressions of Corey Chandler, Mike Coburn, Earl Pettis, Jaron Griffin, and Byron Joynes.