Head Coach Stan Heath
Head Coach Stan Heath
What are your feelings after the first game?
"We certainly had opportunities to win the game late, up by eight points, and positioned ourselves to win but didn't get the job done. I know these guys have a little bit of experience going through that in the past, but it's just not acceptable to me.
What were the biggest factors?
"We got off to a slow start, and we lost the battle in the paint, that's got to change. We've got to control the tempo and set the tone."
Did not having Kentrell make a difference?
"You never know how the game plays out if Gransberry would have played, but the difference in points in the paint and rebounds would be significantly different. We played the guys we had and we still should have won."
How big of an impact does Kentrell have on how the team does?
"The strength of our team is Kentrell, and he's going to garner so much attention, that he can make the guys around him better. He's not only effective scoring and passing, but how he affects the team."
What's the most important thing for this team to work on?
"Passing and ball handling, turnovers, and keep us in a place that we have a good chance to win games. It's important that other guys on our team step up and add in different ways whether it be shooting, ball handling, defense, all those different things."
What are your realistic expectations for the rest of the season?
"For us to play as hard as we can every single night, and to be a strong basketball team chemistry wise and do everything we can do win games. Our motto is simply to get better everyday. It's a daily thing of improvement, working hard, growing as a team, growing our chemistry.
Is making the Big East tourney still a goal?
"Right now we got to take things day by day, game by game. Right now if we played a Big East game we'd be in a lot of trouble to be honest with you, but come January were going to be a lot different team and a much better team."
What do you say to motivate the team?
"If we play hard, play smart and to our strength things can happen. Every year and that's the beauty of college basketball, there's always those teams that you don't think can do it, and you don't think can win a conference championship, and they come out of nowhere, and I've been part of those teams before. So it's exciting for me knowing that possibility exists and is a strong possibility, but there's a lot of work ahead of us to get to that point."
How much do you think the success of the football team will help the basketball program?
"Getting that energy and seeing how the students can fill up a stadium. They can provide so much energy and that's something that we sorely want in the Sun Dome and carry over to our season and build a home court advantage for us. From a recruiting standpoint, to be able to bring a kid in on a football game on a weekend is an exciting thing. It's a winning situation for all involved in USF athletics."
Do you think the football's team success is going to help fill the seats at the Sun Dome?
"I think so. To me it's about an atmosphere and an environment, and I've been to all the football games this year and I saw all the students having such a fun time, an enjoyable time. To me I think they can say we can go to the Sun dome and have a good time too. I think the possibility is there, and we have to build on it. I've already asked my team to reach out to the kids and students. When there in the student section at football games, and in class they're talking to kids because it makes for a very exciting environment when the students are involved."
Do you think the fans are ready to put the past behind them and support the basketball team?
"I don't see why not. I don't see why anyone wouldn't want to gravitate towards this team and give us a chance and see what we can do and jump on early. Just like what the football team, there is a lot of upside to what we can do with basketball. I came in very excited, but as time as gone on with the football season, my enthusiasm has grown tremendously, and again football has been like a lightning rod for me personally and my basketball players and everyone. I don't know if it's been that way in the past but it gives us and the other athletic programs here, that we can do it, we can compete at the highest level and have success."
Do you think the students have gotten a taste of school spirit?
"We want it be a contagious situation that they feed off what is happening and carry it over to the Sun dome. We got good players and good kids and are going to play exciting basketball. Couple that with winning and that's a good recipe for support."
How important is it to get fans in the Sun Dome?
"The home environment, getting loud, and making it very difficult for opponents is a huge thing. The Sun Dome has the potential to be a very loud environment and a very difficult place to play. I've been told that at times it's been that way in the past and we want to everything that we can to bring that atmosphere back to campus."
What are your feelings on recruiting?
"In recruiting, I think every year, you're looking at the things to sell, you're always looking at things that someone may try to knock you down. When you're the new kids on the block and were in one situation last year, and our trying to improve your self and move forward. You have to be prepared to answer those questions and make sure any recruit knows that we are a program that vying for championships, and that we have a model in front of us in our football program that's doing a great job, We just have to do a great job selling the great things of being in the city of Tampa, a good conference and that's what we do and we feel comfortable where we are with our recruiting and feel were going to have some good players in our future."
How is your first recruiting season going at USF?
Well it's still going but so far I think it's going good and has potential to be very good. The hardest thing when you start recruiting in your first year, you are so far behind. Even though I got the job in April, a lot of kids have already committed and made their choice, so maybe fifty percent that you would look at are already gone. So we're not necessarily looking at the same pool of kids that we will have next year."
Since your playing from behind what is your recruiting strategy this year?
"Are thing right now is lets keep kids in our program that are going to improve are basketball team and from a future standpoint will have the ability to be very good players. We're not necessarily looking at kids that are one and done and come in a change things right away, but we are looking at guys that are very solid players that can contribute and sometimes that can surprise you. I think we're laying a foundation is going to make next years class even better."
How many kids are you looking at taking this year?
"I can't comment on any commits, but we have three available scholarships available, and can possibly look at a fourth in case of a player not being here so we always continue to recruit."
Does success with the football team help out in terms of recruiting?
"In some ways yes, in the sense that the campus environment is a selling point and the environment here right now is off the hook. But there are still other factors that are going to be stronger then how our football team does. It's going to be how I fit in, playing time, what the system is like and if it fits there style, academics, location, will all supersede how the football team is doing, but it is important."
What do you think are the biggest factors to recruits?
"Playing time, that's always top of the list, conference and exposure, the value of an education and what a degree in that school will do for you."
Does being in the Big East make a good selling point?
"Playing in the Big East, you know it's an outstanding conference and there is going to outstanding basketball played every night, and good exposure because of that."
Does all the added attention in the media with the football team help in establishing the USF brand name while recruiting?
"To be honest with you the guys that we're involved with right now, we're involved with well before the football season even started, so it didn't even have a factor. But as we go forward and start recruiting juniors, the younger guys it could help open the door, and it's are job to bust it open. I would think it will have more of an impact in the future classes."
USFNation.com - Get it First, Get it Fast!