Sound Bites: Johnny Dawkins Hire

Hear from's Dave Telep, Stanford's Mitch Johnson and Law Hill, and the man himself, Johnny Dawkins.

Dave Telep, National Recruiting Director, As a coach, what's Dawkins' style? What are his strengths and weaknesses?

Dave Telep: Coach Dawkins was a smooth, aggressive player. He's regarded as one of the gentlemen of college basketball. Easy going and engaging, he's a statesman and is regarded as the most talented player in the modern history of Duke basketball.

TB: Duke players haven't done so well in the NBA over the past decade. He's been in charge of player development over the past decade. Is that somewhat his fault?

DT: Incorrect statement. Duke has put a slew of players in the pros in the past decade — Grant Hill, Elton Brand, Shane Battier and Jason Williams would have been an all-star had he not crashed his bike. Bobby Hurley's career ended prematurely, Corey Maggette is a long time pro. Ditto for Deng, Dunleavy, Boozer, etc.

TB: His recruiting -- we'd heard through the grapevine he's not in love with recruiting. Is that true? How hard will he beat the trails to land kids?

DT: The challenge for Coach Dawkins will be transitioning to a greater role and involvement in recruiting. At Duke was part of a team of talented coaches with an elite pool of talent to select from. At Stanford he's going to have to work with a more limiting pool, mainly for academic reasons. His staff will be his lifeline. He'll be strong in the home because of his reputation and demeanor.

TB: How successful might he be recruiting against Duke? That'd have to be awkward for him. For example, Miles Plumlee. What's the latest on him?

DT: Recruiting against Duke isn't easy. I'm sure there will be kids that they tussle over and each scenario is different. If Dawkins starts beating Duke regularly, that's a great sign. The challenge won't be beating Duke. It'll be making sure he makes strong decisions for Stanford, identifies the talent pool early and successfully recruits the Stanford-type kid.

As for Plumlee, I think at this stage he and his family are resigned to looking elsewhere and I think Duke is taking this opportunity to recruit him and may in fact evolve into the team to beat.

Mitch Johnson

He definitely knows what he's talking about. Leading player development, and now, as a head coach, it'll be his own stamp

On the past few weeks:

A lot of people learned a lot or a little more about college basketball. College basketball is still a business so much more than just playing basketball. People maybe found that out, some of whom weren't aware of that. But as close as we were, this hasn't changed our chemistry. Just except some of us are even closer now.

On personnel changes:

No matter who the coach is, it wasn't going to be the same as last year, with no Taj, no twins. We can't pound, pound down low. Josh and Will Paul are great bigs, but they're different bigs. I think we can do things on the perimeter and the motion offense can help

On Miles Plumlee:

I don't have a sense in that. Obviously for a kid coming into college, it's so hard to know. It has to be the best decision for him and his family. I had a great time with him and I wish him the best.

On his impressions of Dawkins:

Very straightforward. His demeanor is probably laid back and calm, but very intense and competitive about the game of basketball. He seemed very fair. We all know what we're going to get.

On Dawkins' career:

For someone to say you're going to have an All-American coach at Duke and in the NBA for nine years and the top assistant in the nation and the same size and stature as you, it kind of fits like a glove. I'm definitely excited.

On the coaching switch:

It's never been that big of a deal because I always thought our team would always be our team. Coach J, now Stanford brings in a great guy, no matter who it is, none of us are underclassmen -- to us Josh isn't – and to us it's just a matter of what's it going to do for us.

On his relationship with Trent Johnson:

We haven't talked. It's a matter of both of us are busy and have a lot of work to do.

Law Hill

No one thinks about Coach moving or a player transferring. When Tim Morris transferred, we thought that was kind of weird. It's whatever fits you -- I wish him the best and know he'll be successful there.

On his summer:

I'm going to go out there and play hard. This year, I know we have a goal to win games, and I'll do whatever it takes.

On how last season affects his approach looking forward:

I'm not going to take anything away from how things went. It can be put on my own shoulders now. I know this is my last year and it's up to me to work hard, be someone like Taj, I'd like to be. Go out and give it my all. It doesn't matter if he scores, you know he's a vital part of team.

Johnny Dawkins

I'm definitely going to spend a lot of time watching tape of personnel, who we have and where we are.

On not releasing Plumlee from his LOI:

I don't personally believe in that. You always want kids who want to be in the program first and foremost. If a young man is not sure of his decision or feels it's not right, I'm a believer that kid should go where he feels most comfortable. You want Stanford kids here. You don't want an unhappy experience.

On whether the idea of him going to Duke would be a surprise:

For him, the universities are similar in a lot of ways. Nothing would surprise me.

On the importance of the 2009 class in recruiting:

That's why I'm going to get out right now, get out and see a couple kids before Wednesday ends. And July is also very important also, to see as many kids as possible.

On whether he'd consider himself similar to the other former Duke assistant coaches turned head coaches, [many of whom have struggled in their new jobs]:

We all are very different. Each one of the guys is unique and different. They all followed their paths.

Dawkins then describes Amaker, Quinn Snyder, Mike Brey and others' personalities.

On how he would classify his personality relative to this Duke group:

I hope I'm as classy as anyone. They're all different. All great guys.

On taking a head-coaching job:

I never was really looking at a timetable to be a head coach. I was an associate head coach at an amazing program. For me, I knew where I sitting with Coach and our relationship and for me it was just an amazing opportunity. This is so similar – I've always looked at this University in the sense that it has the same special qualities from when I was at Duke.

On his house in Durham:

We're going to keep that house for the time being because my parents may be moving down to Durham. We're going to look for housing [in the Bay] as soon as possible. I'll get something temporary until I can get housing. I'll find something temporary.

Telep was contacted Tuesday. All the other interviews occurred Monday, immediately after the Dawkins press conference.

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