Beard and Gerlich Discuss First Day of Practice

The head coaches discuss the first day of practice.

I told you that basketball week would continue. Men’s head coach Chris Beard and Lady raider head coach Krista Gerlich were made available for the first day of practice. I really couldn’t do a non-transcript because I did this with all three press conferences last night (also included Matt Wells) and I just ran out of time. I do think that if you read, you’ll get the gist of the press conferences and that’s always been the intent. I can’t say that I’ll always have time for the Lady Raiders, but I always try to do my best.

Head Coach Chris Beard:

* First day of practice, a lot of appreciation for the fans, and everyone involved in the program.

* Gives some early love to Kyler Edwards, lot of experience and one of the best guards in college basketball.

* Great opportunity for practice today. Allow to practice 42 days back and 30 practices. No exhibition games. Trying to figure out how to get through the 30 practices with no outside competition. Want to establish identity today.

* Should not have worn blue jeans or long pants for a fireside chat in the country. Rookie move. Appreciative of fans and students and just want to connect with the students.

* Work in progress for gelling together. Players and staff, led by Uric, helped with recruiting.

* A surreal ending to the season last year, really appreciated the journey. Live where your feet are. Appreciate every day.

* Great respect for players, mental toughness for the program and and see guys persevere and mental toughness how this team got through this. Tried to keep improving.

* This is a groomed beard and a lot of work goes into this. This is work. Never had a beard. The ladies in his life told him to do the beard and making the women in his life happy.

* Most looking forward to being back on the floor and appreciation of the game. I do reflect and reach out to mentors and coaches, day of focus and reflection. We have to get to work to develop chemistry and can’t take place until you play. We get 20 hours this week. Nice to see the guys play together.

* Leadership always starts with the returners. Need for transfers to be leaders, they have Division I experience. The freshmen are special leaders as well, Ready to follow those players too.

* We’ll try to go 2 straight days. Try to take off days based off of fatigue and legs. Try to go 2 straight back-to-back days.

* Comfortable gets you beat, win a game and then the let-down. Takes a special person to remain uncomfortable. Coach Knight likes to shake the tree sometimes. Uncomfortable is where growth comes from. We brace this, and if this group can stay uncomfortable and keep pushing we think we have a great chance to grow.

* By now, some of our identity is ingrained in our culture. John Reilly is the defender of our culture. Sometimes your team can change. Right now we have the chance of being a very good defensive team because of athleticism. On offense, we have a lot of depth and talent.

* We like our team, has to translate to the floor. There’s not going to be a game that we go into where we run out of time, we feel like we can win every game on this schedule.

* Work in progress, Sean Sutton is working tirelessly on the schedule. We are really close, and feel good about it. Playing some definitely NCAA Tournament teams. Like the balance we have, but we put together a schedule that checks the boxes, trying to stay off of airplanes this year. We’re days to a week from announcing the schedule.

* I hope it will be a really good defensive team with athleticism and length and not to put pressure on these guys, could be one of our best offensive teams, have back to the basket guys, could be really good on both sides of the ball.

* Tyreek Smith will be a redshirt freshman, Vlad Goldin is a big-time person and loves the game. Has the year of prep school and think he will be really good. Chibuzo Agbo is a player that isn’t getting talked about as much, but he will soon. Has humility and a work ethic and competitiveness. Nimari Burnett is a leader in a talent in where he is going to his game and a willing following in listening to Kyler. And Micah Peavy is the best player in Texas the last 2 years and has been coached at a high level and versatile, no position and can do it all. They are addicted to the work.

* Sent text messages to players, sent one to Brandone Francis and coaches that helped me advance. Always a day of reflection for me.

* Concerns me not having a home court advantage, my expectation is that we sell out every game, no matter the limit, and get the people to bring energy and cheer loud enough for 4 people. Not sure as to configuration, but can promise that he will be personally involved in those decisions.

* Tyreek Smith and Joel Ntambwe have a big chance to have big roles, when a player chooses a redshirt, but they didn’t. It is exciting and we tell players to run their own race. They have shown great toughness and patience.

* Have not made a decision on Jamarius Burton whether or not to redshirt and with Mac McClung, we are waiting on the waiver. We’ve done everything at Teas Tech and am in the waiting game.

* Will make an official announcement on next assistant coach, will have an adjustment in roles, will try to have an update on that sooner than later. We have not made an outside hire. Plan is to release the coaching staff when we release the schedule.

Lady Raider Head Coach Krista Gerlich:

* It was exciting and it got real, we have a short amount of time and a lot to do. Nice not to be rushed. Did a lot of teaching today.

* We still have some waivers to win, before eligibility is declared, when we have a full team, unfortunately Jada Walton is out for the season with an injury and as is Jo’nah Johnson. Vivan Gray and Bryn Gerlich, if they are deemed eligible, they will have a significant impact. Have 3 freshmen post players who are learning, they are going to help in the long-run.

* Lexi Gordon is so consistent and her energy and leadership is very consistent. Known Lexi for a long time and is our motor right now. Can score in a variety of ways and is hungry. Chrisylyn Carr, has not been in practice yet, maybe soon, trying to get through some health issues with her.

* It has been crazy, but very fun and could not do it without the staff helping me and it has been very helpful. The support staff at Texas Tech, have a lot of helpful people. Been fun too. This team is the most important priortity, but recruiting never stops.

* Nice to see Maka Jackson step up as a senior and have the players do the things they do best. Maka’s leadership and athletic ability, and is a defensive stopper.

* Have a good nucleus of tweeners, gorwards with guard skills, and can play them inside and outside, can play positionless basketball. Great mid-range jump shooters, and they are tough on the block. Been pleased with post-play and the eagerness of those freshmen to learn. Need the freshmen to grow up in a hurry. Are a bit thin with injuries in guard play.

* Should be able to release the schedule at the end of the week. Will open up on the 25th and think will have 6 non-conference games.

* Love that I’m getting to spend every day with Bryn.

* No timetable for moving into the Womble.


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