Head coach Mark Adams spoke to the media last week and I did have time (not sure when) to do a non-transcript.
- Daniel Batcho & KJ Allen. Impressed with both of those guys, made huge progress. Batcho is a different player, separating himself in practice, including 3-point shooting. A different player and impressed with his progress. Daniel has a chance to play in the NBA.
- Have the best S&T coach in Coach Darby, big part of our culture, getting guys ready mentally. Our guys are in great shape, most all of them gain weight where they need to gain weight.
- Love to talk about last year, a great team and had some great leadership from Bryson, a totally different team, a lot older players, but half this team is underclassmen. Don’t have the length, but will be a much better 3-point shooting team, more players as combo-guards and should be more efficient on offense. Will play hard and together. Have 4 freshmen, the underclassmen have a high ceiling.
- Aimaq is big on and off the floor, a great leader, is fun to be around. More skill than any big guy, can shot in and outside. Was defensive player of the year, in practice he has fit in well. Elijah Fisher may be the youngest player in Division I, 6’6″ and can play 4 positions. How tough and physical he is, he mixes it up well and doesn’t shy away from competition.
- Clarence Nadolny, love him, and hoping he would stay. He’s all about teamwork and will miss his culture, he chose to go closer to home and play professional basketball. Are top-heavy on the guards.
- Excited about the future and have high expectations. Remind this group of guys were were 18-0 at home and our fanbase expects a lot out of them. It’s a tall order, but they have embraced that. Pleased with intensity in practice.
- Most Division I coaches, these rosters are changing all of the time, just a wave of the future, my background as a junior college coach it is easier. Key is chemistry and learn the system and understand if we can play unselfish and play for each other, make easy passes, take a charge. Get them away from that individualism. They are focused on what’s important.
- In this profession, you just try to get the best players you can but do the due diligence on guys who want to be coached. Talk to previous coaches. We still have a lot of new players, these guys have a lot of energy and want to be coached. They made huge strides back from June 1st.
- Fisher, there is always some adjustment, those that can make those adjustments will be more successful and timely adjustments. Elijah has a high basketball IQ and has made that adjustment quickly. Really pleased with Lamar Washington, Robert Jennings, excited to get Pop back and he has a high IQ.
- Jaylon Tyson, very fortunate to get him at Christmas and be with us in the spring. Gave him a lot of momentum. He’s 6’6″ and athletic, can score on all 3 levels and has a huge upside. Has played well including the 3-ball.
- Too much criticism on the offense (he’s joking) Williams and I will head up the defense, we have 2 big guys to play. Moving our offense to get our best players on the floor, Batcho, Fardaws, excited about that and push the ball more. We did finish 3rd int he Big 12 in scoring and FG%.
- Malik Ondigo, really understands our culture, he’s had a nagging foot injury. Great attitude, was on the Final Four team. Reminds what is important and what is not.
- Kevin Obanor was 3-point shooting, he’s worked so hard this summer in creating his own shot. He’s so much better than he was last year. Defensively he came in not totally bought in and I thought he was a really good defensive player later in the season. more complete player than last year.
- Da’vion Harmon is huge, has a lot of experience, has another veteran. has great personality and bubbly personality. His personality is as important as leadership. he’s been coachable and will be a key ingredient.
- D’Marion Williams is one of the first signees has D-I experience, shot well from 3-point line. Brought in guys like D’Marion and Kerwin Walton, he broke a lot of records at the 3-point line and more athletic than we thought. Have a whole team that can shoot three’s.
- We haven’t had a true point guard since Keenan Evans. We have 3 or 4 guys who can play the point. Their decision making is better and can make play. may put 2 or 3 combo guards out there. Really good to get Pop back on the floor on Monday.
- Pop Pop injury was nearly identical to Clarence, he’s back 2 to 3 weeks early. Reads the floor well and can shoot the ball well from the outside. He’ll have to make that adjustment.
- It makes our team unique with 2 7-footers on both ends of the floor, especially with Fardaws, we’re changing a few things, gives us more flexibility and playing them at the same time.
- What I’ve learned is to have a lot of faith and God is going to take care of me and I’m so blessed to be the head coach here. Being here in West Texas, it is appreciate the good people out here and put a team on the floor that is as competitive. We will fight every game, play defense and fans be proud of the way we play.
- It is a combination of things, starts with our fans and building a legacy, great fans support, these things help us get the right players, our social media is off the chart and the success, still the third winningest team over the last 3 years, guys can show off their talents and prepare them for the next level and players want to be in a defensive program. Need guys to write more stories about taking charges.
Not mentioned was that news broke that Fardaws Aimaq hurt his foot. It was originally reported that Aimaq broke his foot, but the release by the school says that it is a “foot injury”. I don’t think that the media knew about Aimaq’s injury during the press conference. The vagueness of the injury description is probably intentional. If it is a broken foot maybe the fractures take 6 to 8 weeks to heal and that could be December if we’re being really conservative. I dunno, not a doctor, but am being hopeful for a quick return.
Texas Tech provided a statement on Fardaws Aimaq. pic.twitter.com/qu2J6iEHnR
— Carlos Silva Jr. (@cmsilvajr) September 22, 2022
The Big 12 announced the basketball schedules for the conference and it’s fine. It’s a schedule for humans.
12/31 @ TCU
1/10 @ Iowa State
1/14 @ Texas
1/21 @ Kansas State
1/25 West Virginia
1/30 Iowa State
2/4 @ Baylor
2/8 @ Oklahoma State
2/11 Kansas State
2/18 @ West Virginia
2/21 @ Oklahoma
2/28 @ Kansas
3/4 Oklahoma State