Tony Barbee speaks
GannettWorldCup.com has been rollin' along with the little soccer tournament in Africa. Thanks to E-Bro, Eddie, Peter, Scott Chocolate, ehyou and Jimmy for hanging out over there.
So what do we have here today?
Your new men's basketball coach, Tony Barbee, participated in the SEC's summer teleconference. We didn't learn a lot per se, but he spoke. And we listened.
- On the team's situation heading into Barbee's first season:
``We're starting over having lost 80 percent of our scoring and 80 percent of our rebounding. The majority of our team being either freshmen or sophomores and only two returning juniors and only really one of those played in Frankie Sullivan. We're starting over, but it's exciting to start over in that way because you get the chance to mold a younger group of players who haven't been set in their ways having gone through a system for several years. It's going to be kind of like molding clay. Every day is going to bring a different challenge especially with Frankie Sullivan, an experienced guard. I think he is a solid guard in this league. Beyond that, we don't have much experience left. It's starting over."
- On Luke Cothran, the power forward signee who is expected to be very good:
``I think Luke brings us a different level of talent to this program than this program has seen in quite some time. He's one of those 6-foot-8 or 6-foot-9 hybrid forwards that can score from different angles from the perimeter and obviously the 3-point line. He's great around the basket because he's got great feet for a big man. He's got a knack for rebounding the ball, so there's no question he'll bring a lot to the team as a freshman."
- On anything he's learned so far in terms of evaluating current players:
``Anytime you take over a new position, you go through a pretty long evaluation process and we're still in that phase with the limited amount of access that I've had to my returning players and to the incoming recruits. Anytime a new coach takes over, there's always transition. You've got to make sure it's a fit both ways, for the player and for myself and my staff and for my system and how we are going to do things. I'm pretty pleased with how the current team is shaping up with the returners from last year's team and with the signees that we were able to put together here in the late spring signing period."
- On Frankie Sullivan:
``Frankie is a kid that I have known for a long time. He used to come to our camps when I was at Memphis as an assistant there, so I've known him for a long time. He's one of those guys that you want your entire team to play like, with reckless abandon. He's not going to back down no matter who he plays against. That's what Frankie brings to the court and, hopefully, he's going to step up in a leadership role now. He's one of the veterans that we have on this team. Frankie brings you a guy who can put points on the board. With the type of offense I'd like to run here depending on the personnel we have based around the dribble-drive and attacking the paint, whether it's on the drive or the post-up, I think Frankie will be able to be very productive in this offense."
Photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University
Questions? Comments? Post directly to the blog below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.