Smith Talks Continuity. The Big 12 held their Media Day yesterday in Kansas City. Here you can find the Big 12 Media Day Central with transcripts of all of the coaches, and eventually the players.
Texas Tech head coach Tubby Smith talked about about consistency and the culture change at Texas Tech (PDF), saying that it takes time to make those sorts of changes in having players believe in the coaches and the program:
I don't know that it's -- it's always a challenge wherever you are, year in and year out, to try to -- I think -- you know, keeping players believing. We lost some talented players through graduation and to transfers. So getting those guys to understand that you've got to trust in the coaching staff, trust that we're going to get things done, trust in the administration and the things that we're doing, that we're making the necessary changes or improving the areas that we need to improve on to recruit the talented players. The biggest challenge is to get everybody on the same page, from fans right on down to -- up to the administration.
Smith also talked about how consistency and continuity is the key and in year two for Smith, he knows that it is about growing the program and that you have to have consistency and continuity (emphasis mine):
Consistency and continuity is the key to any program that has had long tradition and built tradition and success over a long period of time. You'll find that a coach has been in place for a long period of time, and they've been able to grow their program. So those things are going to be critical. I guess this is the first time in five years the coaches will have been there for two years in a row. So we'll see how it goes. Again, there are a lot of things that take place, and you can pinpoint whether it's in basketball or any sport where there's a lot of transition from coaches to players. It's hard to get that consistency and that continuity. So it is critical that we continue as people want to -- they want to focus on what's happening at the time, especially with players. They're the ones that have to adapt and adjust to a new system and a new style. But with another year under our belt, hopefully, our guys -- and I can see it already. We have a lot of new faces. The returning players and the veteran players understand the drills and what we want done, and they're able to communicate that to the other players.
It is strange reading those words, the one emphasized and the words after that, that having a coach in place for a long period of time is really the key to growing a program. It's not strange because they surprise me, but it's really something to consider when thinking about the football program. Consistency can be a huge part of a program's success and without that patience, then there is no question that a program will be on a treadmill of poor results and at the very best, mediocrity.
Smith also talked about the new players and how they have taken to the coaching and willingness to learn:
It's been good. I've been very pleasantly pleased with our progress, especially with seven new faces, five freshmen. So we're a young team that's -- the good thing about it, we've had opportunities in the fall with the individual workouts to develop some individual skills, but I've been impressed with their coachability and their willingness to learn and accept teaching and coaching. So that's a big start.
Players Talk. The LAJ also wrote about the consistency that Smith brings and also talked with Smith and SG Toddrick Gotcher about some of the post players that will make an impact on this year's team:
Freshmen Isaiah Manderson and Norense Odiase are strong candidates at center, while JUCO transfer Justin Jamison and freshman Zach Smith (who could eventually swing out to small forward) are set at power forward.
"They can get up the court fast," Gotcher said. "We have size. I'm really excited about this year and what we're going to bring with a lot of new faces."
Miscellaneous. The official Big 12 site has a notebook sort of article with all sorts of links and things from yesterday . . . we also get a similar notebooky article from the Ft. Worth Star Telegram . . . the LAJ has a preview of the Big 12 . . . an excellent roundup of 5 things, including some good thoughts on officiating, from ESPN's Eamonn Brennan . . .