There was a basketball media day yesterday at Magness Arena. There were two big takeaways:
First, if you expect a kinder, gentler Joe Scott - forget about it. He is still as focused, determined and intense as he has always been. He knows one way to prepare his teams for the regular season and one way to coach so if you expect lots of love pats and 'nice try' - you will have to find another source of entertainment.
Second, if you expect player push-back against this intensity - forget about that, too. They understand the coaching style, are used to coaching intensity, and believe it will put them in a position to be successful in game situations and meet their underlying goal to 'get better every day".
Red-shirt senior Marcus Byrd (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) knows there will be a learning curve with such a young team, but he said the coaching staff is successfully helping the team adjust.
“Some of the strengths I would say are definitely starting from the coaching staff,” Byrd said. “Really giving direction to people like where to go, what to do. Telling people to focus on their strengths in the game, so if people aren’t necessarily great shooters, trying to get some drives… So I’d say the coach leadership has been great. From the players, everyone is kind of realizing that we have to come together as a team… Using our maturity from the older guys and knowing how hard games are, and trying to get the freshmen and the younger guys to realize that if we come together as a team we can beat anybody.”
Freshman Thomas Neff (Arvada, Colo.) said that the team is already coming together. “Strengths as a team, I think we play together really well,” Neff said. “We have some pretty good team chemistry, and we have some guys that can really shoot it and some people who are really tough.”
“As a team, I just want to get better every day,” senior Bryant Rucker (Frisco, Texas) said. “We have potential to be a great team, so getting better every day and showing progress every day [is our goal].”
There is a Player Advisory group that will meet regularly with the coaching staff this year so expect solid alignment between players and coaches, especially during rough patches.
In an article in Mile High Sports, when asked whether Scott’s tactics might act as a deterrence to young players and recruits, freshman Bradley George said absolutely not.
“Not at all, my high school coach was just as intense. The difference is, the reasons behind it. Every step every move must be done with a purpose and type of precision that only he knows. That is the difference, and if we get on board, I am sure that he will put us in the right places.”
Joe Scott spoke about three things: discipline, youth and execution. “The more discipline you have the more responsibility you get. When you combine responsibility and discipline, comes freedom. That’s when you can get creative”.
In The Denver Post last week Joe Scott said, "The best part about it is you get the youthfulness, you get the energy. They are great listeners and they want to get better. Our staff knows what the challenges are, so that presents clear and concise teaching methods. It's refreshing to go out there and get back to the basics of who we are as a program."