September 27, 2013
Ed Conroy talks about his young team as preseason practice starts
Tulane basketball coach Ed Conroy is rebuilding after losing Ricky Tarrant and Josh Davis to transfers after the Green Wave's first 20-win season since 2000, but he won't classify this season as a lost year as he welcomes seven scholarship freshmen to a roster with no returning player who averaged as much as 5.0 points. Two days before the start of preseason practice, he sat down with WaveReport.com publisher Guerry Smith and talked about his young team.
Here is the entire interview:
Do you like the new rules allowing preseason practice to start earlier?
"I do. I like it. There are a lot of things you have to manage. It's a long season. This basically puts us going from September 27th to April 5th or 7th, whenever that championship game is. It makes for a long season, but at the same time it gives you a chance to manage your days and let you manage your roster, where you're at health-wise, and also the learning process, which the latter part for us with as many young guys as we have really gives us a chance to space out their learning so you're not throwing it at them all at once. It allows you to maybe go more possessions in practice because you have space in between to recover.
"For this team this year with the youth that we have, I think it's really beneficial."
What are your thoughts about having seven scholarship freshman and eight freshmen overall?
"Really excited. I think this group has a lot of potential. Obviously the early part of the season and especially these early practices are going to be a little bit of an adventure because it is all so new. But I've been in this position before, and I think a lot of it's become a reality in all the sports and certainly college basketball where you have a lot of roster turnover. You need to be able to teach and teach quickly, and players need to be able to adjust. It will be great to get out there on the floor on Friday."
Lou Dabney was never healthy last year as he recovered from an ACL tear as a senior at Riverside High. How much better will be now that he had an offseason to rest that knee and get it stronger.
"Lou is one of those guys. Of our returning guys, Lou and Tre (Drye) and Jay (Hook) and Kevin (Thomas) have all had great summers. They benefit from the rules that have been in place two years now where you can do summer workouts. But I also think they have benefitted because they've gone through a lot. They've had game experience but they've been through some of the ups and downs of college basketball and they've bonded. They are a really close group right now. They've brought a determination to their offseason workouts to really push themselves and improve.
"I think Lou is a perfect example of that. No question he can provide us leadership on the court and off the court. He has a toughness that I've always talked about that I don't think people saw because he wasn't on the floor for such long stretches. He's a guy that can play about any position on the floor because he's just that competitive. He brings to the game whatever the game needs, so when he's inside he's tough enough to bang, and when he's outside, he's hard for another guard to keep in front of him because he has that physicality."
Will he play the point this year? He backed up Ricky Tarrant there last season.
"What's really valuable about Lou, no question he's going to play out there at the point for us this year, but also pending the improvement of young guys, and what happens with young guys a lot of times is they improve in phases. A guy might not be a great player in October and November but he might be there in January and February. As our lineup evolves, then I think Lou can plug in at different places, and so he can slide over to another spot for a few minutes to give a guy another chance off the bench, and that's going to be great for our team and give some of these young guys a chance."
...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now for a FREE Trial