Stephen Pianovich (@SPianovich)
BALTIMORE – The Colonial Athletic Association held its annual media day on Tuesday with the league’s 10 head coaches discussing the upcoming season, which starts in less than three weeks.
Both Delaware and Drexel are coming off 9-9 seasons in the league and both are pursuing above-.500 finishes season. The Dragons’ Bruiser Flint and Blue Hens’ Monte Ross spoke on a handful of topics in Baltimore. Here is a selection of some of their more intriguing quotes:
Drexel's Bruiser Flint
How are things shaping up in the backcourt? Do you have an idea of who’s going to start?
“Not necessarily. We got scrimmages coming up. We have a lot of guys coming back who played a lot, but were playing at different times due to injuries. I think as it goes on, things will work out as they’re supposed to.”
On Major Canady, Rashann London and Terrell Allen’s dynamic…
“Rashann can play a little bit more out on the wing than those other guys. So I pretty much had him at both positions, but the other guys have been primarily playing the point. In that respect, Rashann will be able to play with either one of those other two guys, that’s not going to be an issue. And if we need him to, he’ll go to the point.”
On having a much healthier and deeper roster than last year…
“Any coach will talk about getting their team prepared, and when you only have six or seven guys, it was hard to do that. We couldn’t prepare the right way. Now, having enough to be able to scrimmage, I think we’re doing a better job of preparing for game situations and that kind of thing. Hopefully, we’ll be able to stay healthy and we can do that throughout the whole season. …It was really hard (last season). We’d go on the road, and we’d only have seven players sometimes on the road. People would tease us in the stands and even at walkthroughs.”
Do you have a read on who will fill the role of leading scorer without Damion Lee?
“Those things will all come out when we start playing. I’m not worried about that.”
Any surprises so far?
“The only surprise I’ve really had so far has probably been Terrell (Allen). He’s playing a lot better as a freshman than I thought he would be at this point in time. Everyone else is doing what I expected.”
What has Terrell done well?
“He’s got a really good feel for what he’s doing out there as a young player. We’re going to start getting in game situations, and we’ll really see how it translates. …The kid is a great passer, and the guys love playing with him because he gets them the ball.”
Delaware's Monte Ross
On finding leadership without Kyle Anderson…
“That is being filled mostly by Kory Holden, but there are other leadership instances where Marvin King-Davis will need to step forward for this reason: Marvin has won a championship and has played in a championship. He understands the rigors of having to win three games in a CAA Tournament. Kory doesn’t know that but can give us leadership in other areas.”
On Maurice Jeffers staying consistent…
“The reason why he is up-and-down is because he’s in foul trouble. If he can stay out of foul trouble, he can be a force. He can score with his back to the basket with anybody in the league. And that’s a great luxury to have.”
Does the start to last season (going 0-10) make you do anything differently leading into this year?
“No. I think one of the things that came out of it was the togetherness of our team. We could have splintered but we didn’t. I think that chemistry, that togetherness and the understanding that things are not always going to go your way, and when they don’t, you need to still be able to stay with it will benefit us. And that’s what they did last year.”
What’s been one of the biggest focuses so far in practice?
“We’ve worked a lot on offensive efficiency. I think our rebounding has been a focus, too. And not giving up layups. We want to be strong defensively and it starts there. And we want to get some easy baskets ourselves.”
On Cazmon Hayes’ scoring output…
“He had some nights last year where he went and scored the basketball. It has to be a consistency thing and he has to do it on a nightly basis. All of those guys are going to get opportunities. …He’s probably more confident (than last season). He understands what he has to do and what it takes to be successful in the league.”
On how he sees the league playing out…
“I think it’s going to be difficult to pick who is going to do well. It’s such a balanced league. Hofstra does have the preseason Player of the Year, so that does set them apart. But I think it’s going to really be a well-balanced and really competitive league. And an exciting league for the fans and the media – I don’t know if coaches want that excitement.”