Mark Few's ESPN Chat Transcription
Nov. 24, 1999
Mark Few: The biggest obstacle will be that we are playing with a giant bullseye on our foreheads. In most cases, teams are fired up and ready to play us. Last year, we could sneak up on people that didn't know much about our program. As far as the Elite Eight is concerned, that's a combo of getting hot and lucky at the same time, too.
Mark Few: Joe -- I have the same questions as you. The way it turned out is rather unfortunate. We want to play the big games, but not in a nine-day period. As far as preparation, in the off-season, we worked hard at our conditioning so we should be ready to play that amount of games in a short period. From a coaching standpoint, we'll have to shorten practices and really make sure we save our legs so that we're ready to peak at the right time. Andy Katz talked me into that crazy schedule.
Mark Few: I began coaching at my old high school when I got out of college. I was able to meet some people working summer camps and ended up becoming good friends with Monson. He invited me up and the rest is history. Every coach has a different story, but it all revolves around staying committed and keeping with it. You also have to be in the right place at the right time and treat every job as if its the bigtime. Concentrate on where you are, not where its going to get you.
Mark Few: My thoughts are that he is the greatest point guard to ever play. The most impressive thing is the balance he has in his life and how important his family has stayed throughout his career. He doesn't get caught up in the hype and hoopla and remains down to earth. You couldn't pick a better ambassador for our program than John. The work that he does with our team in the off-season has an unbelievable impact on us throughout the year.
Mark Few: When you have seven of your top ten returning, it will be difficult. But, two guys we are counting on are Jimmy Tricco -- a 6-6 wing out of Phoenix -- and Zack Gourde -- a 6-9 post, who will be a redshirt freshman.
Mark Few: If I tell you that, I will have to kill you. Just kidding. We'll keep running the same motion and flex sets we have in the past. I was responsible for the offense the past three years so we'll be similar to what we've been in the past. We have confidence in what we're doing.
Mark Few: Success breeds success. As we've gotten better, we've been able to continue to attract more and more talented players. We keep trying to raise the bar each year. This senior class has set the standard pretty high. We're pleased with the two kids we signed earlier this year, too. If the kid is truly interested in basketball, he'll put that at the top of the list and we've got a good chance then.
P.S. How is the golf game?
Mark Few: Great to hear from you, Mike. I still have the bad baseball grip, but I'm working the ball well from right to left. I still use mulligans liberally. What catapulted us to that level was special. As a staff, everything came together. We had great depth. Quentin and Jeremy were both in NBA camps and are playing overseas for money. Losing their talent and their leadership hurts a lot. Every team is different so we're still in the process of forming our identitiy for this season.
P.S. -- I've found your trout farm and the secret is out. I plan on many returns.
Mark Few: Jim -- I don't know of anyone that can consistently compete with those three, but Axel has done a great job beefing up this year and he seems primed for a big year. It will probably be a combination of people that will help him battle those big men, too. If you know of any other big bodies, too, we're open to tips.
Mark Few: Not at all. We look upon those game as big as any as we play because they are for bragging rights. We're well aware of the problems their programs present for us. We're looking for a typical rival type matchup with both of those teams.
Mark Few: It was assumed that I would be his successor, but he offered me the position of driver on his staff because he's known throughout the land as a rather poor navigator and driver. I've offered my services on my off days.
Mark Few: Well as Matt Santangelo put it last year, he wouldn't want any of the coaches here writing his papers. The combined GPA of our staff might add up to that of one of our players. Seriously, we're well aware of the problems that have gone on at other schools. The type of players we recruit generally aren't the type to have others do their work. Because we are so small, we are able to keep a pretty good handle on it.
Mark Few: The first thing that stands out is that he is much stronger. I don't think that was from the games, but probably from his normal off-season workouts. The main thing I've noticed is his confidence. He knows he can play with anyone in the country. All those experiences with his teammates and the gold-medal team in Spain have done wonders for developing his confidence and overall mentality.
Mark Few: Thanks for all the questions. I hope everyone will continue to support us like they did during our run last year. Have patience through our monster schedule in December, too. Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving.
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