Coach Thompson comes to just about every game and those guys who played for him and Coach Baggot talk about how they used to just terrorize teams with their defense. Coach Hicks is here a lot and we talk a lot, and his teams obviously were great defensively. … That tradition is an advantage we have.
This is my last swimming meet as a coach, and it's kind of a strange feeling because I've wanted to be a swimming coach since I was 12-years-old, ... The biggest thing I'm going to miss is being a partner with the athletes and living their dreams. I just loved that, and I'm going to miss it a lot. But, I'm closing out this phase of my life, and I'm very excited about where I'm headed.
We just didn't do the job, offensively or defensively. They are a good club, but they certainly aren't 10-0 better than us. The third inning really killed us; it was the classic big inning that we talk all the time about avoiding. When you play good clubs like this, you just can't do that. It just took us out of the game, and then we didn't take any advantage of any of the opportunities that we had after that.
Coach talked to us at halftime about when you think about it, one play in a big game, one mental mistake, can cost us. So many of us are so hungry for playing time, we know that coach can easily replace us if we make that mental mistake. I just took it as another learning experience in college basketball. And in the second half, I calmed down. I'm learning to take what they give me.
I knew Ed's intentions were good. Ed is just a basketball guy and that's what I appreciate about him the most. He's going to add a lot to any bench he chooses to be on. He's a big part of our history and tradition here. I think if I had been here five years instead of 17 years, I would have still felt good about him coming over here because I know him so well.
I actually feel bad for our guys in some ways. We talked about it between the second and third periods. We're just pressing so hard trying to score. It's a tough feeling as a coach; you want to try and help them through it but there's not a lot you can do. That's something as a team you've got to sort out.
Coach Lee is very knowledgeable about the game, ... He's made me better. He'll make comments in practice like, 'You can't get away with that in the major leagues.' I used to field and I'd take a couple of shuffles. He'll say, 'The game is a lot faster there you have to field in rhythm.' He's harder on me than he is anyone else.
We're young, no question about that. But we're lucky because we have some pretty good players. I wouldn't count us out. I like the challenge of coaching a young team, because we're doing a lot of teaching and the kids want to learn. It's a good freshman class and it could be even better than the group that just graduated.