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by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Lowe's Senior CLASS, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.

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TSU's Johnny Jones: "We have got to create the environment."


August 16, 2018

Listen to Johnny Jones, new head coach of Texas Southern University's men's basketball program, discuss his coaching staff, recruiting, connecting with TSU's students, alums, and fans; and more...

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00:00 -- Introduction
00:15 -- Coach Jones is thrilled and excited with everything going around the program
00:30 -- Hit the ground running to recruit in July
01:29 -- Coach Jones discusses the coaches on his staff
03:39 -- Coach Jones discusses recruiting and expanding their recruiting logs
04:52 -- 13 guys on scholarship on the 2018-'19 roster

"We have 13 guys on scholarship right now. We're excited about that. But, at the same time, we're looking to add maybe a couple of additional guys.

"We'll have tryouts in the first of October; and, we've had a lot of people that have shown a great deal of interest of being a part of the program. So, we'll have tryouts early October prior to getting started with regular season practices. Hoping to add a couple more pieces to what we're doing.

"If we can get 2 to maybe 3 more guys, which gives us 15 to 16 which will give us three complete teams; so, when we're running scout team, we'll have someone to work against as well as put ourselves in position to make sure in practice that we're not over-working guys. Then, we'll have other guys that can get in and have some reps and get stuff as well to try and prevent injury."

06:01 -- Reaction to walking into gyms in July with TSU on his chest
07:01 -- Coach Jones says there were people who tried to deter him from applying for the TSU job

"Oh, absolutely! A lot of people and for the wrong reasons. Some of them may have been trying to get the job."

09:07 -- Coach Jones mentions the few differences between his coaching style and Coach Mike Davis' coaching style
10:39 -- Meeting and spending time with students on campus

"We certainly have got to create the environment. We can't expect them to come to us. We'll go out and reach out to them. I'm looking forward to school getting started on the 27th and being out there on the Tiger Walk and have an opportunity to mingle and be a part of our student body."

11:49 -- Coach Jones: "We've got several guys that are back that were on last year's team."

"Some of the key guys that I'm real excited about is Trayvon Reed who is 7'1", 7'2". Tremendous player. Shot-blocker. Finisher around the rim. He can really rebound the basketball and certainly present a great presence inside for us. When you've got guys in the center part like that, that means a lot."

"We've had a couple of that of guys that have transferred in that I think will be pretty good: Jalen Patterson who is transferring in from LSU. A fifth year guy who can play. Point guard Jeremy Combs is going to be a fifth year guy transferring in as well."

"There are a number of guys who are returning. Cainan McClelland who played some positive minutes for the team. Rob Lewis will be returning."

13:40 -- Expectations for the 2018-'19 team

"We look forward to teaching. It won't happen overnight. We certainly understand that; but, we think that we have a good core of guys that will buy in to what we're trying to do and what we're trying to accomplish. They will have our vision in what we need to get done to make sure we're hopeful at the end of the year as where we need to be and that's postseason play."

15:00 -- In your (30) years of coaching, how has the style of basketball changed?

16:27 -- This year's team will shoot a lot of threes

"We've got some great shooters on this team; and, we'll certainly play inside out. If we can get in the gaps, force help, get guys spotting up at the three-point line, we'll take those shots; and, we'll take them at a high volume. But, we will work extremely hard in practice on our shooting then try to be perfectionists in making sure that we can shoot a high percentage in that volume. Knocking down and being a really good three-point shooting team will certainly take you a long way."

17:22 -- Get rid of the 5-second count on the held ball

18:07 -- Message to the fans to come see the team play this year

"Well, I'm looking forward to our fanbase coming out and supporting this basketball team. We're certainly going to reach out in every avenue. We're going to get out in the community. Making sure that we're at certain venues and places as a team. We'll be very supportive of our other sports here on campus.

"We were just at football practice yesterday watching the football team practice. We're going to be engaged. The big thing is we want our fans to know that we're for them; and, we're going to do everything that we can to be able to capture them on our game night -- especially during conference play. On a Saturday, we want to make sure that we're on their schedule. On a Monday evening, we want to make sure that it's the thing to do to be at our basketball game that night and at the time that we're going to throw it (the ball) up because, one, we're going to play our butt off. But, they can be that extra person that's out there, that Sixth Man on the floor because of their interaction at the game. They give us that extra juice. That extra push that we need to push through in play. The more fans the more support the more interaction that we have with them, obviously, the harder our kids will have an opportunity to play in trying to win games."

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