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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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"It's a good mix of guys. Very excited with how they've come in
September 14, 2018
Listen to Huskies Head Coach Ron Cottrell discuss his 2018-'19 squad and the non-conference schedule; recaps the 2017-'18 season; and more...
00:21 -- 29 years coaching at HBU; Coach Cottrell discusses his "why" to continue coaching
"I love doing what I do. I love coaching. I don't feel like I'm really working a job. I feel like I'm doing things that I'm passionate about which is working with young men and watching them grow; seeing them develop as they go through their college years.
"And, I enjoy the sport of basketball and coaching it and being associated with a University like this that really is a special place. High academic, Christian school; in the middle of Houston; and all the things that offers and afford us to be able to do just makes this a terrific place to coach and an enjoyable place to continue doing what I'm doing."
01:57 -- How the city of Houston and HBU have changed in his time at HBU
"I think we're the sixth-most diversity in the country. I think that reflects who we are around us. Who our community is. So, it's neat to be on a campus like that. That celebrates the diversity; the multi-cultural environment of Houston in general."
04:19 -- Texas is becoming a basketball state
"I do think the interest level in basketball has grown in the state. I think you can track that back, to some degree, to the Rockets of '94, '95."
06:05 -- Recap of the 2017-'18 season
"We didn't win, obviously, near as many games as we'd like to; but, we were in a lot of games and saw guys grow and saw them understand how to compete in the Southland Conference through being thrown into the fire. It was very much a developmental year for us.
"Certainly, when you win six ball games, you're not very happy about that; but, given the circumstances, we grew and became a better program going into this year."
08:33 -- Roster breakdown of the '18-'19 team
"It's a good mix of guys. Very excited with how they've come in -- in the second half of summer, we had them all work together; working out; and going to class. They've meshed together really well. The fall workouts have been very productive for us and getting ready for the year to kick off."
10:18 -- Josh Ibarra and Oliver Miller
"He has terrific footwork; and, he has, if not the best hands of a guy that I ever coached, the second best. And, the only other one I think that comes close to rivaling him is Oliver Miller as far as terrific hands, and IQ and eyesight. They are very much a like in that regard."12:18 -- Thoughts on the new NCAA transfer rule
"But, I don't know that it's going to be good for our sport just because you're going to see more of guys moving around and doing different things. It's going to be an interesting two or three years to kind of see how this thing shakes out."
14:12 -- Steps in putting together his non-conference schedule
"There's a lot of interesting things that have to happen. You want to play some so-called name-schools for a variety of reasons. I think it's great for recruiting. It's great for exposure for the university. It's great for the pocketbook in some ways.
"I think it challenges your current team. It makes them step up and play in tough environments and gets them prepared for conference play; so, that's an important piece of scheduling.
"And, then, you want some home-and-homes that you can go on the road and be challenged in situations like what you're gonna face in conference play; but, also get some home games that are like that as well."
15:50 -- Breakdown of HBU's non-conference schedule
"You got Arizona to start out with..."
18:05 -- Players from the state of North Carolina on the roster / the North Carolina - HBU connection
"It was just us seeing some kids that we really liked about four or 5 years ago and started recruiting; got in; and those guys were interested in possibly going out of state; and going somewhere where they could go and make a contribution immediately to a program.
"Then, those guys piqued the interests of other guys. Then, we started to get to know the state better; and, the coaches in the state better; and were able to kind of develop some good relationships.
"It's been good for us."
"Recruiting is not an exact science. Things happen sometimes. As long as you work hard and you're intentional about what you're doing, it usually works out for you."
21:22 -- Recruiting with a non-Power 5 budget
"It's a very delicate balance of taking what your University budget is; raising money through different avenues to be able to fund your program to do things in a first-class manner as a Division 1 program with limited resources to some degree."
22:57 -- Team or teams to beat in the Southland Conference this season
"I think there's no doubt that Stephen F. Austin is going to be the team that everybody is continuing to look at -- even though they didn't win the regular season last year, they won the (conference) Tournament -- and, obviously, have been a power in the league the last, well, as long as we've been in the league really. That's the program that we're all going to be still shooting for -- especially, considering who they have coming back on their roster.
"Then, there's any number of people that you could plug into the 2, 3, 4 spot."
25:07 -- Scheduling in the Southland Conference
"It's what we would call an unbalanced schedule. You play some people home-and-home and you play some people one time. And, it flips the next year. Then, after two years it jumbles up again.
"It's a tough schedule, in my opinion at least, to figure out who's going to finish where because you don't how tough the schedule is they're playing against.
"I think that's unfortunate that we only take 8 schools (out of 13) to the conference tournament because you don't know if the eighth place team is really the eighth place team or they may have played the hardest schedule in the conference that year based on how things kind of shook out. They may actually be a lot better than eighth."
28:35 -- Thoughts on flex scheduling at the end of the conference season
30:04 -- Thoughts on the NCAA's new NET metric
"The NET is geared more towards pure outcomes. I think that's good."
31:30 -- Thoughts on analytics
"I would think I'm more techie in some regards than most coaches my age; but, at the same time, not as much as the younger guys in the game."
"You still have to be a hands on coach. You still have to make decisions based on people not on stats.
33:14 -- Southland Conference / HBU and streaming
"Every one of our home games are streamed on our website."
34:55 -- Parents outside of Texas - how are we going to see our son play?
"We can talk them through - you're going to be able to see every game that's in Sharp Gym through the internet, through streaming. And, I'd say certainly 95 percent of the road games, you're going to be able to see.
"That's certainly part of the recruiting process and the recruiting pitch is to let them know that's going to be available."
35:50 -- Conclusion
"I think people under-rate the Southland Conference in the first place.
"You're seeing a very high level of Division 1 basketball when you come see a Southland game.
"Sharp Gym is a terrific place to watch a basketball game because it is small and intimate and right next to the court. Anywhere you sit in Sharp, you're going to be able to sit and see anything that goes on on the court.
"To me, that's a great environment for someone. You're not sitting way up high and you can't really tell what's going on. You don't know when the whistle blew. You don't know what was really going on. You're going to be right there -- almost like in the action when you come to our games."
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