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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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Coach Scott Pera: "We use this hashtag that I created called Greenlight U."
POSTED: July 22, 2021 -- 7:48 a.m. CT
Scott Pera, Rice Owls men's basketball head coach, took a few minutes to speak with me about numerous topics including the Owls' 2020-21 season; his new contract extension which runs through the 2023-24 season; Greenlight U; returning to the recruiting trail this summer; and much more.
Describing his coaching style, Coach Pera said: "We use this hashtag that I created called Greenlight U; but, we say that in fun sometimes. But, it's also true. We give our kids confidence. We obviously shoot a lot of threes. We play fast.
"I can be demanding on the guys. My passion and energy. I don't do a great job of keeping that in all the time. I wear that on my sleeve. It's just that's who I am.
"But, this group is used to that. They embrace that. They understand it's coming from a place of love and a place of trying to help them get better and win."
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Coach Pera mentions a few of the Owls' nonconference opponents for the 2021-22 season including a road trip to Austin to face the Texas Longhorns; facing the Houston Cougars; and a MTE (multi-team event) in Florida.
"We're gonna play at UH," he acknowledged. "Resume that series which will be fun. I have tremendous respect for Kelvin and what they did and been doing over there."
I also asked Coach Pera (once again) to share his thoughts on a Houston college basketball teams tournament.
"I think it would be really neat," Coach Pera commented. "The problem is it would be really difficult. Non-league scheduling these days -- I gotta put Houston; Houston is a little different because they've just been so much better than the rest of us in the city that for them they've got to make sure it makes sense to play, for them, to play 3 games or two games against teams that may have a real high NET ranking, RPI, or whatever base you're using; so, it doesn't hurt them.
"I get that side of it. Teams have changed since the Big 5 (in Philadelphia, PA) and stuff 20 years ago when that stuff wasn't a factor. There's many more factors that play into it now. If we could figure out a way to make it work, I believe that we would be involved."
Click here to watch the full interview including his comments on his relationship with James Harden and the benefits of coaching at Rice and living in the city of Houston.
CLICK HERE for more news and info about the Rice Owls men's basketball team.
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