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QUOTES: Eric Musselman and Larry Greer Introductory Press Conference
Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
Release: 09/04/2012
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Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
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Head Coach Herb Sendek Statement

“We had a great opportunity a little more than a week ago. I met with Steve and as we talked about possibilities and different directions we decided we were going to think out of the box and we were going to swing for the fences. And so we spent the next several days living on the telephone doing our due diligence, researching possible candidates. In particular, we focused our efforts on guys with NBA experience. So Steve was able to use his contacts to find out about possible candidates and I was doing the same. We were overwhelmed and humbled by the attention we were receiving. And the hardest part was ultimately going to be how do we tell this ocean of really qualified, deserving candidates that we can only bring in two people. And at the end of the day, I think we achieved our goal by hitting a home run. As I mentioned, Steve was really instrumental in helping through that process and before we get to our coaches, I think it’s really appropriate and important that we speak to that for a minute. I called so many different guys in the NBA and to a man, the conversation eventually went to Steve because of his NBA experience. And the respect and the good words that they shared about him really made me feel good. And I think it really went a long way in casting this line to bring in the staff that we have. I would say two other things with respect to Steve. Number one, maybe as much as anything else, he’s done a great job setting the tone in our department with a great work ethic. Almost always he’s the first one in and the last one to leave. And that tone is spreading to everyone who works here. The second thing is he has a great vision. I think all of us are excited about the plan. The progress we’ve made in the last several months is staggering. And you can begin to see how the infrastructure, the communication system, the support staff, the resources, everything that goes into fueling a successful athletics department is being set into motion. And so I think that has everybody in our department excited and I think those waves are beginning to be felt throughout our community.”

Coach Sendek on how the staff feels after the new hires

“Our staff. I was thinking how can we best sum up our group. How can we best paint a picture of maybe what best represents us right now. And I came up with three words that I think really hit the target well. As a group now, we’re really excited. We’re really fired up about this opportunity. Second, it’s an extremely experienced coaching staff. And third, and maybe most importantly, it’s a very hungry staff. When I told my friend and confidant Jeff Van Gundy who we ended up getting, his first observation was Herb, the thing I love most about what you’ve done is you’ve assembled a hungry group of coaches. And it would just seem to me, when you integrate excitement, experience and hunger, that’s a powerful combination for any coaching staff.”

Coach Sendek on the contributions of Dedrique Taylor

“With all the attention with the new hires, it’s really important that we also stop and pause and recognize Dedrique Taylor, our associate head coach. He is somebody who doesn’t draw that kind of attention to himself, so its really important that those around him uplift him in that way so he gets the proper recognition. Dedrique has done everything for our program the last six years. There’s not one hat he hasn’t worn. And his contributions have been priceless. Most certainly, he’s done a great job in recruiting and he’ll coordinate our recruiting effort moving forward. He’s a terrific role model for our player and does a fantastic job with players relations. And he just has a great feel for the game so he’s an excellent strategist. He’s one of those guys, in the heat of the battle, not Monday morning quarterbacking but in the heat of the battle, he can see what’s happening and make great in-game adjustments. We’ve been blessed, as you know, to have many of our former coaches go on and have illustrious coaching careers. And there’s no question in my mind that Coach D is on that same path.”

Coach Sendek on who ASU has hired

“We’ve hired Coach Larry Greer. He spent a long time in college, 16 years. And the last seven years he’s been in the NBA. He spent three years with Jeff Van Gundy and the Houston Rockets, who I happen to consider to be one of the best basketball minds on our planet. And then the last four years, he’s been with coach Nate McMillan and the Portland Trail Blazers. And I spoke to Nate, as well as Jeff, and both those guys couldn’t say enough great things about coach. In particular, they singled him out as perhaps the guy most respected for advanced scouting and game preparation in the NBA. And then also joining us is Coach Musselman. Eric Musselman. Eric Musselman has been an NBA head coach for two teams. The Kings and the Warriors. In addition to that, he’s been in the league his entire career. And he’s worked for some of the games great coaches, including Doc Rivers, Mike Fratello, Lon Kruger, Chuck Daly and even an international tour with Hubie Brown. So when you put this group together you could see why we’re so excited to be sitting here today. And for me personally, it’s like a kid at Christmas time. We spent Labor Day weekend over at the Weatherup Center talking basketball. And it was invigorating, it was fun, it was kind of like being a kid again at basketball camp. Today we introduced these guys to our players. They’re excited to be working with them and it’s really a great moment for Sun Devil basketball.”

Steve Patterson Statement

“First off, thank you for your kind words. And secondly thank all of you for coming out this evening. It’s not all that often that college athletic departments have a press conference for their assistant coaches. But I think today is a different day than you’d normally see. As Herb said, when we started out we really tried to swing for the fences and be a little bit out of the box. It would have been easy to sort of go down the road of the traditional types of folks that universities shire to be their assistant coaches. But that’s not what we wanted to do. We had a unique opportunity to bring in two people. We wanted people that were great teachers, that had experience at the pro level and at the college level, people that could help our athletes really grow and maximize their potential. So many of the athletes that come out of high school and into college all have the dream that ultimately they could play at the pro level or at an elite level in college and having people that have been in this business for decades allows us to really say to somebody in the home, or in the classroom or on the court, you’re either going to make it or you’re not going to make it or this is what you have to do to make it and be able to say that with authority. I’ve known Eric’s father and him for decades. Larry had a great reputation at a former team I ran in Portland. As coach said everybody up there speaks very, very highly of him. And what we wanted were people that had great energy, great experience, that could teach and bring us the kind of success that ultimately we need to have here at ASU with our basketball program. I’m excited about getting to reshape the department, we’re excited about the new coaches that we have here tonight. It was great working with Herb on this. He had a lot of great ideas and really worked hard at talking to a lot of people. This is something we had to get done in a very short period of time and I’m very pleased that after just a week’s worth of work, we have two people that are so well respected throughout the basketball community, both the professional and at the college level to join our program and really try to grow Sun Devil Athletics.”

Eric Musselman Statement

“I’m personally extremely excited to be here. The pro game has been very good to me but for the last five or six years I’ve had a great interest in trying to get into the right situation at the collegiate level and a big reason I’m here is Coach Sendek and his reputation of being such a great x and o coach and I feel like I’m coming here to learn. Hopefully I can give back some as well but it’s a unique situation obviously with Steve having the NBA experience and Coach Sendek looking for NBA type guys and as coach was doing his research, I was trying to do research as well because I felt like I had a really good job being part of the Lakers family coaching their development league team. All the research about Arizona State, I couldn’t find any reason not to do it. Even Dedrique’s reputation, we have a lot of mutual friends and in a couple days I’ve learned a tremendous amount already and will continue to learn from both Coach Sendek and Dedrique as well as Coach Greer. So I feel extremely excited to be a part of this family and can’t wait for the season to get started and the impact that a collegiate coach can have on their players.”

Larry Greer Statement

“Thank you very much for the warm welcome that we’ve had here since I got off the plane. Since Coach Sendek picked me up I’ve been on cloud nine. A couple weeks ago I was fortunate to go to a coaching clinic, and it was a basketball coaching clinic that they invited Tony Dungy to speak at. And Tony Dungy’s point to me, which after over seven away from the college game, was that as a coach in college, you get to touch people’s lives. In the pros you don’t get it as much. We were talking about guys that he had coached that had gone on to be college coaches and how now they’re talking about the impact that their coach had on them and they’re saying it’s gone down the line from Tony Dungy to the third generation. So for me, I’ve always thought about what my love for coaching in college was, and then I was fortunate enough that when I heard about this job possibly being open the two people in my life who Coach Sendek is close to, and who I’m very close to, is Jeff Van Gundy and Nate McMillan. So for me, it was the perfect storm. I was starting to think in that way for my life, for my family, to get a chance to come and be with some like Coach Sendek who had the same values that I have. This is a great chance to be with him. I’ve got to commend Coach Taylor down there. For someone coming from the NBA and watching how many different things Coach Taylor has done in this short time. He’s evolved in everything this program does on and off the court. I thank him for getting me here. Eric and I have never worked together, but we have the seven separations from Kevin Bacon. Tom Tibodeau was one of your first coaches, I know he worked with your dad, and I worked with Tom in Houston and Tom is a good friend of both of ours and had said you’ll be lucky to be around Eric. He’s been a head coach twice in the NBA, so I’m really fortunate.”

Dedrique Taylor Statement

“I too thank everybody for the kind words and its jut natural to invite these guys in and lock arms with them and go to war, so to speak. I can’t help but to grin from ear to ear when I think about the possibilities of what this staff can do for not just our current team but all of the Sun Devil nation that’s out there. It’s hard to not get excited and express joy, to be able to Sep. 9 get on the road and lead the charge and talk about these three guys that I have a chance to sit at the table with on a day to day basis and learn from. I’m most excited about those possibilities for our current team and for the guys that we have a chance to attract. The life lessons we get to teach from an academic stand point, the life lessons we get to teach from a day to day standpoint and most importantly, most significantly for these young guys, what they’re most attracted to is the NBA. So who to tell them about that experience than a former head coach and a longtime NBA assistant. And then to top it off, the leader of all leaders is Coach Sendek. To sit by him and watch him go through this process has been amazing. They say the true test of a leader is to watch them during adversity. Coach didn’t flinch, he didn’t think twice about what he was doing, he packed his stuff up, he put his chinstrap on and he moved forward. And that is the charge for our program, is to move forward at this point. And again, I can’t express how excited I am about the possibilities that are going to come from the Weatherup Center now with these new guys on our staff. So I’m excited and elated. Most importantly, I’m anxious. I’m anxious to roll up my sleeves and do what we just did this weekend, which is spend 24 hours, seven days a week talking basketball so that when we’re on the floor with our guys there’s no weak links. Everybody knows what everybody’s doing, so that when it comes time to turn the lights on at Wells Fargo, it’ll be time to go. That’s what I’m most excited about and I want to thank these guys for the opportunity to work alongside of the m and obviously continuing to be under Coach Sendek’s tutelage has been like no other experience I’ve ever had. I couldn’t write a book about some of the things that I’ve been able to learn on a day-to-day basis. Just being around them today, some of the things that we go through on a day-to-day basis, it’s just a heck of an opportunity. So having said all of that, we’re ready. Let’s go get it.”

Arizona State Sun Devils Men's Basketball
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