Again, thanks to Andrew Green to point Coach Boyle in my direction after the podium session.
D: Year two: What kind of changes do you see after having a full offseason with everybody and knowing the players you have coming back?
T: Well hopefully we can have some continuity and maintain some of the momentum we had going at the end of last year and moving into this year, because last year was a great year for Colorado basketball and we want to continue that trend. But it's nice to have some players in the program coming back who know what we expect, who can help teach some of the younger guys and maybe help bring them along a little bit quicker. Last year it was just new to everybody so there was no guy you could go to and ask that of. With a new coaching staff, we were trying to get to know our players and our players were trying to get to know us, and this year we're not having to go through that.
D: A question that a lot of CU coaches are facing, your home performance was much better than your road performance last year. Are you trying to do anything differently?
Follow the jump to see all of the sweet stuff I got for going to the media day!
T: No, because my thing is: that's not just a fact with Colorado. If you look at college basketball, over 70% of the time, the home team wins. So we're not the only program that needs to get better on the road. Everybody does. But that's the challenge to become a great program vs. a good program is your performance on the road. You have to take care of your homecourt advantage. We got that figured out last year, but we've got to continue that. That's got to be priority number one, and then priority number two becomes winning some games on the road, close games, and two or three come to mind that we should have last year, but we didn't. Now we won some of them, but we didn't win all of them. We need to win more than we won last year, and hopefully each year get a little bit better and a little more confident.
D: How did playing away from home in the Big-12 and NIT Tournament help with that?
T: They helped. In tournaments you're playing on neutral courts, so you're not playing true road games, and that's why I'm anxious to see what the Pac-12 has in terms of environments. Because I know the Big 12 had pretty good environments on the road. I remember the K-State crowd when we beat them on the road last year and, I mean, that's a tough environment and our guys really stepped up. The whole key is consistency. If you can do it once, you should be able to do it more. That doesn't mean you're going to win every road game, it doesn't mean you're going to win every home game, but you've got to win more than you lose, that's the whole idea. And if you can do that, you're going to be successful.
D: You mention the new guys up there (on stage). Can you talk about them?
T: We've got three new players that weren't in the program last year. Two freshmen from LA. Spencer Dinwiddie, a 6'5" guard that can really play. He can pass, he can dribble, he can shoot, he's got great size, great length and he's got a chance to be a great player in this league and he's going to play a lot early. Askia Booker is a 6' kind of a utility guard, an energizer bunny, a guy who can really make plays, he's really athletic and can score. Our fans are going to love watching him play. He's the real deal. And then we've got a kid named Jeremy Adams, a JC player that has three years of eligibility remaining who's 6'5" with a great body and he can create his own shot. He brings some maturity and experience to the table as a new player, which helps. And then obviously our two transfers, Carlon Brown and Sabatino Chen. Carlon transferred from Utah and Sabatino from the University of Denver. And both those guys are going to need to step up and play as well.
D: What position is Dinwiddie going to be playing?
T: Spencer is a point guard that can score. He's a great decision maker. He's a pass-first guy, and what we're trying to do is get him to think about scoring a little bit. We love the fact that he can pass and I'm a guy that wants to play multiple point guards if I can.
D: Can you talk a little bit about the big men and how Shane Harris-Tunks looks coming off the injury and how Ben Mills and Trey Eckloff are coming along?
T: I think Ben and Trey have had good offseasons and they both have improved. Ben has put on about 15, maybe 20 pounds. He's not teetering around 200 anymore, he's well over that and has had a good offseason and Trey as well. How much they contribute we'll find out as we go, but they give us nice depth along the front line because Shane Harris-Tunks, Andre Roberson and Austin Dufault have kind of solidified themselves as the top guys on our front line and Ben and Trey can give us some depth in those areas.
D: Speaking of Andre, you mentioned briefly back in Boulder about his jumpshot: is it coming along?
T: Yeah, he's shooting the ball with a lot of confidence and very well so hopefully that will continue. You know he's going to rebound and be active. The key with Andre is that he gets better defensively. While he did lead us in blocks and steals, I think he also led us in fouls/minute, so he's got to learn to play smart and not get into foul trouble because we're going to need Andre to play extended minutes for us this year. He's so talented and he can make a lot of things happen out there both offensively and defensively.
D: I'll just go through all of the positions, how are guys like Shannon Sharpe and Nate Tomlinson doing?
T: Shannon has had a good summer and he's a guy, like Ben on the front lines, Shannon gives us some good depth and now some experience--which is nice--in the back court. As long as he stays healthy, he's going to be able to help us. Nate is a guy that's really stepped up and he's stepped up his leadership role as a senior. We've asked him to be more aggressive offensively which he's capable of doing. You know, Nate shot 40% from 3 last year, he's a good shooter. We need him to shoot more, because with losing 75% of your scoring, we've got to make up for that in different areas and Nate is one of those areas. He's been playing very, very well.
D: Speaking of senior leaders, what's it going to be like to be able to play Dufault more at the 4?
T: It'll be good, and Austin, we'll start him and Andre on the front line together with Carlon and Nate, and we'll see who the fifth guy is, we don't know that yet. But those four guys are it. And then when Shane comes in, Austin can move to the 4. But the good thing about Austin is that he's played there before, so he knows that he can go inside, he can go outside, he can guard an inside player, hopefully he can guard an outside player as well, and he's going to need to. That's the one thing about playing the 4 spot or even the 3 spot is that it's one thing to play that spot on offense, but you also have to guard that spot on defense, and that's where the challenge comes.
D: Are you going to be doing anything differently coaching-wise in the new conference?
T: No. Nope, I'm not going to do anything differently. Yep, we're just going to keep doing what we do, doesn't matter what league we're in, pre-season or post-season or conference season.
D: I also want to ask a little less serious of a question (this is for you, Buff 'em up), do you pinky swear to stay here for the rest of your career?
T: (laughing) Pinky swear? Yeah. Hey, this is where I want to be, this is where my family wants to be. Nothing's more important to me than the health and well-being of my family and they love Boulder, they love Colorado. I love Boulder, I love Colorado, this is where we want to be, there's no question in my mind about that. As many people know, some opportunities came up last spring, but we didn't entertain them because this is where we want to be. I want to prove that Mike Bohn and his staff hired the right guy, and the only way I can prove that is by staying and getting it done.
D: And the serious followup to that, how do you feel about the commitment of the athletic department and the school to the basketball program with the new facilities and how they've treated you?
T: We've made a great investment in basketball with our new practice facility. I feel very comfortable with the leadership on our campus, the leadership in our athletic department, so they've made an investment in us, and they expect some results on that investment, and that's our job to deliver those results.
D: Thank you, Coach!
Some good stuff there, folks, and here is the transcript to the podium session that Boyle and Dufault got. I asked the first and third questions on there.