I wrapped up the 2008-09 season with Texas State head basketball coach Doug Davalos a few days ago and here are some of the excerpts from our conversation.
On losing four players (three starters) to graduation: “We are losing four kids who are going to be tough to replace. We’ve had some kids now with program experience who don’t need to start fresh. The challenge to them is who’s going to pick up the slack. We just need to get some better performances. It’s going to be a challenge, but it’s time for the people in the program to be leaders.”
On why forwards Ty Gough and Jonathan Sloan struggled: “I feel that it’s our jobs as coaches to get the most out of the players. The next part is those men becoming men as basketball players, because we’re limited by the NCAA with how much we can do as far as skill development. You’re not going to be ready if you don’t get out there and do stuff on your own.”
On why his team has led the nation in fouls the past two seasons: “I really don’t know. We’re not pressing so much and we’re picking up people after free throws. I talked to the head of the officials about it. We were pressing when I first came here because we weren’t very talented and it was frustrating. We couldn’t not press, because we wanted to establish who we are as a team. It’s a stigma that’s kind of stuck with us and it’s really sad. We’ve definitely changed our philosophy of how we attack. We’re trying to adapt.”
On the goal for next season: “(This season) our goal was to get to Katy. I wanted our team to experience that and I wanted us there playing well. The disappointing thing and everyone in our locker room thought we could win the thing. We didn’t go in, saying ‘Let’s just go to the tournament.’ If you could see the kids’ faces after the game, they weren’t saying ‘We made it.’ They were upset they didn’t win the thing. This is what this program should be about. We’ve made baby steps to progress and we’ve put ourselves in the tournament. Going back is not an option. The next step in this program is to go to Katy and to expect to win.”