Less than two weeks after he saw his team step off the court for the last time in the 2013-14 season and fade down the stretch, Texas State head coach Danny Kaspar sat down for an exclusive interview with the Daily Record.
Kaspar spoke at length about the past season that saw the Bobcats win just eight games and what the future of the program holds.
Here is what Kaspar had to say.
SMDR: What was the most surprising thing about your first season at Texas State? What was the most disappointing thing about it?
Kaspar: “The most surprising thing about the season was that we were able to control the tempo of the game against so many of the upper-echelon opponents. If you look at our scores against Western Kentucky, Arkansas State and some of those others teams, it wasn’t a matter of them running away offensively. It was a matter of us not being able to score All of those games we were in it until the very end and could have won it. A missed shot, a turnover or even some missed free throws get in the way. That goes hand in hand with the most disappointing thing. We had 10 games that were decided in the last two minutes or less and only a couple went our way. We have to be able to execute and not panic or lose our poise. That is something we’ll look at in recruiting — toughness, poise and emotional balance.”
SMDR: Speaking of recruiting, what kind of players are looking to bring in with your second class?
Kaspar: “We’re going to recruit two point guards. We’re looking at bringing in what I call a combo guard who can shoot the basketball and give us some minutes at point guard, if needed. We need to recruit one small forward. We need to recruit two power forwards. One of these power forwards is more of what I call a ‘Stretch Four.’ One is going to be more of a low-post/high-post player that can play both center and power forward. We need to improve our efficiency at the guard spots. Get a better assist-to-turnover ratio. Hitting our three-point shots and improve our long-range shooting.”
SMDR: Were you surprised at how much work you had to do with the program or was it what you expected?
Kaspar: “I was a little taken aback by the amount of work needed both academically and athletically. There were a lot of issues to be taken care of. If I didn’t believe in the potential of this university and the leadership we have here, I would have probably walked away. My wife and I love this area and I consider it “God’s Country,” but if there wasn’t a feeling that something big could happen here, I probably wouldn’t have been a part of it. What really struck me was with how much structure was needed to get the program going where I wanted it to go. I don’t think players were held as accountable for mistakes on and off the court that I feel like they should be.”
SMDR: A lot of coaches will say it takes three or four years to turn a program around. Do you feel that same way?
Kaspar: “I don’t want this to be a three-year plan. That’s not my goal. At my age and with my track record, I’m not into long rebuilding. My hopes are that in three years we can have this program where I want it to be. It might take a year longer. It might be a year earlier. I didn’t come up with that conclusion when I got here. I wanted it to be a two-year turnaround, but after a few months of getting to know the situation, I felt like this would be a three-year rebuilding project. I didn’t have that idea coming into the hiring process. You learn more about your program as you get into it. I found those things out this year, not just in a day or a week. It took a month or two. Some things aren’t what they seem to be. Some things are more positive than I thought they would be. Some things are more negative than I thought they would be.”
SMDR: What’s your top priority in the offseason?
Kaspar: “I want to further instill my philosophy and beliefs as far as how the game is played and won. I’m going to be pretty much dealing with players I brought in this spring. We had some issues and problems this year, but we need to put that behind us and move on.”