Preseason Q&A With Coach Tim Floyd
Oct. 9, 2012
You had the opportunity to work with your players to a much greater extent than in past years this summer due to changes in NCAA legislation. What have you learned about your team already, prior to the official start of practice?
A late summer addition to the roster was Konner Tucker. What does he bring to the table?
At least on paper, Julian Washburn, John Bohannon and Jacques Streeter would be regarded as your top returning players. What kind of progress would you like to see each of them make this season?
Last year you had one of the most inexperienced teams in the nation. This year you are still young. But you have several guys coming back in a year where Conference USA has had a great deal of turnover. What are your goals for the 2012-13 season?
You brought in some really sought after recruits. What do you expect from Twymond Howard, McKenzie Moore, Chris Washburn and Matt Willms this season?
Twymond is a terrific athlete. He has a chance to be a great defender. His challenge will be getting the points that he was able to score in high school to transfer to the college level. We feel like he's versatile enough to defend three positions, and that will help us. We've always liked bigger guards, and he is a guy that fits the bill. I think he's a very good rebounder for a guy his size. McKenzie is a player that we would've recruited at USC. He reminds me of a young man that we had by the name of Daniel Hackett. He is a 6'6" and a half point guard who's excellent in the open floor. I think he has a chance to be a terrific college player. Chris Washburn had an excellent summer in terms of personal development. He improved his body by dropping 30 pounds, which has elevated his athleticism. We've always liked his ability to pass, his ability to handle the ball for a guy his size, and his low post game. He worked hard at his mid-range jump shot in the summer and we expect him to have a good freshman year. Matt Willms was declared a non qualifier at the end of the summer, so he will have to redshirt this year. If his grades are in good shape at mid-semester, the NCAA will give him the chance to practice at mid-semester. This could be a blessing, because he needs to gain 30 pounds prior to competing. But all the tools are there for him to become a tremendous college player.
How is recruiting going? What have you been up to the last couple of months on that front?
In the past you have said that your teams typically get off to slow starts. You strive for steady improvement and want to be playing your best basketball at the end of the year. How do you tackle the early portion of this year's schedule, knowing that you'll be facing the likes of Oral Roberts, Arizona, Oklahoma, UNLV, Oregon and NM State in the first month of the season?
The theme for this season is "Bringin' Back the `80s" ... bringing back the wins, bringing back the championships, bringing back the crowds, bringing back the atmosphere in the Don Haskins Center. While the 1966 title team gets all the attention, and deservedly so, people might not realize that the `80s were the best decade that UTEP Basketball has ever experienced. What are your recollections from that era?
You worked hard to introduce a lower season ticket price for this season, and now upper reserved seats are only $160. That's a decrease from $195 last year and breaks down to less than $9 per ticket. Why did you think this was so important?
What else can fans look forward to this season?