Ed Cooley Radio Show 4/26/14 Recap

I tried and tried to find the audio of this show online somewhere to listen as it was happening but had no luck. Luckily our friend FriarTV was able to capture audio from most of the Ed Cooley Radio Show that aired at 6pm on Saturday before the basketball banquet. Here are some of the highlights:

Henton on next year: “I just want to feed off what we did this year. I learned a lot about leadership and knowing what it takes to win…I want to be in the best shape possible so I can help my team get more victories.”

Henton on why he chose PC: “Honestly it was the coaching staff. I came in and they convinced me to believe and to buy in. That’s why I wanted to come here to play for someone that believes in you just as much as you believe in them.”

Cooley on Henton: “When you look to recruit young men and you talk about chemistry and you talk about personality, this kid has it all. He doesn’t need basketball to be successful. I know that’s his dream and I want him to have that dream but this young man has grown so much. I can’t brag enough about him. From how LaDontae walked in and when he was about 25 pounds overweight, he hadn’t had a haircut in 8 years…to see how this young man has changed, how his focus is unbelievable, how his dedication to Providence College, because let’s face it, when went through all that negativity, everybody could’ve bailed on us. I love that young man and there’s nothing in the world I wouldn’t do for him.”

Cooley on growing players as men: “My job in the public eye is to win games. In the public eye. Who I am as a man, I want to see these kids have life success. Whether or not we win games or lose games, if I see our young men grow as people then we’ve achieved success. They can fire us for not winning games but they’ll never fire us for not developing these young men as great people.”

Cooley on scheduling: “You want to play competitive basketball on the road. I think you need resume builders when you playing non conference games. What a tradition to go into Rupp Arena and play [there]…I’m glad the Harrison twins stayed. They’ll be one of the top one, two, three, four teams in the country and it gives Providence an opportunity to go in there and shock the world…We play URI, we play Boston College, we play UMass. We play Brown this year again.. I think this will be one of the toughest non conference schedules we’ve ever played here at Providence College.”

Cooley on importance of scheduling tough opponents for OOC: “We’re looking for another high profile game. Michigan is on the dock. Kansas is on the dock. Gonzaga is on the dock. Possibly another Big Ten team. I just think it’s really important to sell Providence College on a national scale and I think scheduling helps that to get into territories, especially areas that we recruit in…We were able to play Kentucky but we had to play them at a neutral setting and now we gotta go back to their place. We do that for our program but that’s hard to continue to do…[the Dunk] is a great place to play. I can’t thank our fans and the people that come to the Dunk making it an incredible, incredible environment. You gotta admit, the Dunk this was unbelievable. Unbelievable activity in there all year so God bless our fans. They’re great. I love playing at the Dunk…The problem is not many coaches want to schedule a tough, tough, tough road game like [against PC]…I personally like going into tough environments and play because it builds you toward February. Everything we do in the non conference is all about what we’re trying to do in conference.”

Cooley on the Italy trip: “I’m real excited about our Italy trip. We’re going to be really, really young in aspects. We’re going to bring 6 probably new players. Kris (Dunn) even though he’s a junior hasn’t played in a year. Junior Lomomba who sat out. Then we have 4 new freshman coming in. So it’s going to give us a chance to gel, build our style of play, get our guys, my whole thing is chemistry and togetherness and I think spending not just the 10 days in Italy but the 10 days leading up to Italy where we’ll be able to be together, we’ll practice, we’ll go swimming, we’ll go eating, we’ll spend a lot of bonding hours together and I think that’s going to be really important for us to win basketball games in February…We’ll develop our younger guys. I’ll let those older guys basically coach. We’ll get them in some rotations but I want to play those younger guys a ton. I think it’s gonna help our older players seeing those younger kids and what they can do under duress but I want them be assistant coaches…We’re gonna play 3 maybe 4 games over there. But again, I want our guys to have camaraderie, synergy and chemistry. It’s not about going over there trying to win (games). We want to win in culture. We want to win in personality. We want to win in chemistry. The game will be what it is but I want us to do some things where we continue to develop our own culture.”

Cooley on if he thinks they have finished building his culture at PC: “I think we’re real close. I’ve always been somebody who believed in family, together, grittiness, toughness. I think we can become a better defensive team with our depth. I think we have to become a better defensive team. I think we have to limit guys, just giving up easy baskets. We gotta be tougher around the rim and in front of the rim.”

Cooley on defensive identity: “I think we’re bringing in one of the top shot blockers in all of college basketball next year in Paschal Chukwu so we’ll be able to guard the rim with Carson Desrosiers. To have two 7 footers on your roster that are talented, that are long. Carson, being a 5th year senior, he’ll be a totally different player…because he’ll be a little more confident…he knows going to touch the ball in different areas and to his credit, man, did he play an unbelievable role. So when you look at the length around the rim, you have to be able to guard the front of the rim…Then when you infuse Kris Dunn who I think has a chance to be the defensive player of the year in college basketball. He just changes the complexion of the game. So when you add an athletic Kris, Junior Lomomba who is really, really athletic and really tough, you look at Carson’s length…now you’re forming an identity. Our identity this year was our length, our identity this year was Bryce, Kadeem’s toughness. What’s going to be our team identity? I think it’s going to be our defensive length and quickness.”

Cooley on Dunn’s health: “He’s getting better. We’re going to take this really, really slow. I probably won’t play him over in Italy…He’s hungry to play. He’s hungry to continue to prove that he’s one of the best point guards in all of America. So he’s going to be playing with a chip on his shoulder.”

Cooley on incoming class: “I was in Nashville the other day and had lunch with Jalen (Lindsey) and his Dad. Flew in there to see him, tell him I love him and tell him he’s gotta start eating and getting into that weight room because he’s a little too thin for us right now but I think his versatility and what he’s going to add is going to be something that is amazing. He’s athletic, he’s a great kid…He can do a lot of different things. I think his length is going to be surprising to people. His athleticism, I think, is second to none. I’m really liking him. What Ben (Bentil) is going to bring to us is a personality. He will have the Dunk in the palm of his hand. He’s energetic, he’s physical, he’s athletic, he’s tough. So I think the combination of Jalen, Paschal and Ben, I think they give us a lot of length in the back…We’re still recruiting a couple of guards…We’re scouring the country to make sure the Friars are well represented. I couldn’t be more proud of this top 20 class coming in. Hopefully they can continue to live off of what these guys (the seniors) have done.”

Cooley on Carson Desrosiers : “Carson is better than he thinks he is. That’s what my job is. I think Carson hit it on the head when he talked about confidence. His role will change. He’ll touch the ball in different areas, he’ll play more. His role will change probably more than anybody on the team. The more confident he is, the more focused he is, I think the more success that he’ll have. For us to be successful Carson’s role is vital. I’m proud of him. Here’s a young man…he trusts us to develop him. But what you’re going to get with Carson, and a lot of people don’t know this, is off the court, he is unbelievable with kids. It shows all the time. That, to me, is part of development, when you’re able to give back. I’m expecting great things from Carson next year. He’s one of our leaders, a senior, he definitely should be one of our captains next year so I’m excited about Carson next year.”

Cooley on being an assistant coach with USA basketball: “I’m going to say about 4 years ago I talked to Jay Wright and Coach Boeheim and I said however I can be part of USA basketball I’d love to be a representative of the red, white and blue and last year I was fortunate to be what they call a floor coach where you go and coach the kids they’re trying to pick the team from. This year a Friar grad, Billy Donovan, asked if I would be one of his assistant coaches and I’m very, very proud to be one of his assistant coaches along with Sean Miller. I’ll be there basically the whole month of June. We leave June 9th and come back June 26th so I’ll probably have my family fly out for Father’s day to come spend some time, I’ll have my staff come out to a couple of practices. It is an honor. It is my goal and my dream to continue to be part of USA basketball because I believe everything it represents.”

Cooley on his Father/Son camp: “We have a Father/Son camp June 6th and 7th. I spend 24 hours with the fathers and sons and we talk about communications, we talk about the pressures of fatherhood and parenthood. It is a great time.”

Cooley on what he will focus on heading into next season: “First and foremost, to establish that player/coach relationship. Players play for people. They don’t play for buildings…they play for people. So I gotta make sure that I trust the players and the players trust me. Second thing I need to do a better job of is making sure that our players stay physically fit, academically fit and emotionally fit. So those are the things I’m going to concentrate on. At the end of the day, it’s all about people and when those kids know and believe in what you believe in, championships will follow. That’s the whole deal.”

Cooley on the importance on mental toughness: “That’s why we have such a tough non conference schedule. You want to build that mental toughness. One of the most hostile situations we were in last year was at the University of Rhode Island. That was one of the most hostile buildings we’ve played in in a long, long, long time. I think it helped us when we went on the road…Mental toughness will help you win championships for sure.”

Cooley on whether he envisioned a night like the banquet after a special season when he was hired: “I’m the ultimate optimist. I always think the glass if running over. This is something that I did picture. This is something that you dream about. When Father Shanley and Bob Driscoll gave me this incredible opportunity, not just to come home but to part of something, to build community, to build faith, to build trust. I’ve definitely envisioned this and I can see it again at a bigger stage. Absolutely. Let’s go Friars.”

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