SEC Basketball Coaches Speak

As mentioned in the previous post, the SEC’s basketball coaches took to the phones today to speak with us hacks about various and sundry topics, including some that were at the forefront of the SEC spring meetings earlier this month. You’ve heard some of what MSU’s Rick Stansbury had to say. Now let’s hear a little from some of the other coaches.

Kevin Stallings, Vanderbilt

• On abolishing divisions: “I think there were schools and teams that benefited by the divisional play a little more than others, but I think from the league’s overall perspective it’s the right thing for us to do.”

• On his team: “We need to rectify some of our perimeter defense, and we need to finish a little better than a year ago.”

Darrin Horn, South Carolina

• On paying players: “I think it would be great if it was something that could actually ever happen. I don’t know how it could happen.”

Mark Fox, Georgia

• On replacing the scoring of Travis Leslie and Trey Thompkins: “Any coach would tell you the first place you try and look at your team is are you going to be able to make field goals. … Obviously with two senior guards back in Gerald Robinson and Dustin Ware, I think that both those kids have had games over 20 (points) last year, I think they understand where to get their shots.”

On Vanderbilt, who he thinks can be a Final Four team: “There’s not much missing from Vandy’s team.”

Trent Johnson, LSU

• On no divisions and seeding the SEC Tournament one through 12: “In a perfect situation everybody’s playing each other twice. … One through 12 is the way to go, and I think it works.”

John Calipari, Kentucky

• On his fat new contract extension: “I’m happy with it. I’m excited to be the coach and humbled by the position.”

• On increasing the SEC schedule from 16 games: “Whether we stay at 16 games or move to 18 games, I really think 22 is a number that – there are very few leagues that do that, and there’s reasons for that. So I think you’re talking about 16 or 18.”

Mike Anderson, Arkansas

• On no divisions: “I think from a perception standpoint it’s going to put you in a position where the best four teams are going to get (SEC Tournament) byes.”

• On losing shooter Rotnei Clarke, who is transferring: “It’s not a good thing, but it’s the reality of what happens. What you do is you just forward. I’m one of those guys that I never look back. I move forward, and we’re going to work with the guys that we have.”

Anthony Grant, Alabama

• On going to an 18-game schedule: “I think the downside is obviously it’s imbalanced. Any time you go to 18, the imbalance of the schedule can sometimes be a cause of a little bit of frustration or anxiety on the coaches’ parts, but for the most part I think it works itself out.”

Tony Barbee, Auburn

• On having more access to his players in the summer: “If you’re not around your guys in the summertime, since you can’t work with them on the floor, well, they’re working with somebody and they’re talking to somebody, and it’s probably somebody we don’t want them talking to. It all goes back to we’re limited to the access we can have to our own guys in the summer.”

Andy Kennedy, Ole Miss

• On building a new arena: “There’s been so much done as a university to improve the athletic facilities as a whole, and I think they realize this is kind of the last bastion, and it’s the next hurdle that needs to be cleared.”