TEXAS A&M BASKETBALL COACH BILLY KENNEDY
QUOTES ON THE MOVE TO THE SEC
Monday, September 26, 2011
What do you think about this move?
“I’m glad it’s over with. I’m excited to be in the league and excited to be the head coach at Texas A&M, but really glad that it’s over with, finally.”
Your thoughts on competing against the teams in the SEC…
“Well, fortunately I came into a program that’s won a lot of games over the last six years, so we’re coming into a program that’s been built for success. It’ll be a transition. I think any time you change leagues there’s transition, but we’re ready for that and I’m excited to get back in the deep South.”
People have said there is a huge difference between the leagues in football but not as much in basketball. Is that something you agree with?
“You know, I think it’s a great league all the way through, every sport. It’s going to have different challenges. Obviously it’s a league noted for its football, I grew up in New Orleans, so I’ve seen that, and it’s real. It’s a real league. SEC basketball has some quality teams too, in both the West and the East. You can see through the expansion of some of the new facilities at (places like) Ole Miss and Mississippi State and Auburn that the league is growing. We have to continue to grow our program and we look forward to the challenge.”
How tough will it be for you to have just one year to learn all the teams in the Big 12 and then have to flip and learn the SEC in year two?
“Basketball is basketball. It’s about having the best players, number one, and then about adjusting to the competition throughout the schedule. There are great coaches in both leagues and our players will have to rise to both challenges. Both of them will be a challenge.”
Does it cause you to change much what you’re doing in recruiting and with your recruiting base?
“Not really. We want to still own Texas. This recruiting class will be a little bit different because we’re recruiting a lot of Texas kids and they have to identify with the SEC right away. That’s our job to sell it that way. It’s a quick transition for us but it’s not going to change who we recruit by any means.”
At A&M your base is Texas but historically at all your stops you’ve recruited the Southeast really well. Are you excited about the added exposure A&M will get in those areas?
“Yeah, my best players have come from Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida, as well as a few from Texas. So I’m used to the South, and hopefully we’ll be able to go into areas that I have relationships and my staff has relationships and be able to grow that and get some guys to come this way.”
How much does your Louisiana background help as you go to this league?
“I don’t know how much it’ll help. I hope it helps me get even better players. And, I have to watch what I eat when I go to New Orleans, that’s for sure.”