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OLD GOLD FREE PRESS
Purdue Men's Basketball Recruiting

2002 ABCD Camp report


Part III - Conversing with the coaches


July 12, 2002
By: BoilerBob
© Old Gold Free Press

    As I mentioned in an earlier report, Coach Keady chatted with a number of the other coaches at the Adidas ABCD recruiting camp and appears to be well liked. He was there for Wednesday only.

    Coach Keady watched one game with his copy of Prep Spotlight in his hand. On the back was a list of 4 players he was watching. Keady sat with a MSU assistant during that game but did not talk too much.

    Not too much else to report on Coach Keady, but he was visible to our target recruits. He did not leave after half a game to go play golf as some would like you to think.

    During the last game I attended at the end of the day Wednesday, I saw Coach Price sitting with Coach Weber watching a game. After Coach Weber got up and left, there was a spot free on each side of Coach Price, so I went and sat down. He recognized me from my conversation with Coach Weber from earlier in the day. I started by asking him how the Boilers would be next season. He was optimistic, but did not make any big promises. He said the key to next season was to "guard people". We discussed getting back that Purdue hustle and help defense attitude.

    I mentioned that I was with Mr. Hoops and we started a conversation about the message boards (GBI and Mr. Hoops). He does read the boards, so watch what you say (VBG)! We even talked about individual posters, but I will not mention their names to glorify them, as they were mostly the negative types. You can draw your own conclusions as to how he would feel about some of the things posted on the boards. While I agreed not to share anything we discussed in confidence, he was able to clear up a few misconceptions that are floating about, including one in particular.

    I asked Coach Price about red-shirts for next year and he did not reveal anything. I mentioned that the speculation on the boards was Buckley and possible a big man (i.e. Keifer or one of the non-freshman). He would not take the bait, and I got the sense that he wished that these types of things were not topics for the boards either. After a few of these types of discussions, I got to thinking about what it would be like to have all of your decisions projected in advance, second guessed, speculated upon and whatever else in an open forum for everyone to see. I get the sense that being an assistant coach is hard enough as it is, without having to manage the thoughts of players, recruits, coaches and others that read this stuff. Coaching in the age of the internet has got to be a harder thing with all of the transparency and instant spread of rumors, half truths, speculation and even correct information that is interpreted one way or another by various people. Note that this is purely my thoughts, not something I discussed with Coach Price.

    My overall impression is that Jay is a personable guy who is well liked by the other assistants. He is a hard working road warrior that is not going to lose (in basketball or recruiting) by being outworked or out hustled. That being said, he is not quite as dynamic as some of the coaches, which may hurt his prospects of a head coaching job and may make the recruiting sell a little harder. He is the opposite end of the spectrum from some of the snake oil salesmen out there. He is an honest, hard working, likeable guy who you tend to trust instantly. He reminds me a lot of the guys I work with at my consulting company. They can sell what we have to offer, not because they are slick and have a good rap, but they know their stuff and they are easy to trust. I think Coach Price would make a good head coach at a smaller school. Lets hope he gets the chance some day.

    Coach Price called Garrity and Carroll (they must be roommates) while we were watching the games. He checked in on Kevin’s foot and followed up on Matt’s academics, urging him to be proactive about a particular item. He seemed to have a great relationship with the guys. It thought it must constant hard work to have to act like a father to so many young men (you might even call them boys) to make sure they are doing everything they should.

    When I asked about his future once Gene’s contract was up, you could see he felt the pressure to perform next year. I can see how the success of the next one to two years of Purdue basketball will have a major effect on Coach Price’s future coaching prospects. Good luck to the Boilers and Coach Price. When I walked out later I chatted with a UCLA assistant and told him I followed Purdue. He also made a comment about Purdue needing to win next year (I guess he is familiar with the pressure to win at a "basketball school" as well).

    After a while, Coach Weber came back and sat down on the other side of Coach Price.

    I am a management consultant and I travel a lot, so Coach Price, Coach Weber and I traded road warrior stories. We talked about other things that I would love to share, but those conversations were off the record.

    It was great to spend the time shooting the bull with two people who have dedicated a significant portion of their adult life to Purdue basketball.

    Coach Weber left to make a few phone calls from the car. He and Coach Price were planning to have a late bite to eat and a beer at the hotel, before getting a few hours sleep and catching and early flight. I would have lived to join them for a beer, but I was headed the other way and had an early flight to catch myself.

    Instead of leaving early to get a few more minutes of sleep, Coach Price stayed until the very end of the last game. My take was that he did not want to miss a minute of watching and evaluating recruits and showing our interest just by being there. I can picture him talking to a recruit (at a legal time in the recruiting process I might add) mentioning a play the recruit made at the last minute of the last game. I can imagine that would impress the recruit as to Purdue’s dedication and interest in the player. Lets hope all of this hard work pays off in great recruits down the road.


As news organizations move their stories to an archive, some of the links listed above may become inactive

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