"Big Dance" Interviews: Hampton head coach Ed Joyner

March 16th, 2011
Earlier today CHN writer Jon Teitel spent a few minutes with Hampton head coach Ed Joyner, whose Pirates won the MEAC conference tournament to earn an automatic bid. The 16-seed in the West Region, Hampton will take on top-seed Duke in a second round matchup on Friday in Charlotte.

Jon Teitel: Your father and uncle are both Division II coaches. Who is the best coach in the family?

Ed Joyner: Right now I think my little cousin Steven is the best. He is the woman's coach Winston Salem State, and he just gets to sit around and talk to all of us!

JT: They grew up living next door to Hall of Fame coach Clarence "Big House" Gaines. Did you ever get to meet him yourself, and what is the most important thing you ever learned from him?

EJ: I got to have several conversations with him. The biggest thing he told me is that you always have to pass the first test in order to get in the door to do anything: the eye test. This applies to any aspect of your life, whether it is basketball or something else. Our team tries to look a certain way, play a certain way, and carry ourselves a certain way.

JT: You were a two-time conference Defensive Player of the Year at Johnson C. Smith. What is your secret to playing great defense?

EJ: Playing defense is both a pride thing and a team thing. You have to do whatever you can do to limit your man from scoring, but you also need to have faith in the guys behind you to back you up.

JT: Darrion Pellum was named 2011 MEAC Tournament MVP after originally transferring from Virginia Tech. How has he been able to come in and be such a great player for you?

EJ: Having an ACC pedigree, he came in with a chip on his shoulder and wanted to prove himself to everyone. He has matured tremendously on the court for us, and I am glad he got some of the accolades he has received. This week he will have a chance to see how he does against a great ACC team.

JT: You will be facing top-seed Duke on Friday in Charlotte. How are you going to prepare for the defending champs?

EJ: I am not sure if you can fully prepare for the Blue Devils, but I want my guys to be mentally ready for our first tournament together. Duke will make sure we are 100% physically prepared...otherwise they will run us off the court.