Illinois State's Tim Jankovich: Head Coach Q&A

October 10th, 2008

College Basketball's Best Coaches is lucky to have access to some of the best coaches in college basketball. As part of our preseason interview series, we thought it would be appropriate to ask these basketball minds about the best things that their team and college basketball has to offer.


Tim Jankovich: Illinois State

We continue this month long Q&A Series with 2nd year Illinois State coach Tim Jankovich, who led the Redbirds to a surprising 25-10 record and an NIT bid in his first season. Coach Jankovich was kind enough to take some time out of his busy schedule to answer questions for What will be the best strength of this year's team?


Tim Jankovich) Hopefully, speed and quickness. Any major weaknesses?


TJ) One of the last things I would ever want to do in my life is put our (team’s) weaknesses on the Internet.  We are going to try to hide those, if we can.



CHN) Who are the biggest leader on this year's squad?


TJ) Right now, I would say we have two. One is Emmanuel Holloway, who is a senior, and he had an outstanding year for us last year.  He is just a natural leader. He’s made up of all the things that you would expect one day to be a coach.  A lot of times, I feel like he is definitely an extension of the coaching staff. The other guy is another senior who transferred from Oregon, Champ Oguchi.  I think he’s taken a leadership role.  He got a great perspective sitting out a year; it’s his senior season and he’s made some sacrifices to come here and sit out, so I think he has a little bit of an extra hunger about him that probably motivates him to take a little bit more of an aggressive role.



CHN) What's the best change you've made in your coaching style in recent seasons?


TJ) Well, since this is only my second season, I haven’t made too many yet.  I think I need to have a few more years go by before anything drastic probably starts to happen.



CHN) If everything goes according to plan, what's the best case scenario this season?


TJ) To me, our best-case scenario is always to come as close to maximizing our talent and our potential as possible.  Whatever that is, is the ultimate to me.



CHN) Tie score, with just a few seconds left … who will be your go-to guy in those situations?


TJ)  I’m not someone that likes to designate or predetermine those kinds of things. I think those are always heat of the battle decisions that are made.  Truthfully, I like a lot of that to actually come from the players and not the coaches. 08-09 Preview: InterviewsComplete Top 144 Ranking08-09 Preview HomepageDiscuss the Preview