Charlie Coles is used to winning. In his tenth season at
Miami, he's amassed an
impressive 175 wins, and the RedHawks consistently finish in the
upper half of the MAC standings. Last year's team was no
different, as the RedHawks went 14-4 in conference play, and won
18 games overall. But after being bounced in the opening
round of the conference tournament, Coach Coles expects even
bigger things down the road.
Looking ahead, what should we expect to be the strengths and weaknesses of
this yearís team?
CC: The strength of our team will be a couple of things.
We will have good team speed. Our quickness will be an asset. We
also should be able to score in a lot of different ways.
the negative side: Size. And probably inexperience from players
coming off the bench. We wonít have the experience that I would
like from guys coming off the bench.
CHN: Fans often just see what happens during the games, but
talk about which of your guys deserve more credit for working
hard in practice, in the workout room, and being leaders off the
CC: The No. 1 person who stands out when you ask that
question is Doug Penno (Sr. Guard). He will be a valuable member
of our team this year. He will be a starter, and a major
contributor on the court. Doug is also a very hard worker and a
visionary when it comes to seeing our team goals and working
with the other players on our team to reach those goals.
CHN: Discuss the incoming guys for a bit. What type of
players are they?
Alex Moosmann brings a lot of basketball maturity to our program
and also a good all-around game. Antonio Ballard is a
great athlete. He is a player who can play several different
positions for us. Steve Pogue is a player who will
probably take some time because we have to determine whether he
will fit better into our system as a forward or a guard.
Carl Richburg (a sophomore, who sat out last season after
transferring from Southern Indiana) is the reason for me
believing that our team speed will be the best that itís been in
years. Carl is a great full-court player on offense and defense,
and is a very good passer in the open court. Adam Fletcher
(a redshirt freshman) will give us depth inside. He also will
give us good physical play. Heís a guy who likes contact.
CHN: Which of those guys
will make the biggest impact?
Whew, it will be hard to say. I
think all of our newcomers will be a huge part of what we do as
a team this year.
CHN: How hard will it be to replace
the outgoing seniors?
CC: It will be tough. Our three
seniors last year gave us great contributions. William Hatcher
was one of the two best guards in the MAC, and a clutch player
deluxe throughout his career. We will have to come up with
someone who can be good like Hatch coming down the stretch. Nate
VanderSluis gave us much improved play last year and a good
inside presence. Josh Hausfeld came on late in the year after
recovering from his preseason surgery and gave us a good scoring
CHN: Who should we expect to take their game to an even
higher level this season?
CC: Guys who I think are ready to take their game to the
next level are Tim Pollitz (Jr., Forward), who proved to be one
of the hardest players in our league to guard last year; Nathan
Peavy (Sr., Forward), who in my mind has the potential to be one
of the better players in the Midwest; and then Michael Bramos
(So., Forward/Guard), who served as kind of a sixth man last
year, but who is ready to jump into the mix this year and become
a standout player.
CHN: What other coaches really helped you reach the level of
success youíre at now? How does their advice and teachings
still help you to this day?
CC: There are two coaches who have had a big
impact on me. Darrell Hedric (Miamiís head coach from 1970-84;
Miami assistant coach 1956-57, 1960-70), who I consider one of
the best coaches that Iíve ever observed beside being an
assistant coach for a team that I played on at Miami and then
Coach Dick Shrider (Miami head coach 1957-66), who was my
college basketball coach. Both of those coaches have shaped my
basketball philosophy by playing for them and then by watching
them coach. Two things in particular: Getting your team to play
better and stressing the importance of defense.
CHN: Realistically, discuss what your goals
and hopes are for this season.
CC: To have a winning non-conference record,
which will be tough because of our schedule, to win our league,
and then to win that conference tournament. Those are our three
goals. Weíve done a good job the last three years in everything
except the conference tournament. Weíve got to find a way to be
better in the conference tournament.
Thanks for your time Charlie!