Kermit Davis has been a consistent winner in his tenure at
Middle Tennessee State.
But after his fourth season ended with a disappointing first
round loss in the Sun Belt Conference tournament, the entire
Blue Raider nation was left wanting more. With one of the
hardest non-conference schedules in the country, it should be a
fun and exciting year for the program.
Siegel (CHN) : You lose impressive senior Fats Cuyler.
Who will need to step instead this season?
Kermit Davis (KD):
It will be very hard to replace Fats Cuyler because of his
character, leadership and his ability.
We need (sophomore point guard)
Kevin Kansaskie to start taking our team over more. He did that
down the stretch and we won eight of nine games. I think his
role will really improve. Adam Vogelsberg is coming off shoulder
surgery and I think that will help him. It's going to be great
to see what Adam can do with a fully healthy shoulder because he
played hurt all of last season. Theryn Hudson's body looks great
and he had a great spring. He really improved throughout last
year and I think he's ready to make a significant jump.
CHN: Which of your guys stands out as deserving more credit
than the media or fans give them?
KD: Kyle Young is a
fifth-year senior who has already graduated and is working on
his Master's. He came to Middle Tennessee at about 180 pounds
and now he is about 220 pounds. He is bench pressing about 290
and he has made a ton of improvement. I think he has all-league
do you expect the strengths and weaknesses of
this year’s team to be?
KD: I think a big
strength of our team this year is that we do have 11 guys coming
back into our program this year. Four of those were red-shirted
last year (two because of injuries), but I think we have 11 guys
with experience that are use to the day-to-day routine of our
program, which will be a strength.
I also believe strength will be
a key. The strength of our team has increased significantly. We
went from the average bench press of our team being about 210
pounds with all of the new guys last year to it being about 260
pounds right now. I thought we were the weakest team in our
league last year and this year I think we can be one of the most
physical teams in our league.
CHN: What should
we expect out of the incoming players. Who will make the biggest impact?
Johnson (transfer from Tallahassee Community College who has
three years of eligibility remaining) will make a big impact on
our team because of his athleticism. He can shoot the ball and
play three different spots. Dino Hair (6-9, 200) is real
athletic and would have played a lot last year but he suffered a
knee injury. Darren Avery may be our most improved player since
the spring and Desmond Yates (6-7, 200) may be our best talent.
CHN: What coaches helped you reach the level of
success you’re at today? Do you still keep in touch with them?
college coach (at Mississippi State), Bob Boyd, was real
instrumental in my development as a young coach. I was a
graduate assistant under him for two years. Tim Floyd gave me my
first opportunity in Division I and I learned so much from Tim
as far as work ethic and how to run a program. John Brady (LSU)
is one of the most underrated coaches there is and he and I had
a great relationship at LSU for five years. I have had a number
of different guys who have affected my career.
Realistically, what should we expect out of MTSU this season?
KD: Our goal is to
get into the postseason; there is no question about that. I
still think we are a young team with eight or nine guys who will
be in the freshmen or sophomore classes. I love that about our
team because I think we have a nice base. The preseason schedule
will no question be ranked among the Top 20 or 25 most difficult
schedules in college basketball. I think it is going to help us
a bunch but the schedule we are playing obviously is to try to
get into postseason play and be really competitive in the league
race down the stretch.
Good luck this season coach.
More 2006 College Preview: Head Coach