Heading into his
fourth year at East Tennessee
State, Murry Bartow might be facing his toughest head
coaching challenge yet. ETSU lost three seniors that
combined for 44.5 points per game, including Tim Smith, the
little guard that finished as the school's all-time leading
Siegel (CHN): How hard will it be to deal with the
graduation of star Tim Smith as well as two other solid seniors?
Murry Bartow (MB):
seniors were very important players and huge contributors. We
need some of our freshmen to step in and play from day one.
Courtney Pigram is ready to take a huge step forward and a
healthy Kenyona Swader will make a big difference.
do you expect the strengths and weaknesses of
this year’s team to be?
strength's will include the play of sophomore Courtney Pigram,
who was an All-Freshman team selection a year ago in the A-Sun.
The experience of Travis Strong and Brad Nuckles should also be
important -- two players who have played in the NCAA Tournament.
Our weaknesses will include the loss of Tim Smith, Dillion Sneed
and Ben Rhoda, three players who were key contributors a year
ago. Smith left our program as our all-time leading scorer with
2,600 points. We also need to defend better this year.
CHN: Talk about a player on your team that deserves more
credit for being an unheralded contributor?
Dante Williams is a player who did not see a lot of playing time
as a freshman, but he has a great work ethic and will continue
to get better and better.
CHN: What should
we expect out of the incoming players. Who will make the biggest impact?
We wil have five
incoming freshman and really you never know about their impact until they
get here. We do expect great things from Dequan Twilley at the point, Mike
Smith at the three, and Petras Balocka inside.
CHN: Talk about which coaches really helped you reach the level of
success you’re at today? Do you still keep in touch with them?
Gene Bartow has had the biggest influence on me, and my time
coaching for Bob Knight was invaluable.
Realistically, what are your goals for the coming season?
Our goals for this year will be to improve defensively and to
win the A-Sun Championship.
CHN: Thanks coach. Good luck.