Ivy Interview: Brown's Craig Robinson

October 9th, 2006
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Jon Teitel chats with Brown head coach Craig Robinson as part of an interview series with all eight Ivy League coaches.


1. What are your team’s goals for this season?

A: We would like to win the league (which is probably every coach’s goal), and also be extremely competitive. Since this is my first year at Brown, I want us to have shown some progress by the end of the year. 


2. What are your team’s expectations for this season?

A: I expect us to work as hard as we can on the court, and if we do that, we should have a chance to win a lot of games.


3. Which non-conference opponent do you think will be your biggest challenge this year?

A: One of our first games is on the road at Michigan State, which is a heck of a place to start out.


4. After being named All-Ivy 2nd-team as a sophomore, how high is the ceiling for Keenan Jeppesen?

A: I don’t want to put a ceiling on him, but would prefer to set some high expectations so that he can try to achieve even more than he has so far.


5. Which of your 5 incoming freshmen (J.J. Anderson, Colin Aldridge, Steve Gruber, Matt Jones, and Matt Mullery) do you expect to make the biggest impact this season?

A: It will be tough to tell, especially with seven returning players who each played a lot of minutes last year, but I am pleased that all the freshmen are working really hard.


6. In light of the success of current players Keenan Jeppesen (from Canada) and Sam Manhanga (from Mozambique), do you think it is crucial to specifically recruit foreign-born players, or do you just want to get the guys who can best help your team win?

A: In this age of global communication, we just try to get the best kids, no matter where they are born.


7. Do you consider this season to be the usual two-team race between Penn and Princeton, or do you think another team can win the conference title this season?

A: I would like to think that we can give them a run for their money, but Penn and Princeton usually finish near the top, so I would not expect anything different this year.


8. As the 4th-leading scorer in Princeton history (1441 points), how do you think you will feel this winter when you walk back onto campus to face your alma mater?

A: I don’t know for sure, as I have not thought about it a lot.  It should not be too different than when we face any other team and I am fortunate that I have a great relationship with my alma mater.  I am happy to be coaching at Brown, and am looking forward to showing everyone what this team can do.


9. As the first man to be named 2-time Ivy League Player of the Year, how do you think your past conference success as a player will help your ability to coach in the Ivy League?

A: I have found that some good players end up being bad coaches, and vice-versa, so I do not think that my success as a player means that I will have success as a coach.  I will try to convey to my players what Bill Carmody and Pete Carril did to their own players: leave here better then when you got here.


10. Do you feel any pressure in replacing Glen Miller (now the coach at Penn), who is one of the best basketball coaches in Brown history?

A: I do not feel any added pressure: Miller did a great job, and I just hope he doesn’t do as great a job when he is coaching against us!


11. What was your reaction to the shooting of the Duquesne basketball players, and how do you try to keep your own players safe when off the court?

A: I actually addressed this with my team before the shooting occurred.  It seems to be the cost of doing business these days: players are campus celebrities (whether they like it or not), and they have to be careful.  It is a very different time now from when I played.  I told my players that if they are in a situation that is getting out of hand, they should just quietly move on.  There is a combination of outside factors (alcohol, drugs, the wee hours of the morning, etc.) that can contribute to a dangerous situation, and I am a firm believer that “nothing good happens after 1AM.”   I want them to have fun, since they are in college after all, but they must always be on their guard.