The Oklahoma State men’s basketball team hosted their Media Day this past Monday. My first takeaway is... Man, I’m excited for basketball season! You can see the full video of Coach Underwood from NewsOK here.
Additionally, you can see the full Winter Sports Media day, which also includes Women's Basketball and Wrestling below:
Here are the highlights from Coach Underwood’s press conference
- He started off by noting that the Cowboys have gotten 12 or 13 practices in so far this year.
- I personally really liked his polo
- Underwood name dropped several players. He stated that he feels that Jawun Evans and Phil Forte are one of the better backcourts in America. Highlighted Layton Hammons leadership as a senior. In addition, he noted that Davon Dillard, Tavarius Shine and Jeffrey Carroll were “nice pieces to the puzzle”.
- On Mitchell Solomon, Underwood said that Solomon has made huge strides this spring/summer. My quick take on this.. doesn’t he always make huge strides? He’s like 7 feet tall... alright, bad joke, but I had to.
- Even though he’s known for his motion offense, Underwood stressed that a majority of time has been spent working on the defensive end.
- On Jawun Evans: “He’s better than I thought he was, and I thought he was pretty good when I saw him in high school. He’s very gifted in the fact that he sees plays before they happen”. He also noted that he’s been pleasantly surprised by Jawun on defense. Long arms and great anticipation were keys. Evans is apparently in the “best shape” he’s ever been in.
- Underwood on the main reason he took the job: “I believe in this building, I believe in the culture and the tradition of Oklahoma State basketball”. Personally, I get really excited when I hear that. He seems to know just what to say to get the fans motivated for this season.
- Talked about trips to Altus, Woodward and “jumping into Arkansas a little bit” to ask fans to come support the team.
- Talked about the treadmill. Which if you haven’t heard about yet, you can read more on here. In short, if a player makes a mistake during practice, he is sent to the treadmill to sprint for around a minute. Underwood says it’s used a reminder and encouragement, not as actual punishment, but a way to increase focus.
- On what Phil Forte means to the program: “I’m the most blessed coach on the planet. He deserves to have a great year”.
- Coach Underword noted that he wants his offense to play fast. He put the goal around 75 possessions per game. He also mentioned that his past teams have been very high assist teams.
- Underwoord said the most difficult part about learning his offense is all the different reads that are involved and the counters based on what the defense does.
- On Lindy Water: Underwood says he gets the ultimate compliment: “There are days in practice where I don’t say anything to him.” Says he’s still thinking a little too much instead of reacting.
- Said he’s talked to Coach Sutton and Sean Sutton a great deal.
- When asked how he’s challenged Mitchell Solomon, Underwoord responded with one word...“Treadmill”.
- Said Dillard is the most improved player.
- When asked if being picked to finish 7th in the conference means anything to him, Underwood said, “Means we are in the NCAA tournament right?”. Then followed with “We aren’t here for 7th”... I mean, put that on a shirt.
I don’t know about you, but I love listening to Underwood talk, and I am way excited and hyped up (maybe over-hyped) about the upcoming season.