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UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA BASKETBALL MEDIA CONFERENCE
October 3, 2017
COACH NEWBAUER: I just want to say it's been -- well, first, I just want to talk about kind of the -- some of the recent happenings in our country with Las Vegas and just thoughts and prayers are with those people. And just blessed that we get to coach basketball for a living and to work at such an incredible university with so many incredible people. So I just think sometimes we need to stop and reflect where we are, who we are and what we get to do on a daily basis and how blessed we are to be at a place like this. And just keep those people in your thoughts and prayers, and anything you can do to show support, tragic, tragic event. And it's crazy to think that six months ago I was standing at this same podium, because it's been a little over six months, and it's been a crazy, fun, exciting six months, which the saying time flies when you're having fun, and it's flying. It's absolutely flying. I can't believe it's October 3rd. We're in our second day of practice, can't believe how many people are in this room. It's a pleasure to be here. Our staff has done a terrific job on every front of our program, from building the culture in the locker room to academically to on campus, to expanding our territory in terms of recruiting. Just can't be more excited and proud of the efforts that we're putting forth right now. And want to applaud our team for what our team has done with embracing us, embracing each other and really building a special culture amongst each other and getting to know each other and buying in completely with all that we're asking of them. So it's been a lot of fun to grow as a program in such a quick six months; and now that practice has started, the real business begins. And day two is today, and we're anxious to get out there and get going. Thankfully, we still have 20 -- after today, 28 more practices because we are not ready. I think our players are eager to get out there in front of the bright lights, but thankfully, it's not tomorrow or today.
Excited about our nonconference schedule. Thanks to the many people who put millions of dollars into the O Dome, we reap the benefits this year of having nine games at home in the nonconference due to the renovations last year, so we appreciate that. It's going to help us really come into our home and figure out who we are, and to get to do it in front of a home crowd in most of November and December will be a big benefit for us as we prepare for the SEC season.
So appreciate everybody being here. Thanks to our staff, our players and just the amazing support on this campus. I can't explain enough -- when I stood here six months ago, I talked about what I had heard about the University of Florida and the Florida Gators and the athletic association. I had heard such incredible things. And now to have lived it for the last six months and to have such amazing support, from everybody in the athletic department to the professors on campus, to Dr. Fuchs, to the student body, it's real. Everything everybody told me is real, and this place is amazingly special, and it is because of the people. And so we are excited to be a small part of this big brand in changing the perceptions of our program and building something special and adding to that piece of what the people are here. So we're just hoping to add to what we already know about how amazing Florida and athletics is. So thank you for being here. Questions?
Q. I was just wondering if you could give me your initial evaluation of Delicia Washington and what you're kind of expecting from her this season.
COACH NEWBAUER: Great question, Phillip. As we all know, she was SEC Freshman of the Year Last Year, phenomenal athlete. If you watch her on film, it takes a split second to realize there are certain things she does footwork wise that you can't teach, that I don't know how to teach exactly, how to do it; her Euro step when she's in transition, her length, her athleticism; and she's getting better. She has found her left hand. We joke with her that she never really liked to go left, and wow, she can go left now. Shooting the ball much better. Playing with more confidence. Being a little more vocal as well. So just couldn't be more excited to coach a player of her caliber, and even more excited understanding now what her ceiling is, if she has a ceiling.
Q. From your experience just how much can a player grow from a strong freshman year to sophomore, junior, senior, that sort of thing?
COACH NEWBAUER: That's the great thing about freshmen is they become sophomores. That's probably the biggest transition in college basketball if you look across the board, because that freshman year they learn so much from the amount of effort it takes, the attitude it takes, the time management, how to manage your body, how to manage what you eat, your sleep and all that. So then all of a sudden you understand the rigors of an SEC season. So having that under your belt, that experience, there's no measure for that. And then being able to see your growth in off-season workouts, it just helps you even more before your sophomore year. So I think just going through that whole process, it's an incredible growth opportunity to watch what she's done just in the six months that I've been here.
Q. You mentioned building the culture and building what you want for your team. What details do you have with that and how long would you say that takes to be able to create that culture?
COACH NEWBAUER: You say the word details. I'm a -- I'm a detail fanatic. The devil is in the details is what I believe, and if you don't do the details, the devil is going to sneak up somewhere and get you for not taking notice of the details.
It's everything, from picking up the trash in our locker room in our practice facility, to tucking in your jersey, to welcoming people in our gym with a handshake and looking them in the eye. Those details to me are first and foremost, the most important because that is who you're and how you present yourself with the first impression. And our kids have bought into that. It's been really neat to see and to hear some of the things our young ladies are doing in the community, with serving people, helping people the way they've helped and served each other, the way they help and serve us in the offices sometimes. So those details to me are first and foremost most important because how you carry yourself is going to transcend directly into success on the court, I think, when you carry yourself with respect like that and respect for others. And they've bought into that, and now all of a sudden, the communication -- we stress communication on the court, with -- point being, if everybody would communicate, we could solve the world's problems. And so we stop drills very frequently because people aren't talking and aren't using names. And so it's the tiniest of details that some people think might be so trivial make the biggest differences in the grand scheme of building the program in my opinion.
Q. And you mentioned first impressions. What was that first meeting like with the team once you got here?
COACH NEWBAUER: You know, the first day it was a little anxious, good anxiety, bad anxiety, unknowns, not knowing what was going to happen, where we're moving forward because anytime there's change, it takes effort and it takes an open heart, to welcome it and to move forward. And so it took us some time, and once our players started to understand that we are who we say we are, once our staff was really in place and spent intentional time with these young ladies showing them what we're about, who we are and how we're going to conduct ourselves, once we showed them the model that they need to see and need to be, I think that made a big difference as well. So it's one thing to stress the details, but if we don't do the details ourselves, it's all for nothing. So we have to be the model for them to see what it is that it should look like and who we want them to try to become.
Q. Over the past six months you've had a chance to evaluate Haley Lorenzen's game. Last season she took a step forward offensively, added a three-point shot. In what areas can she continue to grow, and what role do you kind of see her playing this season?
COACH NEWBAUER: Super skilled. That's what pops off the page to me about Haley Lorenzen. You talk about adding the three- point shot; she looks like she's had it. Her range has increased a little bit off the dribble, her knack inside for feeling which shoulder to go over on how someone is playing them is very good. Her ability to stretch out and get really, really long, one dribble from the three-point line to get to the rim, finish with contact. The strength part was the piece that probably surprised me the most. Coach McCray and Coach Harper will have pads and working her over in post drills and different moves, and just her physicality and being able to take contact and finish through it. And then as a leader you're talking someone that was just selected as the vice chair of the SEC Student-Athlete Committee. And that's her. She's a very caring, servant leader, and that's how she is with our team. She's opened up and become very vulnerable with our team, which is a huge, huge part of leadership in my eyes. And so off the court, on the court, who she is as a person, who she is as a player; very selfless. I think you can expect big things out of Haley, and take all that and then you include how hard she works, it's a no-brainer. She's going to have a pretty successful year for us this year, I think, in a number of avenues.
Q. So we saw Simone Westbrook go down with an injury last season. I just want to see how she's doing, what you can expect from her this season and how she's going to perform over the first couple of games, how she's been in practice as well.
COACH NEWBAUER: She's a gamer. She was fully cleared maybe a month, month and a half ago, and has been full speed. She makes plays, has a knack for making plays off the bounce. Sometimes if you watch her game, a little unorthodox; shot form is not your typical three-point form, but she can hit them and she can hit them from deep. So I just qualify her as a gamer. She makes plays and makes things happen on the basketball court. And you know, we've only practiced once, but had a good day yesterday. She's somebody we'd really like to see more leadership out of. Not a very vocal person, but there is times where we need her to step up and say -- and do some things verbally, and so hopefully she can grow into that role. It would be great if we could get that from her.
Q. You talked in generalities six months ago about reaching the fanbase. Now six months in, do you have some details about how you've tried to go about doing that? I saw some picture about you in the football facility, wearing a helmet. Is that part of that?
COACH NEWBAUER: You'll see the full video on Friday at the Gator Growl. You know, we're all about trying to -- you know, I'm a goofball. I'll do whatever I can to get attention for us, and I like to have a lot of fun. So we decided that for the Gator Growl video that we wanted to come up with something that shows kind of my personality and a little funny and quirky and get people to be like, wow, let's go check these people out. Was it Jacquez Green No. 1? Who was No. 1? Like who was the best player to wear No. 1 here? Anybody?
Q. Reggie Nelson.
COACH NEWBAUER: Percy Harvin. That's what it was, Percy Harvin. I'm sorry. It was Percy Harvin. So yeah, and being over there in the football facility, it was a lot of fun, and just trying to do a goofy video for "Let the Gator Growl," the student pep rally this week, which will be a great event from what I've been told. Every year it's very well attended. I'm big on the fan engagement, and our players have done a terrific job of reaching out to people. Michael Ward, who's in here -- put your hand up, Michael, for those of you that don't know Michael. Can we get the camera on Michael? This is Michael Ward.
He's done a terrific job. I think this month we have like nine speaking engagements, just getting out in the community. Mike White has done a great job with welcoming me and took me on a trip to Ocala with him to speak to some people. So we're just really trying to hit the pavement hard with meeting, talking to people, engaging. Our young ladies, there's some neat stories. You know, one of our players during the hurricane is in Wal-Mart, Delicia Washington, actually, is in Wal-Mart, and we talk about how -- people are going to come watch us because they know us. I think too many times athletes expect everybody just to show up and support you because you play a sport, but when they know you, they're going to really come out and support you because now they want to see what you do because they know who you are. So Delicia Washington is in Wal-Mart preparing for the hurricane, and there's an elderly woman who is struggling for her groceries. So Delicia goes up and bags her groceries for her and then carries them to her car. And the woman ends up talking to her, oh, what do you do? You know, I play sports...
Got another situation on campus where one of our freshmen, Mikayla Hayes, saw a young lady struggling carrying her bags and her books. She helped her carry them all the way to her dorm, met her and her roommate, and she was the first athlete on campus that they had met. So just things like that. But part of it is they see how I will talk to anybody at any given time, and I will also put them in situations where we'll be standing somewhere, and I'll say, hey, let's go talk to them. They're like, are you kidding me? Well, let's -- they've got a young child; let's go ask them their story.
The donors here have been incredible. I've spent a lot of time -- Phil Pharr in the development office and those guys have done a terrific job with allowing me access. Saturday I was up in the boxes, met Chris DiMarco, who is amazing, by the way; and Bryan Kornblau and a lot of the different boosters that know people and have been Florida through and through, so getting to know them and just hearing their story and inviting them. So we're at the start, and now all of a sudden we're going to get the team out, be doing more activities with the team, community service, just showing up and supporting other sports and things of that nature.
Q. Paulina Hersler wrapped up play at the World University Games yesterday. Have you been following her run and what have you seen from her if you were?
COACH NEWBAUER: Yeah. Paulina had a terrific summer. She's played for the national team in Sweden at the World University Games. And the men had two athletes over there as well. So just basically a mini Olympics. And gave her a chance to have kind of a leadership role. Being a senior now, obviously it helped prepare her for this year with us, even though she's just getting here. But played well; helped prepare her for, I think, physicality, which she's going to see in the SEC. Another young lady that isn't the most vocal, but when she says something, her teammates are going to listen, because of her effort and because of who she is as a person. Similar to Haley Lorenzen with the skill set, can do a little bit of everything; really stretch the floor offensively with her size. Every bit of 6'4 I'd say. So the opportunity for her to play in those games -- anytime you can play for your country, it gives you a sense of pride, but also it's going to give you a sense of confidence later knowing that you had that ability to do that. So I think it's only going to help her and help us ultimately this year as well.
Q. Not to overstate your Wal-Mart story, but as you're trying to understand the character of your players early on, does a kind of moment like that explain who maybe Delicia Washington is?
COACH NEWBAUER: Yeah. I think it does, because with young people, when they get to college -- you talked about freshman to a sophomore. They get to college, they're trying to figure so many things out. They're trying to make sure that they're doing well academically. They're trying to make sure that they're managing their time with the workouts, the lifting schedule and all that. So it takes some time, I think, to grow into themselves and to gain the confidence -- too many times we treat them as athletes, and we forget who they are as people. And so when you hear athletes doing things of that nature, where this wasn't a team community service that they had to go to. This is something she did on her own, out of the own goodwill of her heart. And what was really, really cool about that situation and the others with our team is she was so excited to see the response. You know, we're at dinner a couple of weeks ago here at Ballyhoo in town and have somebody come up to us and say, hey, are you Coach Cam? One of your players was in the scooter shop the other day, and my daughter and I were looking at scooters, and your player just comes up and says, hey, I've got that same scooter, I can tell you about it, for no reason at all other than just to help somebody. So now all of a sudden this mother and this daughter were like we're going to come to games now because she helped us for no reason at all, other than just to help. So I think it does show the character of who our team is, and I think that that sort of character can manifest itself into something greatly special on the court, if we can embrace that and build it with each other and build it in this city, because Gainesville is a town that will embrace people if they know them and if they support them and if we put the right product out there. So I think it's going to be a lot of fun putting this thing together and building this program.
Q. And also Sydney Searcy, just kind of what role do you envision for her?
COACH NEWBAUER: Syd, that's the great thing about practice right now is we could go right down the list and you could ask me about 13 of the players, 14 of the players, and I don't know if I know their roles, because when you have individuals throughout the summer, you see what they can do individually. Now, when you put them in a five-on-five setting, it's completely different. I've been in programs where you have players that were amazing in individual workouts and in five-on-five settings they couldn't play dead in a cowboy movie. Or other way around, they're horrendous as individuals, and then you put them in a five-on-five setting and they make all kinds of plays. So that's the good thing about getting to start practice is to evaluate who are we, what do we have, what roles -- I don't wanna say roles because I don't like roles, but what value do they bring to our team. I know she's a very superb athlete, played limited minutes last year, so watching film on her last year I can't really tell what her offensive skill set is in the realm of five-on-five.
The other part of this, too, is how we're going to play. There are certain things that I like to do, scheme and play and what we run. And that is going to take time for the players to get adjusted and for me to get adjusted to them as well. So some of these I can't answer. The big guy. Did you sit all alone on purpose over there?
Q. Have you seen this crew here?
COACH NEWBAUER: I think you fit right in with these guys.
Q. Cam, just last year this team was just a turnover waiting to happen. It was turnover, turnover, turnover. You talk about attention to detail. Is that part of trying to get away from these double-digit, in-the-20s turnover situations?
COACH NEWBAUER: I said in my press conference that someone else's opinion of us does not have to become our reality. That goes in hand with what we were last year. I don't care -- I was showing film to one of our players, shot selection that we can take, and she looked at me and she said, I couldn't shoot that shot last year. I said, I don't care. That has nothing to do with who we are and where we're going. So how many turnovers we averaged last year, this, that and the other, I can't even tell you that because I'm not concerned with that. I'm concerned with who we are today and where we're going tomorrow. And so the way we set up practice is the way I am as a person. Ask our players about if they think our turnovers will be -- they lived last year; I didn't, but ask them if they feel that they've grown at all in terms of decisionmaking, in terms of passing ability and all that, and I think you'll get your answer, because the way we structure practice has nothing to do with who people have been. It's who we want to be moving forward. And so I've -- I wanted to judge on their own merit through individuals what they needed to work on, not by what they ran last year, how they played, because that's got nothing to do with how we're going to play in my mind.
So kind of how we structure practice is not -- doesn't really have anything to do with that. And from an individual basis watching skills of that nature, it kind of was part of it watching some film, but as a team, no. That's just something I pride myself on to begin with with passing ability, sharing the ball and making the extra play.
Q. So it's not get better; the idea is --
COACH NEWBAUER: It's get better at everything. It's get better at everything, in every single moment of every drill we do, one possession at a time. That's the detail. The detail isn't, all right, what are we going to do in the game tomorrow; no, no, no, it's what are we doing right now in this possession of this drill. That's the same thing we're going to talk about in games. We keep telling them to let go. Let go of ^ results; let go of made and missed shots right now and just play. We will help you make the adjustment; you keep playing, because if it's about, hey, we gotta be so much better than that and that. If you just stress what they were, sometimes that can create a stigma that keeps them from going where they are capable of going because we stressed how much the turnover they just made. My job is to put them in place to help them improve right now in this moment to where tomorrow we have less turnovers. And I think we're doing that. I think we're definitely doing that with the details.
Q. Hey, Coach.
COACH NEWBAUER: How are you? Hey, Bre! This young lady right here was a three-year manager for us. Unbelievable. Broke my heart. The hardest moment I've probably had as a Florida Gator head coach was when she came into my office about a month ago and said, I want to go into broadcasting and all this, so I'm going to leave you. But it's awesome to see you here. Good for you! Good to see you!
Q. Thanks! Good to see you, too! Can you kind of talk about senior D. Anderson and what you've seen from her and what you expect from her? She had to kind of step up and play point guard position last year. Can you just kind of talk about that a little bit?
COACH NEWBAUER: I think she's the jack of all trades, and I'm talking on the court, off the court, personality wise, skill wise. She's 5'9, 5'10. I think she can guard anybody on the floor. She can play every possession from a skill set wise. Shooting the ball, she's done a tremendous job working on her footwork and shooting the ball very, very well for us in these workouts. Leadership wise, being very, very vulnerable and authentic with the team and telling them -- we even had a meeting where she told the team, look, I'm doing my best. I know I'm not great at it yet and I need you to help me learn how to be a better leader for you. 22-, 21-year-old people don't say that, your ordinary people. She's a minority in that she will ask for help because she wants to be better for us. So just a special young lady; very excited. I hate the fact that we're only going to have her for one year, because I think she's an exceptional person, and I can't wait to see what she does as a player on the court for the Gators. Duke, did I see your hand up back there?
Q. So we also see a new swing of assistant coaches. Can you tell me what you expect them to bring to the team and how it's going to affect your role as a coach and just basically a breakdown of why you brought them into the program with you.
COACH NEWBAUER: Well, I brought them here for one because they're good. They're really good. So being able to recruit nationally with their connections, with who they are as people, with what they've done in their careers, with what they've done as players. Their energy. You look across the board, the youth that we have with them. And if we look in terms of stature, you get them up here, I'm the only one below like 6'1. So like, they're my body guards. That was a joke. Sorry, guys.
But you know, you talk -- you know, Kelly Rae Finley, you know, she brings a wealth of experience at a number of different levels. What Kelly's helped me see is she started her career at Harvard, and when you coach in the Ivy league, you have to find a certain demographic of person -- not demographic -- well, in terms of academics that can get in there. And so Kelly had to recruit nationally for a number of years, and it's helped her today to where we've been in the living room, we've been on the phone with people all across this country because of the relationships that she cultivated eight, nine years ago. You talk about her personality, really balancing out me with just how even-keeled she is; a very, very big people person, great mind for entertaining, and the young people and millennials and how to reach them and how to communicate with them.
You talk about John McCray, John comes from a great coaching pedigree, with Jim Foster for a number of years at Chattanooga and at Ohio State. John's personality, talk about another one that really balances our staff, you know, John doesn't talk a ton, but if you start talking basketball or he gets on the phone with a recruit, all of a sudden it's a whole new person. And he's a young fellow, and he's a grinder and wants to get after it.
All of them are grinders. The great thing was when I called these people and talked to them about what we were doing, they were all in for Florida. They were all in because they believe so much in the Florida Gators and this brand. So that's what really excited me about them, first off.
And then Laura Harper, you know, Laura Harper has something that none of us have, that our players dream of and that the recruits that we recruit aspire to be. You're talking about a young lady that as a sophomore at the University of Maryland was National Player of the Year. That's the highest accolade you can receive in the NCAA tournament, won a national championship, then she gets drafted, plays pro ball in the WNBA and plays overseas. Now, when you talk about balance on the staff, Harp doesn't really balance me because she's a lot like me. So it's good that we've got two alike and then John and Kelly that are alike, and the balance of the staff is really, really great in terms of the different dynamics for the players to associate with and who they gravitate to.
But the energy and the youth in our gym, in the office, recruiting, they've given me energy. And it's just a lot of fun to see the growth that they've had in six months. And then you talk about on down the line, with Serena Wilson, who's been here 13 years, who is -- I'll put her up with anybody in Gainesville as being the biggest Gator there is. So she's helped us become so comfortable with how Florida works in this campus in this city. Same with Lani McQuade, who's been here 26 years, I believe, as our administrative assistant. Then we hired Christine Clark. We hired Scott Schmelzer, our video guy; just on down the line. I believe in who they are as people, and because I think that who they are as people and they want to work and learn, that it's going to work out, and I couldn't be more excited for the staff that we have and what we've done already and where we're going.
Q. You've been in Gainesville for around about six months now. How has it been personally adjusting to the lifestyle of Gainesville for yourself and the family?
COACH NEWBAUER: I wasn't ready for the traffic when school started. I know that. But it's been great. We're in the process of building a house. What's helped a lot is the community within the UAA. The way the head coaches, assistant coaches, staff have helped us find a church. They've helped us find restaurants. They've helped us find a place to live. They help us -- show us the town in terms of having us over at their house. Just building the relationships, because my wife and I are big relationship people. So I think they've done the most for us to where we haven't felt alone. There's just been so many opportunities to meet people and to see what this city has to offer.
I am still absolutely amazed at Gators. Like literally, I think they're the coolest thing ever. So if you ever see one in Lake Alice, please let us know because I'll run over there and just stare at the things because I think they're so cool. We went one day to -- where did we go, that park? La Chua Trail and looked at gators out there. In my press conference I talked about how cool the bats were. The bats weren't that cool. The gators are amazing. So just the different things like that. And our children -- I still find it bizarre that it's October 3rd right now and it's like this outside. It really confused me because typically when it's this warm outside everywhere I've lived, it's still like August. So getting used to the climate is an awesome adjustment. I think we're going to throw away most of our clothes that we've had because we won't need them. So just the climate, the city.
The people, though. It all comes back to the people. Even in the hurricane. We have no idea what a hurricane really was because we never paid attention to it and all of a sudden we're living here and the people reaching out to us, giving us advice, helping us, telling us what to do. I mean it all comes back to the people. That's what makes this city so special.
Q. Funda has been here for a year but we obviously haven't seen her play. What have you kind of learned about her these past few months that you feel like she's going to help your first team here?
COACH NEWBAUER: Yeah. Got a knack. Got a knack for making plays. Obviously not the most athletic, fastest, swiftest, strongest, quickest. But she knows how to play. We did some drills yesterday where we walked away and we were talking as a staff like, we're like, wow, she knows how to find people, can put passes in really tight areas where some players can't. But like I mentioned earlier, we haven't done much five-on-five stuff yet to really let her do her thing and see what she can do. But very gifted young lady, can shoot the ball. Can shoot from deep, in my opinion. And that's one thing we're going to allow her to do is check it from the cheap seats. That's one thing that we're going to do, spread the floor and helping them understand what they can and can't shoot. And I tell them all the time, you shoot the shot, we'll let you know if it's a good or bad one. If we don't say anything, keep shooting it. So that's what we hope to get out of her and just her knack for the game is I think her biggest attribute.
Q. So buy in, it was something that Mike White spoke about kind of after the first season and was kind of surprised that it didn't kind of happen as quickly as he wanted. How is that coming along and what are the challenges that you kind of face in that respect?
COACH NEWBAUER: The challenge is being consistent. I think being consistent with who we are for our players. I can't sit there and talk about how important they are to me, if I just rip them like crazy because they missed a layup or because they made a bad pass. So I think first and foremost now is the test on me because they've seen who I am off the court in individuals for five-and-a-half, six months. Now all of a sudden we step on that court, now, who am I as a head coach in a two-and-a-half-hour practice. So I think it starts with me with being true to who I say I am and who I say I'm going to be for them.
We've had a number of meetings in my office. I like to have sit-down meetings and just talk to them about their dreams, their passions, where they want to go, what they want to do, who they want to be. So I think that it starts with me, obviously. It starts with our staff. But then there's a level of accountability of keeping them consistent with their behavior and understanding that something little that we let go by the wayside could transcend into something bigger if we don't nip it in the bud and talk to them about it. So I think it's consistency with our communication and our behavior. And when we do that and model it the correct way, they're going to see that this is who we're going to become and then it just becomes something you want.
Like yesterday we talked about it, expecting greatness all the time. And how you do that is you just -- in every drill you do all the little things to where now you don't have to think about it anymore; you just naturally do it. And I think that's one thing that's a big adjustment for young people because these athletes in high school were bigger, stronger, faster, quicker than most of the people so they didn't have to think about it. They just relied on their body type or their athleticism. So now just getting them to be consistent now with the little things to where then we get to coach the meat and potatoes in November and really have a lot of fun with this group.
Q. And how hungry do you feel like this group was for kind of some change, a new set of eyes, a new approach?
COACH NEWBAUER: I don't know. I really don't know the change piece. I don't know. I think they've -- you know, they don't complain about what was. They had great relationships with the staff. There was great people here. I know they -- everybody wishes you could always win more. So I assume that they wished they'd won more, but that's part of the game. But there hasn't been -- it's kind of like your question about what we did last year. We don't talk about that much. We don't talk about, well, this is why we're doing... no. We've moved on. That book is closed. This is a new chapter, and we're just trying to figure out who -- I got it on my practice plan every day, who will we become today. That's what it's about. And so there's no -- there hasn't been many opportunities to talk about what was. It's just who we're going to be.
Q. Coach, can you kind of talk about how the three freshmen have adjusted to college life so far?
COACH NEWBAUER: The summer was a great opportunity for them because they get acclimated to campus; they get acclimated to classes. They get acclimated to strength and conditioning workouts, and also their teammates. And now all of a sudden you start your 20-hour week in October and right when they think they've got it all figured out with 12 or 14 hours of class, workouts, but then all of a sudden you get hit with a 20-hour week and now you gotta manage even more. Now what you're putting in your body, what you eat, how much you sleep, all that really plays a role. So now is a big test for them as well where we've gotta help them manage their time and manage their bodies correctly.
They ask for help. That's one of the best things is that they ask for help. They come up to the office and they ask the staff for help, with anything, with academics, with trying to figure out what's going on on the court in some of these workouts, with social problems, you know, how do I mend this, how do I communicate more effectively. So the best part for me has been that they haven't come in here acting like they know everything. They've been more of a sponge and been open to learning and asking for help and being mentored.
Q. You and your players have been signing autographs out on the O Dome Concourse before football games. How else have you and your players bonded over the past few months off the court?
COACH NEWBAUER: We had a heck of a -- I don't know what we'd call what we did Saturday night. Coach Kelly and the staff came up with this great game called Fugitive. We dressed in black, and there's flags on campus. You gotta find them, and then our staff has water balloons and squirt guns. So you split them into teams, and they gotta find flags and whatnot. And I dress in a ghillie suit, and I hide, camouflage. So just goofy things like that; team-building activities, at a bowling alley or laser tag or we've had some very, very in-depth meetings with the team where we are very open, and people say some hard things, to help build us, to help build our team.
So just putting them in situations where -- I'm big on this. We had a dinner one night, and I walk in and all of a sudden we have three tables, and this table is -- they're all hanging out with their roommates. So I walk right up and I said, all right, everybody get up right now and move. You're not sitting with her; you're not sitting with them. So putting them to where they're forced to communicate with each other to help build those bonds. And what's great about it is they're not whining and complaining about it. They're understanding it and they're starting to see the value and it's helping them. You talk about what's going on in our country. You talk about accepting people for their views, their values and who they are, do we teach that to college kids in college? You might have grown up where all of a sudden you left your dishes in the sink until tomorrow morning. I put them away right now. But if we don't communicate about that, I'm going to think you're doing it out of disrespect for me. So helping them see who we are as people and that we do -- we have different idiosyncrasies about each other that just happens and it's not intentional. So putting them in situations where they have tough conversations, they learn about each other, they have fun with each other, they have challenges together, they have success together, they have failure together. And I think our staff's done a really good job of being creative with coming up with those ideas and things to do. It's really neat, too, seeing when our team comes together to go to different sporting events, when they're at the football game, the softball game, the soccer game and supporting other teams, just seeing their relationships with other people on campus. So I think there's been a number of things, and what's crazy to think about is we've been here a month and a half with school in full session and we've done so much. Really appreciate you guys. Thank you so much.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports