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October 19, 2006

Doc Sadler


PETER IRWIN: It is now time for Nebraska. And at this time we would like to welcome Doc Sadler from Nebraska. From Nebraska, we have got the coach and so, Coach, welcome. If you would like to make an opening comment or two, and then we will take questions.
COACH SADLER: Thanks, Peter. First of all, before we ever get started, I want everybody knows there is a football game in Lincoln this Saturday. I think it is at 11:00. If you haven't made arrangements to get there, tickets are pretty difficult, but give us a call.
First of all, let me say what a pleasure and an honor it is to be sitting here as the Coach of University of Nebraska. It seems like a couple of months ago I got the opportunity to go there and it has gone pretty fast since then.
The thing you know as basketball coaches, you look forward to, is the opportunity to start practice, which we were able to do last Friday. And things were going quite well, in my opinion. Our guys were working as hard as you could ask them to work. We just don't have the numbers right now. We are down to basically seven scholarship players that are practicing and don't know when we are going to get the remaining guys back, hopefully soon as far as that goes, you just deal with it.
And our players have put all that behind them, and every time that I have asked them to come to the practice floor, in my opinion, they have given me everything that they have got. That's been a pleasant surprise, and it is also a compliment to them.
This basketball team I think has got some strengths to it. Probably the biggest strength is I think they like each other. It is a team that seems to get along. It is not a team that seems to be jealous of anybody, and I think you can do some good things when you have that kind of character on it.
I hope it can shoot the basketball, and right now in the shooting drills, it has shown that it can. Now whether we can when people are guarding us, I don't know.
If anything, those two things, the character issue and then being able to shoot the basketball, if we can do those two things, I think it will be a team that will have a lot of fun.
I don't know how many games they will win. I do know as I have told them, I am not really concerned about that. We will just concern ourselves with going out and trying to play hard every single day, and wins and losses, therefore, will take care of itself. Again, we just got to get through this one period here, and once we do that, I think things will be okay.
Schedule, we just got it finished. I think if you look at our schedule, it is not so much -- I mean, the teams we are playing I think are difficult, but it is when we play them. We go to Rutgers on the road and on the same trip you go to Oregon. Get some frequent flyer miles. That's to warm us up to go to Hawaii and then come back and go to Miami. So I think it is the scheduling that it's when it's at is going to be some difficult times. But at the same time, I think it is going to make our team tougher. And I think that's something that we need, is we need to make sure that our guys understand that it is going to be difficult.
I was talking to my best friend Coach Gillispie a couple of nights ago and we were just talking about how things were going. And being the friend that he is, he reminded me that, Doc, understand something, every game in the Big 12 is going to be difficult, like I didn't know that already. But he reminded me, so I haven't slept since then.
I think our team will be ready for that and I look forward to being a small part in that.

Q. Doc, what is your sense of the basketball culture at Nebraska and what kind of potential for support do you see there?
COACH SADLER: I think Nebraska is a little bit unusual, and what I mean by that is obviously it is a so-called football school. But what you have got in Nebraska is you've got every sport being very important to everyone in the state. I think if you look back, Mike, over the years, I don't care what sport it is, as long as you are wearing a Nebraska uniform, they are going to support it. I thought that would be the case, and it is the case.
I think because -- obviously what they have done there in football is given us a chance to have the very best of everything there. So that's the thing we can go out and sell. I think it is important.
I think the people there -- the two months that I have been there, they say they are more excited than they have been in a long, long time. They want good basketball at Nebraska, and I think with the recent success of Florida, of Texas, of Oklahoma, so-called football places, with the success that those schools have enjoyed, I think they realize now we can have both. And that's what we are going to shoot for.

Q. Doc, you took the job a little bit later than normally would happen as far as a basketball coaching changes go, and you are playing with basically somebody else's recruits. I wonder if you can talk about the challenge of that and trying to get your program running at a very speedy break.
COACH SADLER: I think, first of all, it was late, obviously, and we didn't have, as Coach Self was mentioning, the opportunity in the spring to go get some other players.
The thing I told Charles Richardson and Marcus Perry and the other guys, that can be an excuse or that can be a reality, and we are just going to look at it as a reality.
The thing I want to do, and there are some former coaches in here, it's Charles Richardson's and Marcus Perry's last year. We need to do everything we can now, even though you can say they are not -- they are my players. The day I took the job, they became my players, and I owe Charles and Marcus every ounce of energy to try to do something now.
I will be there for a few years. They are not going to be. They don't want to hear about what's going to happen two years or three years down the road. They want to know, Coach, what are we going to do now?
And I believe that, and that's what I owe them. We are taking it on every day like that's the most important thing.

Q. Doc, I was just curious, Barry Collier always had one of the slower-paced teams in the Big 12. I know you well enough to know you have always tried to play fast. Do you have the talent to do that?
COACH SADLER: Well, I think we have got to do that. Again, I am trying to do what's best for this basketball team today. I don't know that the -- I don't know that the speed and things are as big a concern right now, Coach, as it is the numbers. The numbers really concern me. We are down to seven players. That's how many guys that are practicing with us.
That may dictate a little bit, but if we get some of those guys back, we are going to play baseline to baseline. I think that's what players want to play, that's what people want to see, and that's the way I like to coach.

Q. Doc, have any of the players just stopped and talked to you about the tempo and playing faster? Have they thanked you for it in any way or just said that's what they wanted to do?
COACH SADLER: I think -- I think, like most cases, I think they were excited until last Friday evening. I think they understand now the effort, the hard work that it takes to play that style.
Obviously, right now it is not a fun time for them. But they have adjusted and they like it, they like it. Our practices are a little bit different as far as, what Coach Howard's was talking about, I think the pace was much slower in practice. You can come to watch us practice, we will practice 94 feet. We will not be a half court, 15, 20 minutes and then move on. We are going to practice full court also.

Q. The change of scenery, Doc, the contrast between El Paso and Lincoln, Nebraska, have you had that shock yet?
COACH SADLER: It is much warmer in Lincoln contrary to what some of you all think. It is pretty warm up there. It is funny because when we were flying in the first day, Mike, we would get about 1,000 feet above and my two boys was with me and my wife and they said "Oh, my goodness, there's trees and there is grass".
But El Paso was a tremendous and a great place to live. I know some of you may have never been out there. We loved it out there. It was a great place for my family. But it is good to be back where there's four seasons and the trees are turning color and you got to wear a jacket every now and then. That part of it has been great.
PETER IRWIN: Coach, best of luck to you for the season. Thank you very much.
COACH SADLER: Thanks, Peter. Thank you all.

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