KSU Sits Down with Owls Head Basketball Coach Al Skinner

KENNESAW, Ga. – The Kennesaw State men’s basketball team will officially begin their 2016-17 season this Friday, September 30. In anticipation of practice starting, KSUOwls.com sat down with head coach Al Skinner to talk about the upcoming season in a quick Q&A.
Q: How has the offseason been (with the guys)?
A: The encouraging thing now, going into our second season, there’s some leadership there. Guys that are returning have an idea of what is to be expected and what we like to have. I like to think that the learning process will go a little quicker than a year ago. With that being said, we still have a lot of freshmen that all of this information is new to, but again it helps to have some leadership that’s being supplied by the upper classmen.
Q: What are you expecting out of the returning players to help the newcomers?
A: The most important thing is that they continually show what it takes to be successful here, it’s much more important for them to show examples rather than rhetoric and I think they’ve been doing that. I’m very appreciative that the guys have been on-time, responsive, they’ve come together, they’ve worked hard and I think they have some goals set for themselves. I think that they recognize what it is going to take to give them a chance to fulfill those goals.
Q: We have about a month of practice before the first game, how helpful is that to the seven newcomers that we have?
A: It’s going to take them much longer than that but at least it’s a foundation. We’re supplying the freshmen with a lot more structure than they’ve probably ever experienced. I’m not talking about the discipline part, I’m talking about the education of the game, with how I’d like it to be played. That’s maybe a little different than what they’ve been accustomed to so there’s a learning curve there and it’s going to take some time. I’m not sure that our freshmen from last year got it until very late into the season, so I’m hoping that this freshmen class will get it a little bit sooner.
Q: Entering your second year at Kennesaw State, how will this year be a little easier for you?
A: I’m not sure if it’s easier, but the thing that I will point to is that I think people have a better understanding of who I am, the things that are important to me, the structure that’s necessary and the discipline that is required for us to give ourselves a chance to be successful; but it’s not easier because we have not attained the goals that we have set for ourselves. I think there’s a big challenge in front of us. Anytime you’re trying to surpass your history, or overcome your history I think that it’s very challenging and that’s what these young men are trying to do.
Q: What are you most excited about entering this year?
A: The thing that I’m most excited about is that I think I’ve got a little better feel of what the league is all about, I feel a lot more comfortable from that standpoint than I did a year ago because everything was so new. This year I have a little more education about what the potential for us is, so I’m excited about that. I’m excited about our team because I think they’re bringing the right attitude and I think that’s a good portion of the battle, we’ll find out if we have enough talent to win, but I think we have the right attitude and we’re heading in the right direction.

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