MVC Coaches, Part Deux

By Jerry Palm - October 30, 2007


ST. LOUIS -- The Valley saved its more gregarious coaches for the afternoon session. On the big stage were Southern Illinois' Chris Lowery, Barry Hinson of Missouri St, and three newcomers, Marty Simmons of Evansville, Wichita State's Gregg Marshall, and Tim Jankovich of Illinois St. This group was a lot more loose...

I think it's best to let these guys to speak for themselves.

Jankovich (opening remarks): "I'm really excited. As excited as I am about our team, I'm hoping to redshirt the whole season. Or at least until we can get an out-of-bounds play in and get past a glorified camp offense, which is what we've got in right now."

Simmons (opening remarks): "Anytime you're a new coach coming in, I think your biggest worry is getting your guys to buy in to your philosophy and your demands."

On having five new coaches in the league:

Lowery: "We used to just go to the file cabinet and get last year's scouting report, but now our guys have to work again. I knew Marty when I was in middle school and he was scoring all those points at Evansville. (Simmons laughs) I'm probably making him feel old."

Hinson (in his fast-paced, stream-of-unconsciousness style): "I don't think you have five new coaches. The Creighton assistant coach at Indiana St will have a Creighton flavor. I'm old enough to remember Marty as a player and I coached against him when he was with coach Crews. I can remember stepping off the bus at Evansville and getting back-screened by the custodial staff, so we know what to expect. Your not going to change much at Drake with father-to-son, or he'll get chastised at Christmas. This guy (Jankovich, sitting next to him) has been one of my best friends for years. We talk on a regular basis. Gregg came into Springfield last year and really made my life a lot easier by kicking our butts on national TV on a Friday night. I really love him for that. So, we'll have to adjust to the two new guys. I don't know how Tim is going to play. I do know how Gregg is going to play, and it's going to be good. We're going to have to try not speaking English or something to mess him up. We don't know English very well either."

Jankovich: "First of all, Barry and I are not friends anymore (both laugh). I don't know where that came from. I need to get that off my chest."

Lowery on replacing Tatum and Young: "You don't replace them because that's too much pressure on the guys filling the void. We just ask them to play how we play and develop your own identity."

Gregg Marshall on what attracted him to Wichita St: "Being and east coast guy, the Missouri Valley Conference is very well known in terms of the strides they have made in basketball. I did have some other opportunities, but Doug Elgin called me when Mark Turgeon left for Texas A&M and talked about the strength of the league and the leadership at Wichita St and structure in place there and he was right on. When I took a look, it was very apparent that everything was in place to win and win big.

Last year (when he was at Winthrop) was frustrating in terms of our seed. I don't know what it would take to get a single-digit seed in the Big South Conference and certainly you can do that in the Missouri Valley Conference."

Lowery on whether Falker is developing an outside shot: "Not the three, but to the free throw line. That's been kind of the evolution of Randal in a nutshell. He went from just wanting to play to working on his game."

On the first thing they had to do coming is as a new coach:

Simmons: "I had to basically re-recruit the current players on the team and develop a trust level with those guys. And then, reach out in our community in the Evansville area. We are unique because we are a private institution and need community support to be successful. We've done community service, speaking, raking leaves, you name it, I've been out there doing it. Hopefully that pays dividends when the season starts."

Jankovich: "The first think I had to do was get a parking pass because I'll tell you what, they will give you more tickets here. It's the darnedest thing. So, I got a parking pass so I don't have to pay to work there. They pay me now."

So, that's a wrap from St. Louis. Watch for my Missouri Valley preview later in the week, and early next week, I'll have more from Barry Hinson on what the Bears are trying to do to win the hearts of the NCAA selection committee.

Posted by Jerry Palm at 03:38 PM on October 30, 2007
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