I look at the glass as half full instead of half empty. When we got here we had eight, nine bodies that first year. I don’t want to knock the program, we inherited some nice kids but I don’t know we had eight Big East players. Last year we had more talent than the year before, this year we have more talent than last year…. We’re trying to build a championship team, we’re trying to be a top six team in the conference.We don’t have the depth that I’d like because we decided to take some chances on guys who could be difference-makers next year, Pope and Lawrence. Sometimes you’ve got to take a half step backward in order to take a full step forward. To me, Herb Pope and Keon Lawrence are worth taking a chance. In the short team, we’ve got to suck it up a little but, we’ve got to be creative.
It’s so hard to get that one Top 10 guy to take that leap of faith and believe in you because they all think an expert is somebody that’s out of town because they’re being told that maybe by their high school coaches, their AAU coaches, the fans, the media, the local people. They’re being told, ‘If you want to be great and you want to win a national championship….then go to a Kansas. Look at the teams that are in the Top 10. It’s Pittsburgh, it’s Kansas, it’s UCLA, it’s Kentucky, it’s Duke, so why would you want to stay around and go to Seton Hall? They’re not in the Top 20.’
There’s so much pressure on a local kid, if he wants to win, everyone’s telling him. Even the local people, even the people around here are telling him, ‘Hey, I like Seton Hall, it’s close to home, they’re trying to get it done.’ Or ‘I like St. John’s or I like Rutgers, but they’re fighting to get in the NIT, or the NCAA. They’re not good right now. You want to be good, you want to be on a national stage, you want to be in the tournament, you want to go to the Elite Eight, you gotta go to Kansas.’ There’s so much pressure for these kids to go away that we’re swimming against the stream.NOT GOTTEN IT DONE YET i have not gotten it done yet in terms of going to the postseason, win 20 games. But I feel a lot better about our chances. I know that I can coach. ON THE LEAGUE AS A WHOLE The other day I heard Rick Pitino say it was probably the best conference he’s ever been a part of in his college career. I’m sitting here saying I certainly have never seen a league like this. Seven teams in the top 25. They’re talking about getting nine or 10 teams in the touranment. The balance in the league is ridiculous. As far as who is the favorite, I’m going to say UConn. (Hasheem) Thabeet and (Jeff) Adrien, that is an NBA front line. To me they have the best chance in our league to win the national championship.