Developer Chat

General WhatIfSports

Bobby Cremins

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

8:30 PM - 9:30 PM EST


The LIVE portion of this chat will begin on

Tuesday, December 19, 2006 at 8:30 PM EST.

Welcome everyone to our Legends of the Game chat with former Georgia Tech and current College of Charleston men's basketball coach Bobby Cremins.

What are your plans on rebuilding the College of Charleston. Do you expect maybe a sweet 16 in the next five years? (tmacfan14 - Veteran - 8:35 PM)

A sweet 16 would be great. It starts with recruiting. We got the job in July. Our first true recruiting class will be this year. It's going to take 2 or 3 solid recruiting classes to build the program.

In the 1990 national tournament you were playing LSU in the 2nd round with Chris Jackson, Stanley Roberts and Shaq. What did you tell your guys when LSU jumped out to an 18-1 lead? (Admin - Site Staff - 8:36 PM)

I'll always remember that. We were all shell shocked including me. We were intimidated - including me. We knew that we had a great team but we knew we had great scorers and that we could get back into it. One fo the great comebacks of all time. Great game.

Hey Coach Cremins. How disapointed were you when you lost in the 89-90 season in route to your final four apperance? Were you just happy to have made it so far, or were you dissapointed because you thought you could win it all? (espnjunkie - Hall of Famer - 8:38 PM)

We were up 7 at halftime. Kenny picked up his 4th foul. We though we could win it all. We knew UNLV was a great team. I thought that the winner of that game would win the national championship. With Kenny in foul trouble, Larry Johnson and company made a great comeback and turned it on and just got us. Things I maybe could have done differently - left Kenny in the game - he thought he could have stayed in with 4 fouls and not fouled out. It turned the game around when he left the game.

Hi Bobby, I am from your playing ERA. I know you have seen many Great Hoopsters, although not the best player of all time my favorite player of all time is Barry Kramer of NYU. How would YOU describe Barry as a Player. Thanks, Stan (kiscokid - Hall of Famer - 8:39 PM)

He's like a miniature Bill Bradley. I was a kid, I was young but I do remember him. I was a Bill Bradley prototype.

Some coaches get very committed to a certain approach - like the press. Do you think it is just a coincidence that Gary Williams - awesome as he is - won his Championship in a season when he rarely had his team press? Seems like Gary can get overcommitted to the press - especially against good teams who often can handle it. Do coaches fall in love with a style? (mamxet - Hall of Famer - 8:41 PM)

One of Gary's mentor's is Tom Davis (Drake) who always pressed. In the ACC there are so many great PGs that Gary had to be careful about pressing. When we had a great PG, Gary would often take his press off. I do think coaches get committed to a style. Each of us have a style. Gary loves to press and loves the flex the offense. Sometimes Gary felt like, hey, I can't press these guys, they're just to good and he would call it off. That's smart coaching.

How has the coaching profession changed since you began your career and what changes have noticed since you came back from retirement? (cfbfan77 - Newbie - 8:44 PM)

Since my return from retirement, I've noticed that alot of coaches are trying to utillize the 'princeton' offense, more big guys shooting 3s. The game itself hasn't really changed that much - screens, etc. Overall, it's always been a pressure-cooker. Coaches get compensated very well but the pressure is intense. It's become a big-time business.

Coaching in the ACC, how much pressure did you feel to get to NCAA tournament every season? (Admin - Site Staff - 8:45 PM)

Always a lot of pressure to get to the NCAA tournament. It's a major yardstick coaching in a major conference. If you're in major conference, you need to be in the dance at least once every 4 seasons or it's a red flag.

I see a lack of depth on most teams during the NCAA Tournament. How come College Coaches don't use their bench more ? If a player is on Scholarship he should be good enough to play . (gatorhator - All-Star - 8:46 PM)

I think coaches utilize their bench more today than ever before. One of the reasons they don't need their bench though is due to TV. TV timeouts provide a lot of extra opportunities to rest their players. I still feel though that bench play is a major factor but the expanded TV coverage allows players more rest.

Are you suprised by the struggling of Stephon Marbury these last few seasons and do you think he can turn his career around? (espnjunkie - Hall of Famer - 8:48 PM)

Stephon has been in an unstable situation (coaching). Larry Brown just wild. Nobody envisioned Larry fired after 1 season and now the controversy with Isiah taking over. He's been in the middle of a lot of controversy in a high profile city. Stephon can play and he wants to win. I think he's been frustrated by the instability in the franchise and the controversy in the Knicks program.

Lifetime S Car fan (yes, you're forgiven) and those McGuire years were the greatest(Except for those slowdown 12-10 games). Did the players from up North communicate with each other before deciding to play at S Car? Your memorable moment? Best teammate player and best opponent?Did Coach McGuire run practices or Ben Jobe? lol . Thanks. (chopblock - All-Star - 8:51 PM)

Owns and Roach - yes, they did confer with each other before going. Definitely did. My most memorable moment would be my sophomore year beating UNC at UNC and my senior year going undefeated regular season in the ACC. John Roach and Owens would be considered as the best teammates at South Carolina. I really enjoyed playing against UNC. Our coach used to coach there - he won a national championship at UNC. Ben Jobe was very instrumental but now, coach MgGuire was in charge.

What made you want to get back into coaching? (Admin - Site Staff - 8:53 PM)

I got a little bored. I felt I had something left in the tank and I was a little young. This opportunity came at a crazy time and I just decided to go for it. No regrets - it's been tough but everyone has been great but my life has turned upsidedown by really enjoy being back in the game.

Mr. Cremins, would you agree that the "over commercialization" of professional sports (namely the NBA) has a huge negative effect on college sports (namely college basketball)...in terms of(1) guys playing for themselves and not the team, (2) guys putting on sideshows to get more airplay..more public exposure..and arguably more future endorsements, and (3) the lack of and could-care-less-about basic basketball fundamentals? (tapdatazz - Hall of Famer - 8:58 PM)

Yes, there is some truth to that statement. They're going to make sure that those kids don't have their own agenda. One of the big problems today is that everyone thinks they can play in the NBA. That's a problem. They have false expectations. I really feel like that they're not realistic. Some can, but they're putting the cart before the horse. Alot of people feel that players have gotten away from fundamentals. Our youth programs are 5 on 5 and not focusing on fundamentals in the offseason. TV plays a big role because of the money. You start with the incredible NCAA tournament. Why aren't there more teams? TV - it's a perfect package - 3 weekends. It brings in a fortune, it's worth a fortune. March Madness is big as any sporting event in the country. It's the equivalent of a World Series or Super Bowl. It's the most unique thing in sports.

Down 1 with 8 seconds left, do you give it to Stephon Marbury or Kenny Anderson (both in their college prime)? (dan2980 - Hall of Famer - 9:00 PM)

Either one. They were great in that situation. They knew how take the ball to the hole. They were both superb. You can throw Mark Price in there as well. Mark doesn't take a back seat to either one. Both came in with more fanfare - both were #1 players in the country. Mark wasn't even top 50. The fanfare those two came with was incredible.

What was the secret to recruiting all those great point guards from NYC? (cfbfan77 - Newbie - 9:01 PM)

Probably Mark Price. Mark's success nicknamed us point guard university. They loved his style of play. They just started to come. Once we got Kenny, that was it. Even though the NCAA doesn't allow former players to recruit future players, their success on and off the court is a big part of recruiting.

Did you find recruiting significantly easier after the Final 4 run in '90? (Admin - Site Staff - 9:02 PM)

Yes. We lost Dennis Scott - he left school early. It was a big, big boost for recruiting.

Bobby Cremins -#21. Thanks for the Gamecock memories. How has playing for Frank Mcguire influenced your coaching style and philosphy? And seriously , if the '67-'74 gang were college balling today could that bunch of white boys still run with the best? (philo - Hall of Famer - 9:05 PM)

He was a great influence on me. Some people say I never had a bench because of Coach. Coach McGuire would only play 5 players and I sometimes would also only play 5 players. He was like the Godfather. We all looked up to him, we were all scared of him. He did everything first class. I've tried to do everything first class. Absolutely, we could compete in today's college baksetball landscape.

What is the difference between recruiting at a smaller school such as Charleston and basketball power like Georgia Tech? (Admin - Site Staff - 9:09 PM)

There is a difference there. At the mid-majors, you need to find the sleepers. If you can recruit an ACC-caliber player to the Souther conference, that's a major statement. There are kids playing now in our conference that could play in the Southern conference. Playing time is very important, they want to play for a winning program, a good education. You have to sell a lot of things - without a doubt. The conference is very important.

Personally, would you rather coach a team full of superior athletes or a team of scrappy kids with solid fundamentals? Why? (lostmyth2 - Hall of Famer - 9:13 PM)

Regardless of the makeup, they must play together. The key to coaching is chemistry. Getting a group of people working together for a common cause. Getting them to work together is what it's all about. It takes both athleticism and IQ to be a great player. The combination is the key. Find an athlete who understands the game is what you want. Experience is so valuable - when you have a senior laden team that's been with you for 3 years, that's a great thing. Alot of these freshman though are fearless. They're so confident they feel like they can play like a senior as a freshman.

Who was the best player that you ever coached against? (caseycoo3 - Hall of Famer - 9:14 PM)

Well let's see, I coached against Michael Jordan, Len Bias and Tim Duncan. Over a 4 year period - Tim Duncan was the greatest player I've had to coach against.

Which of of your former players do you compare the current Georgia Tech freshman phenom Thaddeus Young to and why ? (espnjunkie - Hall of Famer - 9:15 PM)

Duane Ferrell. Both great athletes. Similar builds, strong small forwards.

How much of college basketball success is ability to recruit (talent) and how much is player development/game planning? (Admin - Site Staff - 9:18 PM)

Player development is a big part of the preaseason. With the new NCAA rules that allow coaches to work with players before the season begins now that you don't have to wait until October 15th. A great coach can take a mediocre team and play great basketball. If you're at a high level, you have to have some talent. You can keep your team in the game, but it's tough to win without talent. You have to be able to both - make smart decisions and coach talent.

Matt Harpring came out of nowhere. How did you find him? Are your surprised with his longevity in the NBA? (cfbfan77 - Newbie - 9:20 PM)

Matt was a 3 sport athlete in high school. He didn't go to a lot of the summer camps so a lot of coaches missed out on him. Fortunately he didn't sign early and I sent my assistant coach to scout him and he loved him. We recruited the heck out of him. Matt was the type of kid we had to throw out of the gym. After practice was over he'd stay for another 2 hours and we'd have to kick him out. He's probably the hardest working player I've ever coached.

What did your wife say when you told her I am coming out of retirement and taking the College of Charleston position? (dan2980 - Hall of Famer - 9:20 PM)

She loved it. She wanted me to work again. And she still feels that way.

How were you able to land Mark Price back when you were coaching at Georgia Tech and did you think he was going to have as great an NBA career as he did? (cfbfan77 - Newbie - 9:25 PM)

My assistant George Felton (now assistant for the Spurs). We couldn't believe he was still available when we found him. Mark really wanted to play in the ACC. He was a real diamond in the rough. We were very fortunate to land him. Once we saw him play, we went to every game. My AD told me that I was the only coach that could break an unlimited budget. It came down to Oral Roberts, Tulsa and Kansas State.

What was your most memorable recruiting trip (on the court or off the court)? (dan2980 - Hall of Famer - 9:27 PM)

Oh boy. When I recruited Mark Price his whole family sang gospel music for me. There are so many recruiting stories, it could take me all night. A lot of recruiting is the relationship you form with the player.

who was your greatest recruit of all time? (caseycoo3 - Hall of Famer - 9:28 PM)

We beat out UNC for Kenny Anderson. Kenny was a war. If a kid a verbally commits there's a gentleman's agreement to back off, and most coaches respect that although crazier things have happened.

Although the focus is the same, what is the biggest difference going from a high profile program (Geo Tech) to a low-major (College of Charleston)? (dan2980 - Hall of Famer - 9:30 PM)

There's a difference. To me it's all about basketball. I just wanted to coach again. I wanted DI. Everyone knows the ACC has larger crowds and more exposure. The basketball is the same between the Southern and ACC conferences. The intensity is the same.

Thank you very much for participating in our Legends of the Game chat with Bobby Cremins. It's been great being able to pick the mind of one of the greatest coaches of all time. For more information regarding upcoming chats, please click here.

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