Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Barnes on Calhoun

Here's what Texas head coach Rick Barnes had to say today on a conference call about Jim Calhoun:

“Obviously, you’re always concerned when something like this happens. I’ve known Jim, I met him while he was at Northeastern and I was an assistant at George Mason. When he was at UConn, I saw him recruiting and went up in the stands to ask him about his teams. That’s the first time we talked about rebounding. I’ve known him for a long time, he was good to me when I came into the Big East. I know he’s had medical issues in the past, so that’s a concern. We’re definitely all getting older.”

“I have great respect for his program. They’ve got one of the coaches I’ve got great respect for in George Blaney, he knows what needs to be done there. As good as their program is, it’s going to remain there because (Calhoun has) laid the groundwork.”

“Emotions could be higher for the players, maybe. We all wish he was there, I can tell you that.”

(Barnes on how he deals with the pressures of coaching. It should be noted that he said he had no idea if stress is what has contributed to Calhoun's medical leave):

"I'm a lot different than I used to be. I used to think this job was the end of all things, and it's not. It's not who I am, it's what I do. I don't think my job is any more important than your job. I've had great bosses, but being around Dave Gavitt at the time I was at Providence, he told me my job was to teach. As I got older, I don't consume myself with winning. I consume myself with trying to do what I can to get these guys to get better ... I don't read the papers, I don't need the distractions. I don't watch TV, don't watch SportsCenter adn all that ... I think I've got it in the right perspective. We want to win, don't get me wrong ... but what I've learned in this business is, all these people that think they know the answer, unless you walk in their shoes, you're guessing and speculating ... I do know I'm getting older, I'd like to think I'm getting wiser. But it's not about me, it's about our players. If you get consumed with it -- and at one time, I did. At one time, I was scared to death, wondering if I would survive in this business. And I see young coaches doing that today. I was very fortunate to have a guy like Dave Gavitt and mentors to help me through those times. Now, as I've gotten older, I can clearly see what they were saying was true at the time."

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