Dear MC Basketball Fans,
The Scots are back in school and preparing for the start of this basketball season. Our starting date for official practice begins on October 15th. I am looking forward to my 38th year at the helm. Our staff has been very busy over the last few weeks. I run into this question a lot: "Just what do you do when you are not in season?" The average fan doesn't understand what goes into preparing for a season. Here's a short list of some of our duties in the fall.
Recruiting-Attending play dates throughout the South, watching high school workouts and fall league scrimmages, beginning initial contacts with prospective student-athletes, hosting some campus visits by prospects
Mentoring-Supervision of study hall for our players who need it, monitoring the conditioning and weight training of the players, preparing individual workouts for the players to use, counseling and advising those who need someone to talk to or listen
Planning-Designing the playbook for the year, establishing the gym schedule for practice and games, organizing the travel and hotel accommodations, ordering and receiving the equipment, setting the game schedule for the following year, staff planning, scheming and strategizing for the season
Promoting-Organizing with the Sports Information Office our schedule cards, posters, and media guides, setting up our community service projects, speaking to local organizations and schools
Administering-Completing all necessary conference and NCAA requirements, working with the Officials Association with rule changes and scheduling, handling alternate responsibilities of gym supervision and football game management
As you can see, we stay busy during the start of the school year. When it gets right down to it, there is very little downtime. Our staff is getting excited about this season. I know the players are ready to get started. The best news I have for the prospects of this year is last year's sophomores are now juniors. With two years of experience in our program, I am hoping they will demonstrate the consistent traits of our teams in the past. I challenged our squad of 22 student-athletes in the beginning of the year organizational meeting to demonstrate on a daily basis what we do:
1) We value team chemistry- no personal agendas or egos, we give of ourselves so the team can prosper. We are family and we respect each other. Each player must understand their role.
2) We play with mental and physical toughness- If you want to be great, you have to wake up and prove it every day. Each player must get their personal life in order before they start working on their basketball.
3) We play fast and share the ball- If you want to run, you must be in great shape. We need depth, so it is important that everyone holds themselves and their teammates accountable.
4) We play tenacious team defense- This is the area I believe we can improve the most. We must improve our pressure on the ball, our technique in the half court, and our ability to finish the playthrough rebounding and initiating our fast break.
5) We play anybody, anywhere, and anytime- Our conference play has us playing several back-to-back games on the road. We must be ready to compete every time we hit the floor. What we do in October and November will dictate what we do in February.
All of our practices are open and we invite you to visit anytime. Just call ahead to make sure of our start time. Typically, we practice in the afternoon between 4:00 and 6:00. I think you will like the mix of our players. We have a solid ten who are battle tested. We have brought in a couple of transfers that should help us and we have one or two freshmen that may see the varsity floor. This should be an entertaining team to watch. I hope to see you on campus!
Coach Randy Lambert
Leadership with Coach Raul Placeres
I want to talk about five simple leadership lessons I have gathered by observing my favorite coaches in the business:
HONEST COMMUNICATION AND TRUST ARE THE CORNERSTONES OF GREAT LEADERSHIP.
- "The most fundamental thing about being a good leader is the ability to communicate in a trustworthy manner. You only establish that when you look each other in the eye and tell the truth. If you do that on a consistent basis, the element of trust is developed - which is the cornerstone on which every relationship or coach-athlete relationship should be built. And, that becomes part of our culture. Coach K Duke
DON'T BE AFRAID OF CRITICISM
- "There's fear of doing what you think is right. I think too many times people are afraid to make that call because of the criticism they're going to get." Geno Auriemma UCONN
Strong Leaders Empower Their Team To Lead Themselves
- "The relationship with your players and convincing them that you have their best interest in mind, not your program's even. When you do that, and that's what I had with great leaders (of the past), then you're talking with them instead of down to them. I always use this line — a player-coached team is always better than a coach-coached team. If the players buy in, they'll send a message. It's hard to get that." Tom Izzo Michigan State
- "Humble people share the credit and wealth, remaining focused and hungry to continue their path of success. Humility allows that true meaning of sharing credit toward others, preserving the inner dignity that we all need." Coach Delagrana Miami Heat
ENJOY THE PROCESS
- Very simple. Enjoying the process means shared ownership of all team-related things: approach in the weight room, conditioning, film room, game preparation, and ups and downs of the season. Learning to grow each and every day as a person on and off the floor should be the goal. When all things are balanced in life, good outcomes seem to take place.
As we go through the season I would like to share some books I have read this summer that can truly benefit you the reader in all aspects of life and not just sports.
Here are some of my favorites:
- Tuesday's with Morrie by Mitch Albom
- Pound the Stone by Joshua Medcalf
- Grit by Angela Duckworth
- Make your Bed by William McRaven
- The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
Player Spotlight: MC Senior Blake Bowman
Going into your senior year, give us some of your individual goals along with your team goals? An individual goal going into my senior year is to be a better all-around player. Be better on both sides of the ball so that I can help the team have a great year. As far as the team, the main goal for us is to win the regular season, win the conference tournament, and make it to the NCAA tournament.
What has been your most memorable moment of your basketball career as a Scot? My most memorable moment so far in my career as a Scot is from the conference tournament game last year against Piedmont. I got the chance to play some significant minutes and help the team win so that we could advance to the second round.
What is your major? Did you do any type of internship this summer? My major is Finance/Accounting with minors in Economics and Psychology. This summer I was involved in an internship with ORNL's credit union service organization.
What is your favorite place to eat on the road? If you were the coach where would the team eat after victories? I personally like when we go to Chick-fil-a and get the dinner box. If I were a coach I would take my team to Texas Roadhouse for victories.
Word association game. One word to describe the following players and coaches:
Maryville College Men's Basketball Alumni of the Month: Greg Hernandez
When did you play at Maryville College? What did you and your teams achieve individually? Played at Maryville College from 2006-2010. In the four years at Maryville, we went to the NCAA Tournament all four seasons. Four-time Conference Regular Season and Tournament Champions. We only lost one conference regular season game in the four years. Individually at Maryville was able to score over 1.000 points and collect over 500 rebounds. Was also named NABC Third Team All- American my senior year.
Why did you choose Maryville? The reason why I chose Maryville College was its rich history in basketball. The program had been to the NCAA Tournament for eight straight years and I wanted to be apart of that success and I wanted to add to the school's history. Another main reason why I came to Maryville was the offensive system that we ran in our 4 out 1 in Motion. Coach Lambert always took care of his bigs so the decision was pretty easy.
I know becoming an All American was a great feat for you. Could you share with us what you think was the difference from going from being an All-Conference as a junior to an All American as a senior? I believe what helped me make the jump was first and foremost our team success. We won 23 games my senior year and made the tournament for the 12th consecutive year as a program. I know that our programs history and run was a factor in me becoming an All-American.
What are you doing these days? These days I am working with the Sevier County School System as a Spanish Translator. I am also an Assistant Coach with the Seymour High School Girls basketball team.
What advice could you give our incoming Freshman and our lone Senior? For incoming freshman, the advice that I give is to enjoy the process. With practice fast approaching make sure that you are healthy and rested. Make sure to not make the same mistakes twice. Be a sponge and make sure to ask questions if not you are not sure. For the lone Senior, enjoy your last ride. Leave it all out there on the floor. Enjoy the long bus rides and every pre-game meal (grilled chicken, salad and baked potato, water or tea). These moments with your teammates and coaches are hard to replicate in the real world and are the moments you will miss the most.
Lastly, we want to play word association with you: One word to describe each coach or former MC player: Coach Lambert- Legend, Coach Wallace- Leader, Coach Placeres- Passionate, Alex Bowers- Competitor, Milt Stanley- Silky Smooth, Eryk Watson- Scorer, Bobby Golden- Big Fundamental, Maverick Willett- Strong
Player Spotlight: MC Freshman Jordan Griswould
What has been your biggest adjustment so far in your first semester of college? So far the biggest change for me in college is just the time management aspect of it. You have more time to do your work but you have to have accountability for yourself to stay on top of your work. It is basically been about balancing your time on and off the court effectively.
Where did you play high school ball at? Gives us some of your accolades. Faith Christian High School in Anniston, Alabama. I was a North-South All-star scoring over 1,000 career points. I received All-County honors from 2014-2017.
What is your favorite food? What is your favorite movie? My favorite food is Pasta. My favorite movie would probably be Star Wars III.
If you were stuck on a deserted island and needed one teammate to get you out who would that be and why? Eddie Castro. He's my roommate and I know he would have my back if needed, but I know I can count on anybody on the team since this is a brotherhood.
Word association Game. Give us one word to describe the following players and coaches: Emanuelle- untroubled, Calvin- laid back, Eddy- easy going, Garrett- quiet, Tanner-funny, Malcolm- goofy, Dante- business, Coach P- Passionate, Coach Jones- energetic, Coach Will- chillin
Scots Proudly Serve Thier Community
The Maryville College men's basketball team made their annual stop at John Sevier Elementary school in early October. Coach Lambert, his staff, and numerous players displayed their skills in front a loud and attentive crowd. Coach Lambert spoke on the importance of reading and gaining knowledge and each player went to the classroom and read to the student population. This is just one of many community outreach programs that the Maryville College Athletic program does each year.