A “Q&A” with Men’s Hoops coach Tom Moore
By: Michael T. Lyle, Jr.
April 11, 2007
It’s no where near the fall of 2007, yet there’s a buzz going around the Quinnipiac campus about the hiring of new men’s basketball coach Tom Moore.
After spending 13 years as a member of the University of Connecticut coaching staff under Hall-of-Fame coach Jim Calhoun, Moore succeeded Joe DeSantis as the sixth head coach in the history of the Bobcats’ program back on March 29.
Yesterday, I had a chance to catch up with the new head coach for a quick Q&A about his thoughts on the program and what he looks to accomplish next fall.
An excerpt on my interview with new Quinnipiac men’s hoops coach Tom Moore
Q: How familiar are you with the Northeast Conference and how does it stack up competition-wise to that of the Big East?
TM: I’ve followed Central Connecticut since Coach Howie Dickenman has been there because there he’s a very good friend of mine and we were on the staff together at UConn in 94-95 and ’95-96…Seeing the teams they’ve had over the years and the other Northeast Conference teams that have come in and go through their gym, I think I have a decent feel on what sort of guy is needed to win in this league…I’m excited, and obviously it’s a whole different arena than the Big East, but the competitive part of it is the same…Its still about trying to leap-frog certain teams and trying to get yourself into that established core of top one-or-two-or three teams, and I think what is set up here at Quinnipiac will allow us to do that in the near future.
Q: I have a feeling you will be playing UConn again next season. What will be your thoughts going against your former mentor and Hall-of-Fame coach Jim Calhoun?
TM: To be honest, I haven’t really given that any thought whatsoever right now…These first two weeks on the job have been overwhelming in terms of hiring the staff, meeting our current players and recruiting…I know when we get to that two or three days before the game, its going to be one win or going to be one loss for us…I can’t put any more emotional importance on it because I think it will take away from our team and what our purpose should be…I’m going to fight my best to make sure I don’t get too emotionally wrapped up in it.
Q: Have you had a chance to meet with the players?
TM: Right after the press conference, I met with the whole team…They’re up there working hard with individual workouts and they’ve played pickup a lot…Its probably an important time for them academically…What happens a lot times in January, February and March for basketball players is that the calendar is so intense they’ll get slow starts in the classroom…I say from here on out until the end of the semester, I think its important to make sure their school work is up to par.
Q: How’s the recruiting process going?
TM: We’re not sure how many scholarships we’ll have right now, and there’s some issues on campus with some of the guys that are returning…A lot of times, I have to feel that they’re a right fit for our style of play and they have to feel that I’m a right fit for them as well…This is late in the school year to be looking for players, so its important for me and the staff to do as much homework as possible on their backgrounds so that we don’t bring in a student-athlete that is not on the same page with what we’re trying to get done at Quinnipiac.
Q: Your thoughts on the TD Banknorth Sports Center?
TM: Beautiful. I was blown away. I went online and saw the pictures, and the pictures don’t do it justice. For a school of this level athletically to build a facility that nice is quite a statement. I think it speaks to President Lahey’s vision and his mission of where he wants his athletic program to go from this point forward. I just get so excited walking in there everyday and leaving every night. I think its going to be a fun place to play…I noticed that the students have rallied around the hockey team because they’ve done so well so quickly…I hope they’ll get the same experience and feel for our team.
Q: What are you expecting out of your first season at the helm here?
TM: I just want to set a tone and some building blocks as to how we’re going to play and how we’re going to represent ourselves…I still have to sort through from a philosophical point of view offensively and defensively how we’re going to do certain things…One of the things I learned from Coach Calhoun is to be sort of pragmatic and to understand that every team has certain quirks and idiosyncrasies which help you shape how you should play…I think our team is still undefined right now…In a broader sense, I just want people to understand that it will be a fun night come opening-night here, we’ll play very hard and we’ll represent the university in the first-class manner it deserves.