Brad Underwood season wrap press conference

#1      
Admin
Brad Underwood: "Fantastic year. ...Obviously, we're disappointed in the ending. We were hoping and wishing we were playing today." That's March Madness. This is the growth of a program.

Underwood: I'm extremely proud of this group of guys, this season.

Underwood: Didn't have a positive COVID test since August. Took a lot of discipline and mental challenge.

Underwood: We had a lot of fun coaching this team. Had COVID not happened we would have been an NCAA Tournament team [last season] as well. Have most wins in Big Ten last two years. Speaks volumes about commitment of our stuff to recruit, coach and develop players.

Underwood: The transfer portal "has been a majority of my past 10-11 days."

Underwood: Creates a unique scenario. Prefer to recruit freshmen and develop them. I don't know if those days exist anymore.

Underwood: "I think we're going to have shop from the full menu."

Underwood when specifically asked about seniors and Kofi Cockburn: Do not know yet on who will return or not. Players returned home. Will have discussions when they return to campus.

Underwood pretty succinct on Adam Miller transferring: "To say I'm surprised by anything in this world, I'm not."

Underwood said players don't have to tell them they're entering the portal: "That's the world we live in. ...They hold all the cards."

Underwood said he hasn't "had the stomach" to watch the Loyola game again. Watched two women's NCAA Tournament game but has not watched any men's games.

Still needs to process why it happened. Said they were "emotionally flat" and he doesn't know why.

Underwood said the team never got a reset after Big Ten Tournament. Barely got to celebrate the title before the selection show came on (Ayo was on the ladder when they came up)

But doesn't want to discredit Loyola. They were terrific, and we just didn't play well.

Underwood: "This one stings. I'm not lying. But we can't discredit all the positives of the year."

Underwood: "It's the abruptness of the end, and that stings, and that hurts. And it's not something to take lightly."

Underwood: Unfortunately, we're like everyone in the country, probably looking at every position [in the portal].

Underwood: The one thing the portal provides is a chance to get an immediate impact

Underwood asked if he anticipates any change to his staff: "Not to my knowledge."

Underwood said Andre Curbelo certainly will be put into a leadership role next season. "I'd be disappointed if he doesn't have an outstanding year."

Underwood: Austin Hutcherson has been training. Doing workouts and recovery. No timeline set. We've been in constant communication throughout.

Underwood: Ayo Dosunmu "should be the guiding light" of sticktoitiveness development, work.

Underwood: This staff will all be head coaches some day, there's no doubt about that.


 
#3      
"Still needs to process why it happened. Said they were 'emotionally flat' and he doesn't know why."

This is an unsatisfying response. We could all see that the team was emotionally flat, and we all don't know why. I'd like for the head coach to have more insight than I do.
I'm willing to give him a pass for now on this. There is time to address internally what happened/why it happened/how to prevent it again before next season starts. It was a massive letdown but I also think the lockdown the team was on for months warrants them all getting away from it for a few weeks and then get back to work. It kind of looked like they hit a wall so to speak & just didn't have it. Don't know if they were overlooking Loyola a bit or what.
 
#4      
"Still needs to process why it happened. Said they were 'emotionally flat' and he doesn't know why."

This is an unsatisfying response. We could all see that the team was emotionally flat, and we all don't know why. I'd like for the head coach to have more insight than I do.
The shocking thing to me is the way the team would play from time to time with no fire or urgency. I'm not talking about just having an off game, I mean looking like they don't really want to be there. This team was so good when they were right, just kinda strange.
 
#6      
st petersburg, fl
"Still needs to process why it happened. Said they were 'emotionally flat' and he doesn't know why."

This is an unsatisfying response. We could all see that the team was emotionally flat, and we all don't know why. I'd like for the head coach to have more insight than I do.
considering he also said that he hasn't gone through the tape of the game, what would you expect him to say that you would find satisfactory?
 
#8      
BU:1 Trash cans:0
Chicago
With how hard this staff has needed to hit the portal these past two weeks, I doubt anyone has spent much time processing and scrutinizing the end of our season. Additionally, this season was probably draining in so many ways (physically, mentally, emotionally, relationally, etc.). Some much-needed rest and downtime is to be expected. "Answers" will just have to wait.
 
#10      
With how hard this staff has needed to hit the portal these past two weeks, I doubt anyone has spent much time processing and scrutinizing the end of our season. Additionally, this season was probably draining in so many ways (physically, mentally, emotionally, relationally, etc.). Some much-needed rest and downtime is to be expected. "Answers" will just have to wait.
Exactly. All about portal, portal, portal. Plenty of time to look at tape later and figure out how to avoid same pitfalls again. Right now need to get the players so we’re able to get in same kind of position again to use the lessons learned.
 
#12      
st petersburg, fl
Exactly. All about portal, portal, portal. Plenty of time to look at tape later and figure out how to avoid same pitfalls again. Right now need to get the players so we’re able to get in same kind of position again to use the lessons learned.

Agreed. And there's a sound rationale to waiting anyway. let the raw emotion of the game die down a bit so you can more objectively evaluate what happened. it's not like you have practices going on where you can implement changes anyway.

ultimately, i find the notion of "tell us your post-mortem so you can placate the fans" a bit pointless. It matters very little what you tell me what happened. What matters (a lot) more is what happened and what happens going forward. If he gave the most nuanced, thoughtful, and articulate breakdown of what he thinks went wrong, and it ended up happening the next year anyway, then who cares? vice a versa, if he says nothing but we end up in the F4 next year, then nobody is gonna care what he didn't say. yes, when times are tough you can buy yourself some more time by convincing your bosses that you learned your lesson, but it's marginal, at best.
 
#13      
The shocking thing to me is the way the team would play from time to time with no fire or urgency. I'm not talking about just having an off game, I mean looking like they don't really want to be there. This team was so good when they were right, just kinda strange.

I think the best way I have been able to process that is by comparing to my own life. I am feeling mega burnout in most aspect of my life. The realities of this pandemic have been crushing for basically everyone, and this is no doubt true of the team who hadn't seen their families in months. There are days when I finish work and then wonder what I did to be so unproductive for 8 hours (and the answer is not always simply Loyalty ;)). I wouldn't at all be surprised if the team had lapses like that, too, and moods like that can be contagious.
 
#14      
st petersburg, fl
Look at what Loyola did to us in that game. . .everything they threw up there went in. Conversely, they shot 18% in the first half of their next game.

I think that's a bit of an oversimplification. Just comparing the shot chart between the two games says OSU did something differently defensively that worked.

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#16      
Was the last guy an actual reporter? Sunglasses, mask, awkwardly close to the camera, and weird questions. Looked like some random guy snuck on lol.
 
#17      
Easy to point out negative because thst is last thing we remember. I choose to look at fact that we have the best two year record in the Big Ten after Underwood took over a dumpster fire just a short time ago. Keep knocking on the door and you will bust through eventually.
 
#20      
Not watching the tape yet doesn’t scream “I have to figure this out so it never happens again” to me.
Yes, I was hoping the staff was watching every game to see what brought the success to others that we didn’t have. What could/should we have done differently? What type of players/teams are having the success we aren’t and why? Now, I have to watch the games and report back to the staff what I see. And I’m too sad to watch them! And I don’t really know that much about basketball. So that means UIUC is at a disadvantage.
 
#23      
Watching that video of Coach, it’s clear that he’s taking the loss very hard. That’s a good and bad thing. Good, because he cares so much. Bad, because he really feels the sting and it lingers. But he’s been there before and time heals all wounds.

He’s coming to terms with that he can’t count on building a program from freshman any more. Big change for him. He’s got to “shop from the menu” and not build his recipe with all fresh ingredients like he's used to.

He also acknowledges that with The Portal, “The players hold all the cards”. This has some serious in-game implications going forward. What if a player is struggling mightily at key moments of a game but you become hesitant to take him out because the player will pout and want to leave the program? That has to be part of coaching now going forward? Of course you want to win that game, but do I keep the guy in there in hopes of having him still around next year? And what if certain freshmen aren’t getting the minutes they want even though they might not deserve them? Does a coach put him out there for the same reasons that you hope he’ll come back next year?

Coaches have to continuously recruit their entire roster now at all times. There is never a moment when you are not recruiting your own team’s recruits anymore. Some of this has to take away from game prep. But these are changes that had to come sooner or later as the college game for years was geared to benefit all kinds of people ahead of the players.

Bottom line... this will all settle in and players are going to do whatever they think is best for them at any moment just as coaches do. Coaches will have to come to terms with ever-changing rosters and not be worried about what a player might do tomorrow. Do what you have to... to win the game right in front of you and not be concerned about tomorrow. You can't try your best to win a game and keep everybody happy at the same time.

Every season... Choose-up sides and go at it, just like at the neighborhood park gym.