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Image 9 of The Cats' Pause, "April 13, 1985"

Part of The Cats' Pause

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Pay* 9 W6\ lot of us who think we need to widen the length. The post play right now is vicious. You saw that the other night in the national championship game (Villanova-Georgetown). That was a rule, and possibly a three-point shot. Everybody's packin' it in the paint. Maybe if you had a three-point shot then maybe that would spread the defense a little more, I don't know. With the 45-second clock do you think there's going to be a tendency to play zone (defense) more than man-toman? Coach Sutton: I think you've seen a trend in college basketball the last few years where more people are playing zones. But we're going to be playing man defense most of the time. . .You play the game differently at home than you do when you go on the road. At home you want to be more liberal and get that crowd into the game. On the road we may play some zone. When did you decide that you wanted to be a basketball coach? Coach Sutton: I had wonderful parents. I grew up on a farm in western Kansas. And I think that a lot of the people in Kentucky can identify with me. We had no electricity, we had kerosine lanterns. We had not indoor plumbing. We had a hoop out there and a pickup, that's all we had. I guess by the time I was a seventh grader I knew I wanted to coach basketball. Basketball has given me the opportunity to travel all over the world and the opportunity to deal with so many young, wonderful people. So, when you ask the question, 'When did I decide?' -- I was about a seventh grader I guess. When I was a seventh grader I was as tall as I am right now. What about your basketball playing days? Coach Sutton: I was a pretty good player. Not as good as Mr. (Cliff) Hagan or Mr. (Frank) Ramsey or all the great players that have played here. Mr. (Henry) Iba can attest to this: I could shoot the ball but I had terrible foot speed. ~1 Are your three sons excited about coming to Lexington? Coach Sutton: Our sons are excited, just like I am. This is the only job I would have taken. They were down here yesterday and flew back last night and I talked to them last evening and again this morning. I said, 'Are you guys going to wear those Kentucky T-shirts I got for you to class today. And they said, 'Yes.' Steve (the oldest) was a good high school player, but he's a great outdoorsman; he loves to hunt and fish. He never really put enough time in the offseason, and that's when you make yourself a basketball player. Most coaches work How handicapped are you at this point in the recruiting process? Coach Sutton: I don't know, I can't answer that because sometimes when you go into a new position, it's an advantage and sometimes it's a disadvantage. I can't answer that. How can it be an advantage for a first-year coach in relation to recruiting? Coach Sutton: Like when I went to Arkansas, one of the best recruiting groups we had was the first year I moved in there. People were anxious to come. I hope that same thing happens this spring. What about the Kentucky team next season? I think you've seen a trend in college basketball the last few years where more people are playing zones. But we "re going to be playing man defense most of the time their players harder in the year. The offseason is when you become a player, especially when you're young. Sean is a sophomore (high school). I hope some day he plays for the University of Kentucky. I'll tell you this cute story (about Sean). This happened about a year ago, he asked me, 'Are you going to recruit me dad.' And I said I don't know Sean. He said, "I'll tell you one thing I'll go to the University of Texas and I'll come back and beat your fanny.' Then about two months ago he told his mother,' If Kentucky calls I'm going.' I told him if Kentucky calls me I'm going, too. He's really a good player. Scott Andrewis an eighth grader and he's got a chance to be a good player. -at « Like Rupp, Sutton Grew Up In Kansas - Eddie Sutton Coach Sutton: Oh, I think we've got a great nucleus, there's no doubt in my mind we could be a good basketball team. . .Until I really have a chance to meet with all our players, I'm not sure what our needs are. question, there's no substitute for quickness. You can run away from mistakes if you have quickness. You can hurt people at the defensive end and you can hurt them at the offensive end. What are your feelings to an early season tournament featuring Kentucky, Notre Dame, Louisville and Indiana? Coach Sutton: I think it would be fine, but I'm not aware of it. Have you met with former UK coach Joe B. Hall since you were named his successor? Coach Sutton: No, I haven't. But I'm looking forward to it because I have such great respect for Coach Hall. I do believe that he will help me in any way that he can. I'm sure he'll have some ideas, and I will listen. What is the most difficult thing that you've had to experience in your coaching career? Coach Sutton: I guess when I was going up against (recruiting) powers like Kentucky, Notre Dame, Indiana, North Carolina and UCLA and you get down when you're 1 out of 2 with a player and then lose him to another school. I guess that would probably be the most difficult thing that I've been faced with. I hope that doesn't happen here. I hope we beat everybody. What about the pressure of winning? Coach Sutton: I think most coaches that have been successful put pressure on themselves. You know if you expect to win and want to win. . .it's like SUTTON'S YEAR-BY-YEAR RECORD Year Team Conference Record Overall 1970 Crekjhton 15-10 1971 Creighton 14-11 1972 Crekjhton 15-11 1973 Crekjhton 15-12 1974 Creightoo 23-6, ranked 14th AP, UPI 1975 Arkansas 11-3. T2nd 17-9 1976 Arkansas 9-7, 4th 19-9 1977 Arkansas 15-0. 1st 26-2, ranked 18th AP, 7th UPI 1978 Arkansas 14-2. T1st 32-4. ranked 6th AP. 7th UPI. finished 3rd NCAA 1979 Arkansas 11-3, Tlst 25-5, ranked 5m AP, 6th UPI, lost in final of NCAA Midwest Regional 1980 Arkansas 13-3. 2nd 21-8 1981 Arkansas 13-3. 1st 24-8, tost in semifinals of NCAA Midwest Regional 1982 Arkansas 12-4. 1st 23-6 1983 Arkansas 14-2. 2nd 26-4. ranked 9th AP, 9th UPI, lost in semifinals of NCAA Mideast Regional 1984 Arkansas 14-2. 2nd 25-7, ranked 9th AP. 9th UPI 1985 Arkansas 10-6, T2nd 22-13 Totals 137-35 (.797) 342-125 (.732) Is it a characteristic of you -- as a recruiter -- that you value quickness so much that you'll take a player without great statistics because you see he has athletic quickness? Coach Sutton: There's no substitute for quickness in any team sport. So, we're going to go after athletes; maybe they won't shoot the ball quite as well. I look at (Sidney) Moncrief, (Darrell) Walker, (Alvin) Robertson and (U.S.) Reed and all those great players we had at Arkansas and maybe they don't shoot it well, buy they play hard and take directions -- they listen. They have great foot speed. Defensively they just tear the other ballclub apart. That's why I like Georgetown. Now Rollie (Massiminno) did a great job and I was happy that he won, but we would like to play like Georgetown. Georgetown's the kind of ballclub I'd like to coach. That's the kind of way our ballclubs at Arkansas have been. But I believe Kentucky, and looking at their personnel, we can be the same thing here. But to answer your Arkansas and Kentucky. There's not that much difference only this is a higher level. I probably feel like a state park, everybody wants a piece of me. When you don't win then you're going to feel like, 'Darn, I let the whole state down. That's the way I felt at Arkansas and that's the way I'll feel here. But we're not going to win every ballgame, and I want you all to understand that. What do you see as the challenge in this job? Coach Sutton: I guess to try and win some national championships. I had goals every year. At Arkansas your first goal was to win your conference, the second goal is to win over 20 basketball games and the third goal is to get in the NCAA Tournament. I believe that Kentucky can get in the NCAA Tournament almost every year . . .if we do our homework. And one goal would be to win the national championship. That's why I came here. I might have won a national championship at Arkansas. If you get