Tommy Amaker pictured after Harvard's victory over Michigan in 2007-08 at Lavietes Pavilion.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Head men's basketball coach Tommy Amaker recently took part in the first Ivy League basketball teleconference. Below are his quotes from the event.
Head Coach Tommy Amaker's Opening
Everyone at this time of year seems to be bubbling with excitement and optimism. You are always guarded about injuries and we are fairly healthy. We had our share of misfortune a year ago (with injuries) but was are healthy and there is a lot of energy and excitement around or program. We have a tremendous schedule and looking forward to the beginning of real play
On Do-Everything Guard Jeremy Lin:
Jeremy's been, in my opinion, one of the best all-around players in the country bar none. He's in great shape and has always had a great deal of endurance. He can go longer and harder than the guy who is guarding him. He plays all over the floor and is a "throwback" player. He has worked his tail off to put himself in a position of leadership and taking ownership of that position has really improved.
On The Freshman Class:
Anytime you bring in young players, you hope they can add a level of talent and youthful exuberance. I think this class has done that for us thus far. We are able to have more competition in our practices with more healthy bodies (than we had last year). The energy and enthusiasm can be contagious. But the other part of having a lot of younger guys is that they have no idea what they are doing. They get knocked down so we have build them back up. There are a few players who are able to avoid that cycle and are game-ready so they can help us throughout the course of the season.
On The Status of Pat Magnarelli and Andrew Van
We didn't have either one of them last year and haven't had Pat for basically two years. Having healthy bodies up front would certainly help our depth and rotation. Pat is coming off the knee injury that he had for two years in a row so it will be a little bit more deliberate in his progress than for Andrew. But so far so good. Both kids have been able to dive right in there and we've been very, very pleased so far.
On The Crimson's Non Conference Schedule:
We feel like we have an incredibly challenging non conference schedule in 2009-10. We have William & Mary, Rice and George Washington coming to Lavietes Pavilion so we're excited to have some big names from conferences in our home arena. We are also have some of those monster games on the road and have our work cut out for us.
On The Play of Sophomore Keith Wright:
We're hopeful that all of our young guys from a year ago will be better, stronger and wiser. None more important than Keith - The importance of guys up front, he gives us scoring and rebounding and delivers on the low post. He came back in great condition, dropped weight and is a lot more toned. There is a center of confidence in knowing what is expected as a sophomore and Keith embodies that more than anyone in the class right now.
Rules Changes For 2009-10 from Reggie
When a player is injured before being to take a free throw, the opposing coach will be allowed to choose one of the four remaining players on court to shoot the free throws.
The second major rules change comes with position under the basket as charging calls have expanded in recent years. Now, a secondary defender cannot establish late position under the hoop on a driving player who is in control of the ball or who has just released the ball. The secondary defender must have already established position in order for a charge to be called.