Feb. 19, 2005
Assistant basketball coach Steve Seandel has been apart of the men's coaching staff since Dick Davey assumed head coaching duties in the fall of 1992. In addition, Seandel has had plenty of experience in what to expect from West Coast Conference opponents. Staff writer Brian Witter spoke with Seandel about the past, present, and future of the Broncos.
BW: You've been here as long as Coach Davey, what do you enjoy most about working with him?
SS: I like the fact that he lets us do our work and trusts us. Coach Davey doesn't micro-manage this team in every aspect. When I was at Stanford, Mike Montgomery tried to do everything which made for some long days. I still think Mike Montgomery was a great coach though.
BW: What is your impression of this team going into the last few weeks of the regular season?
SS: Inconsistent, just like everyone else's impression of this team. We've had some ups and downs and definitely been on a roller coaster ride for much of the season, but I think the guys have grown up considerably. Some of our losses haven't just been a result of us playing poorly, but just because the league has gotten real good. We're just looking to finish strong, both in the regular season and tournament.
BW: What are some of the areas the team could work on to improve consistency?
SS: Right now, everything we do is geared toward our opponents. We have still had our slip-ups here and there, but focusing on preparing well for each opponent and carrying it out in the game situation is what we need to do to win effectively.
BW: What has been the most memorable game of the year for you so far?
SS: Most people would say North Carolina, but for me it's a tie. The game where we beat Stanford was memorable because I used to work there and we hadn't beaten them in so long. I would also say the game at Saint Mary's. They had not lost at home yet and were in the middle of winning nine or 10 in a row. Being able to go up there and win after the way they handled us last year really stayed with me.
SS: I think the future is really bright. Kyle, Doron, Ethan (Rohde), and Jordan (Legge) have all been great assets to this team, but we've got two or three new guys coming in next year. We've got two great freshmen in Mitch (Henke) and Brody (Angley), so I think the team is going to have a totally different look next year which will not disappoint the fans.
BW: Brody hit that thrilling game-winning shot last week. You were here when Steve Nash was here. What do you think of the comparisons being drawn between the two?
SS: They are very similar in that they aren't scared of anything. I would probably say that Brody is not as nearly developed as Steve was when he was here, but he still steps up when we need him to. He's still only a freshman. The two are both very fearless and hard-nosed though and I think we will continue to rely on Brody to do great things for us.
BW: Have you noticed an increase in fan presence this season since they moved the student body to the center court?
SS: I'm really glad you asked that, because if there is any one organization that we would all like to thank, it would be the Ruff Riders. They've been tremendous this year, and I always see a few of them coming down to shake our hands at the end of the games. Sometimes, it's hard to support a group that goes through as much as we do, but the students have all been extremely supportive.
BW: So do you think anyone is going to be able to stop Gonzaga next month at the West Coast Conference tournament?
SS: There definitely are better ways to play them than the two times we did this season. Ultimately, the tournament benefits them because they get an automatic bye, and if you're a team playing in the first round, you're probably not going anywhere. Gonzaga has been beaten twice in conference play though, and if we're successful enough to face them in the latter half of the tournament like we did last year, I really hope we'll get the chance to do some damage.
BW: Last one, name your favorite moment while assistant coach at Santa Clara.
SS: I'd say that beating Arizona in the NCAA tournament our first year has to be the most memorable moment. Personally, I'll never forget when Alex Lopez hit a 3-point shot to send a game with Portland into overtime. That was the same day my twins were born and he ran down the court saying that the shot was for them. The truth of the matter is that we've got great kids at this school and I think that is what's most memorable.