Oct. 29, 2003
WACO, Texas -
Four of Baylor's head coaches spoke to the media at Tuesday's press luncheon. Below are excerpts from their comments.
Head Volleyball Coach Brian Hosfeld:
On the team's current state:
"We got our team collecting themselves after brutal week and a half of playing top 25 teams. Through that time we've had our two freshman Nicole LeBlanc, and and Desiree Guillard-Young step up, and put up some pretty good numbers consistently.
On the rest of the season:
"Now that that's behind us we're going into the last 1/3 of the season with post-season dreams. We got to flip our conference record from what we did in the first round, so we're looking at winning another seven or eight matches to try to get above .500 overall. I know the committee looks at your last 10 matches, and that would put us in a good position from there."
"As you look at the end of our schedule, you'll see we're at Texas A&M, at Nebraska, and finish at Missouri, all top 25 teams. It is going to be a critical time for us to grow as a team, something we need and plan to do and need to go out and make it happen."
"We all need to come together and play with more purpose and definitely a sense of urgency. We're not consistent, and to become more consistent you need to play with more purpose."
Head Soccer Coach George Van Linder:
On last weekend's results:
"This past weekend was our key point of the season. It was a do-or-die, and we died. That was disappointing for us. If you had asked me how I felt, I would have told you I felt lower that a snake belly. I think it was just terrible for our team, and I talked with our players on Sunday. They said Friday night after the game most of them just went home and had a good cry and went to sleep, and we had to put our game face on for Sunday."
"We thought we could regroup and with surprise do some things against Iowa State. For us it was kind of a disappointing game. It was the worst way to go down, it was the worst way to end a season. We're winning the game with a minute and a half left, and then gave up a goal to tie it up, and we just couldn't get that goal back in overtime. It kind of emphasizes that type of season we have had this year."
"I received an e-mail from a friend who kind of helps us with recruiting and he recently said, 'If you can remove any three goals you wanted that have been scored against you and add any three goals to any game you wanted this season, what a different season it would be.' There is such a fine line for us being at the bottom of the table to being at the top of the table, or halfway through, where we had hoped to be. We are disappointed but encouraged for the future, and that's really what we look forward to this weekend with our game then."
On the final weekend:
"Regarding Texas Tech, you really kind of can call it the toilet bowl if you want; it's going to be who is the last place team, and we don't want that. We still have a lot of pride, and that's something we have talked about: we don't want to be the last place team in the Big 12. We are disappointed with all of our stats and our record, and we are proud of the effort of the kids, but we think we can put something together. We are going out there with a vengeance because the season isn't over in our mind, and we still have something to play for. I was talking to one of the seniors and asked what motivates her, and she said 'I don't want to be a loser.' I think that's the attitude we all have. We are just so frustrated with what's happened for us."
Head Cross Country Coach Todd Harbour:
On the Big 12 Championships this weekend:
"As you guys know, cross- ountry and track are measured a bit differently than soccer or volleyball. We don't have all the numerous games, and we are measured for maybe one or two efforts. One of those efforts happens to be this weekend down at the Big 12 meet in Austin, and the second will be here at the NCAA Regional meet, which will be out at Cottonwood in two weeks, so are just really at the high point of our season.
"Our men are currently ranked fourth in our region. We've kind of had one of those seasons where we haven't been able to put five guys running a quality race at any one particular meet that we've been to so far. We had one of our top runners, Kyle King, have his first injury during his four years. We only have one full scholarship athlete on our men's cross-country team so they have done an outstanding job. We have finished sixth and fourth the last two years in the Big 12, and we are hoping to be there at least in the top six of the conference with the men and maybe even better than that if we all put it together.
"On the other side, our women have been ranked as high as 14th in the nation. We are currently ranked No. 1 in our region. We have an outstanding group of ladies right now; the really nice thing about them is that they are mostly young; four of our top five are freshmen and sophomores, so the Lord blessed me with a couple of good recruiting classes the last couple of years. I've been able to keep them healthy this year, so we've had some fun.
Head Football Coach Guy Morriss:
On this week's opponent, Kansas State:
"They're a pretty sound football team. Coach Snyder has done a good job over the years. That staff has been together a while. The kids are very disciplined, and they have a lot of tremendous athletes. We think (Darren) Sproles is the best running back yet we've seen, and we'll have to contain him. (Ell) Robertson obviously is a good quarterback, he can make plays and he has a good arm. Defensively, they're sound and solid; they play a four man line, play some three's, some man, some quarters. They've got great special teams; they've blocked seven punts. They're a big challenge for us this week. They seem like they've come together."
On Kansas State RB Darren Sproles:
"Sproles is very compact built; he's not a big guy. Somebody told me the kid squats about 750 pounds. He's got tremendous hip, low-back strength and quick, quick feet. A guy that small, you don't expect to run with that kind of power. If he in fact is squatting that weight, then it's pretty evident why he is as good as he is, because he has quick feet and he can change direction well, and he has power to run you over at the same time. He is a total guy; he is going to block when he has to."
On facing another running QB:
"It's a challenge to face quarterbacks who can run and throw. It's part of the game, and we're going to have to learn how to deal with it. I have never seen as many in one season as this one. They're pretty common in this conference. It's a situation where we assign him to somebody, maybe a strong safety or a linebacker, or a lineman. We've got to be aware of where he's at and watch him every play."
On following KSU's steps to improving a football program:
"We have talked about the K-State program quite a bit in terms of scheduling, and in terms of the kinds of players that I think have to go after. You have to take the kid who might be an inch shorter than what you would really like, or maybe a half step slower, or things like that, because they're proving you can go win with kids like that until you can attract a 'superstar.' I think from a scheduling standpoint, that is probably where we need to go with this program at this particular point, is to try to give these kids some success and get some wins under our belt. The problem you run into is the schedules have to be set so far in advance that there is not a lot of wiggle room in the immediate schedule in the next year or two, but down the road I think that will be the way we need to go.
"I don't think that it's unfair to use them as a model, I think that speaks very highly of Coach Synder and his philosophy and his staff. Obviously if they can do it there you can do it a lot of other places. There is pressure to win as quickly as possible but there is a perfect model of how do it right there at K State."
On his first year at Baylor:
"I think if you haven't ever had to go thorough too many losing seasons or go through a session of transition, yeah, it eats at all of us too. But we have experienced it once before and we kind of knew where the pitfalls where going to be and the challenge of what it was going to be like. I think in our particular case we feel like we have a good plan. You have to stay true to the plan. You can off and panic and go in a thousand different directions: 'well let's try this,' not 'let's do that.' Our schemes are proven, and we're not going to change. The things we have been talking about since we got here are still in place and they are going to stay in place.
"I think you are starting a lot of the kids, especially our younger kids that are really buying into our way of doing it. And what we expect of them, they are trying to do the right things. I can see a lot of positives after seven or eight games. If you look up in the game Saturday, that may have been the best game we have played in terms of effort and just staying in the ball game and playing hard for four quarters. That is where it all has to start; the kids have to learn how to play first. Now the next thing we have to teach them is how to hold on to the football, and those types of things. This type of situation you can't panic. If you have philosophies you believe in, you've got to stay true to them and keep teaching them. And the kids will buy into your philosophy and the next thing you know, things start moving in the right direction."