It’s always nice to get someone who coaches at the professional level to chime in on your university’s team.
Such insight holds even more weight when it comes from a guy that was one of the best to ever play for your program.
That was the case Tuesday afternoon at the Boys and Girls Club of Bulloch County as former Georgia Southern great Mike Curry talked Eagle basketball while in town to promote his upcoming Curry Cup bowling tournament. After talking about his fundraiser, Curry offered up his views on the current state of the GSU men’s team.
"I have a busy schedule, but during the season I try to check up on Georgia Southern almost every day," said Curry, who will enter his second season as Associate Head Coach of the Philadelphia 76ers this fall. "The GSU basketball team is a big family, so I’m always rooting them on."
Curry, who is good friends with current GSU coach Charlton "C.Y." Young, often talks to Young about the ins and outs of running a team. Both have similar experiences in walking into a tricky situation. Young was brought on to help GSU after subpar seasons and scandals left him with a losing team hampered by scholarship restrictions. Similarly, Curry received his first NBA head coaching opportunity with the Detroit Pistons – who were a reclamation project when Curry took the reins.
Curry took the Pistons to the playoffs in his only season at the helm and sees similar success brewing with Georgia Southern, which finished the 2011-12 season strong and figures to take another step forward this year.
"There is so much going on that those on the outside might not see," Curry said of Young’s efforts with the Eagles. "So much of coaching is about planning and developing. Not only do you have to get the most out of your team on a given night, but you always have to be thinking ahead and considering how you are building towards the future.
"You also have to be able to adjust. It’s easy to coach based on what you anticipate, but coaches always have to deal with the unexpected. Coach Young has had to deal with some injuries the last couple of years, but I think that he has done a good job of managing that while still building the program."
For all that Young has done with the Eagles in his first two seasons, Curry is also excited about the talent that continues to flood into the Eagles’ roster.
Heralded as a top-notch recruiter before he accepted the head coaching job at GSU, Young has delivered on the hype, routinely signing nationally rated talent and drawing tons of talent to Georgia Southern’s basketball clinics.
With college basketball throughout the country featuring players that can carry their teams and take over games at will, Young has been instrumental in enrolling emerging stars such as Eric Ferguson and Jelani Hewitt.
"(Georgia Southern) has got a lot of good talent that they’re bringing up," Curry said. "There are a some guys on the team that can play just about anywhere. More and more, it’s these guys that are coming through mid-major programs that are becoming more complete players that transition better to the professional game. I’m excited to see that kind of talent with the Eagles and I’m sure that they’re going to keep getting better and better."
Mike Anthony may be reached at (912) 489-9404.