Q&A With Kirk Speraw Part II

AP Photo/John Amis

If there's one thing that UCF basketball fans know about the program in recent years, it's been fairly unpredictable game by game. Trying to predict what will happen during the 2003-2004 UCF basketball season is probably a very foolish attempt. In this part two, Kirk Speraw talks about the expectation which put on the team.

Q:  Last year your basketball team played in the A-Sun championship game but they did not win the title.  Looking at the conference right now, who do you think is the best of the bunch?

A:  I think teams that enjoyed the top last year will be on top again this year.  We played Troy Stated in the championship game.  I think both of us will be a factor.  Georgia State and Mercer were in the semifinal games and I think those two teams will be a factor.  Then you throw Belmont in the mix and probably Florida Atlantic.  I think any of those teams will probably have an early start and jump on things just because the players that they have coming back.  I don't know about Jacksonville, Stetson and some of their new players.  It depends on how well their recruits come in play for those type of teams and see where they kind of fallout.  But I think it cans go to any number of five or six deferent teams.


Q:  Talking to the fans, alumni, and boosters, the compliment of your program is how well and clean you run it.   Would you tell us how importance it is to run a clean program?

A:  I think everybody has to be true to his/her personality.  We're very concern about recruiting quality student-athletes to this university so we represent this university in a very positive way.  We work very hard to do that and we do have very good young men in our program.  If they're not, they don't stick around very long.  We're going to do things the way that we think they should be done.  Doing with it class and doing it with integrity and just work each and everyday to the best of our abilities to put a good product on the floor that the alumni, student body, and the administration here at UCF can be proud of this group of young men.  I think we have done that over the years.  We have some struggles at difference times with injuries and with things like that but we are going to be the team that battle and work very hard and again trying to represent this university in a very positive matter.


Q:  In regarding to recruiting, what do you look for in the player?  Is talent or personality is the priority and which, in percentage wise, is more important in the screening process?

A: Well, I don't know but it's hard to put in percentages.  Certainly when you're in recruiting trail and what your need obviously is talent.  You got to have people that have talent for this game of basketball.  That's a kind of starting point that they have talents.  You're looking at people with good character, people who work very hard or very competitive fitting need that you have.  And the big part of it too is that they want to be here.  I think it's important to us that we find people who want to be a part of UCF basketball team.  We're begging them to come here because they're not going to reach the potential that they have.  They got to want to be here, be willing to work hard so I think that's part of screening process as well.


Q:  Winning basketball game take a lot of other important minutes detail such as support from the fans and administration to make it happen.  There is a trend of increasing in UCF athletes' budget recently.  How much did the Men's Basketball program received helps from the administration

A:  Since I have been here, our basketball budget has continued to grow.  I remember when I first got here our basketball recruiting budget was $10,000, I mean that was ridiculous.  But Steve Sloan gradually made improvements over the course of time and of course Steve Orsini since coming along had make a couple of decisions that have been very integral to our program and helping us out.  I think it's still a long way to go and we're still not even on the top of our own league and that will come in time.  Our budgets grow in large part in relation to how many booster and how many ticket holder we have.  Our budget can't grow until we get more boosters get more people in the Golden Knights Club get more season ticket holders so that revenue coming in now we can take revenue and increase our budget or whoever budget.  The community and the alumni really have to start to buy in for our budget get to the point where it needs to get.


Q:  This year the UCF football program have had some increase in ticket sales and part of the success largely credited to the marketing department.  Dexter Lyons was part of the Men's and Women's basketball promotion during the football game at the Citrus Bowl.  Are you counting on the Marketing Department to help promote you

A:  I think Gert Garman (Asst AD/Sports Marketing & Promotions) have done a good job and she's going to try to do a better job this year in getting students out and promoting the basketball program throughout the community.  I think that those efforts are needed and I think she got a good game plan in place and hopefully we can execute well and the community will develop a little relationship with our student athletes.  And I think that is all about in especially in basketball when you know somebody, you see somebody, you see the personality on the floor where you don't always see on the football field for instance because the nature of the sport.  You can really see the personality in our guys and can get to know them a little bit better.  Hopefully the community can make the connection with this team.  I think this is going to be an exciting team and that's going to draw more people in here of course the more people in here the better home court advantage we have and more exciting it is for everybody.  But Gert did a great job so and she got a good game plan for this year.


Q:  Here at UCF, we have a lot of expectation for our sports.  There were expectations that were in place for the football team at the beginning of the season.  Thus far, the football team has not performed very well on the field and probably will not meet the expectation for this season.  Do you think that the fans will transfer that enthusiasm which reserves for football to the basketball team and in turn put more pressure on you or your team this season?

A:  Certainly the football coach (Mike Kruczek) is doing a great job.  They had some struggles with injuries and not having the personnel that they though would be on the field.  All coaches across the country had that happened to them at a different time and he certainly has that year.  That's not something we can control or our kids can control.  We can only control like I said what we do on the practice court every single day and what we do when we line up for games.  You know fans they just want to win.  That's what we all want.  What fans, sometime, failed to realize is as hard as they're disappointed they are about a season or particular game or whatever, all you have to do is multiply that frustration about fifteen fold.  And then you'll get the frustration level of the coaching staff that might be going through some of that stuff.  We're always are very self critical about what we're doing.  We always are trying to reevaluate how we approach things as coaches so we can have the best chance to be successful.  That's what we do on basketball every single day.  We evaluate every practice.  We evaluate every game and make the best decisions that best utilize our talents so we can put the most successful product we can on the basketball court.

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