Q&A: USF interim hoops coach Murry Bartow
Following Tuesday afternoon's practice, USF interim men's basketball coach Murry Bartow, promoted following the dismissal of Orlando Antigua, spoke to a couple of news outlets (including the Tampa Bay Times) inside the Muma Center. A bulk of the conversation is transcribed below.
I know you can't read the players' minds, but what does the mood seem like among the team?
"It was good today. I mean, any time there's a change it's not easy, there's a lot of emotions. But we had a great practice, guys were very upbeat and I thought we had a good day."
So there seems to be a sense of optimism that this season can be salvaged?
"Oh I think so. We've got a lot of good players, and we've got a lot of student-athletes that are hungry to be good. I saw a great energy today, it was a great enthusiasm today. We've obviously got a lot of work to do and keep building, but today was a good start."
Did Coach Antigua have a chance to talk to the guys before he left?
"I'm not sure if he did or he didn't. I don't think he did but I'm not sure."
I'd imagine you're interested in pursuing this job full-time. You consider this kind of an on-the-job interview?
"I tell you, this has happened so quickly, my only concern right now was the practice today. I love Tampa, I love USF and my concern really is for the student-athletes. We've got 13 players that I'm gonna give my whole attention to and everything else is really out of my hands. I'm gonna just work very hard and diligently to do the best we can. I think we've got some really good players, and I'm just gonna give them my full attention."
Coach (Sergio) Rouco and Coach (Rod) Strickland are still around, correct?
Yes. I think both Coach Rouco and Coach Strickland will be critical parts of this transition. Both are really smart guys and I'll certainly lean on them greatly in this transition."
Any tweaks you'd like to insert going forward?
"We'll see. I mean, there were a lot of good things in place. Obviously I was a head coach for 18 years, so I'm sure you may see some new things. But we were doing a lot of things well, and we've just got to improve. We've just got to keep getting better and better, and again, I thought (Tuesday's) practice was good. ... Sergio and Rod and I, we're gonna talk a little bit tonight and we'll see where there's maybe areas that we can tweak or do things differently."