tBBC has been catching lightning in a bottle lately with some of the stories we’ve been able to bring you and interviews we have been fortunate enough to get. Ohio State women’s head coach Kevin McGuff graciously agreed to answer some questions that the staff put together about his first year in Columbus.
tBBC: Coach, first we want to thank you for taking time out of your day to sit down with us. What did you see as the biggest thing to overcome to get your team to adapt to your style of play and what you asked of them?
Coach McGuff: We are implementing a much faster, aggressive style of play. That’s been the biggest adjustment for our players.
tBBC: Despite the changes (style, lineup, etc) and aside from Wins and losses– how did you see the team’s progress?
McGuff: Our two biggest objectives were to create a winning culture and be aggressive as anyone in the country on the recruiting front. I believe we succeeded in both areas.
tBBC: Is there a plan in place to try and keep the best Ohio talent in Ohio?
McGuff: Build a program Ohio kids want to be a part of and get Ohio high school and AAU coaches invested in our program.
tBBC: As someone who hadn’t coached in the Big Ten before, what do you see as the biggest difference between the Big Ten and the rest of college women’s basketball? Why do you feel that the Big Ten has struggled in recent years in the NCAA tournament?
McGuff: Big Ten has tremendous parity and we are adding two perennial top 20 programs in Maryland and Rutgers.
tBBC: What will we see different this season?
McGuff: This season you will see us take additional steps with our style of play. Eventually we want to be one of the fastest most aggressive teams in the country.
tBBC: You made a major mark in your first year of recruiting, signing one of the top classes in the country. How do you see the freshmen fitting into the overall team picture this season? Should we expect to see them on the floor a lot?
McGuff: I believe we have a freshman class that will significantly impact our success this year. But the most important thing this year will be our upperclassman providing great leadership and direction.
tBBC: How would you compare the environment at OSU games to other places around the country? What can be done to improve the environment? Thoughts around maybe making St. John a possibility?
McGuff: We have the best fans in the land..no doubt.. But we need to continue to add people to the seats so that the Schott is the toughest place in the country to play!!
tBBC: What stood out to you as the biggest hurdle when you accepted the position?
McGuff: Making sure we were able to establish a culture and a program that would could set us up for long term success.
tBBC: Hind sight always being 20/20, what one thing do you feel you and the staff would have handled differently during the season?
McGuff: I started the season thinking certain style of offense would best fit us… But quickly had to change once we got going in practice.. Wish I could have recognized that sooner!
tBBC: It seems that the staff that you have put together is perfect for the path you are attempting to take the program down. Tell us a little bit about how well each of them interact and how that has translated into the success you have had so far.
McGuff: I believe I am fortunate to have the best staff in the country. They are all dedicated with high character and are hard working. Mark Mitchell.is incredibly talented in the areas of X’s & O’s and skill development and also very passionate about the development of young people. Patrick Klein. bleeds Scarlet and Gray He absolutely loves Ohio State and can really sell this schoo and is so incredibly adept at all the internal things at Ohio State Things like academics, compliance, and connecting with boosters. Joy Cheek is a tremendous communicator with young people, which translates really well to recruiting and mentoring the young players in our program. She’s also a really energetic coach
Beth Howe is a Proud Buckeye! She is incredibly organized and handles all business aspect of the program. Myia McCurdy is a high character person who serves as a terrific role model for our players. She also does a terrific job handling all the video responsibilities.
tBBC: If you could add any former player in OSU woman’s hoops history to his current team, who would it be and why?
McGuff: Katie Smith. One of the greatest competitors our sport has ever known.
tBBC: What player on this year’s team will be most likely to add their name to the Buckeye record books?
McGuff: Ameryst Alston will make a dent in the record books before she leaves. Also keep an eye on Kelsey Mitchell. She’s going to be special
tBBC: Ohio State is not normally nationally known for their Lady’s Basketball program. What steps are you taking to raise the profile of the program?
McGuff: My staff is working incredibly hard to raise the profile of our program by developing strong relationships with recruits,parents,and coaches. We are also spreading the word about how special it is to be a student-athlete at The Ohio State University
Devoted husband and father as well as coach, rarely does a day go by without Kevin McGuff spending time with his family.
tBBC: How would the 2014-15 Lady Buckeyes fare against the MonStars from Space Jam?
McGuff: Would be a win for the Buckeyes!
tBBC: Do you prefer cake or pie?
tBBC: Least favorite facility to play in?
McGuff: St Bonaventure.. Can’t get there!
We want to take this opportunity to thank coach for his time during a busy time in his life and wish him, the staff and the team good luck in the upcoming season. tBBC will be there every step of the way and are huge supporters of #APlayersProgram.