Thursday, November 17, 2011

Interview: Dip Metress, Augusta State

Dip, doing what he does best.
Coming off a Peach Belt Conference tournament winning season, and a milestone season for yourself, what does surpassing 300 wins mean now that you are a season removed from it?

“It just shows, as I’m in my 16th year as a head coach, that I’ve had the opportunity to coach some good players. We’ve also had a good run here with some talented guys, and hopefully we can keep that tradition going.”

With two senior guards returning—O’Neal Armstrong and Tye Beal—do you think you will be a guard dominated team, or will you be stronger in the frontcourt?

“I think we’ll be a little more inside-oriented than we were last year, but we’ll have balance. Last year, we were kind of handcuffed by not having an inside presence. This year we return Travis Keels—Jr., 6-9 206—who is healthy coming into the year, Harold Doby—So, 6’5 209—who is an Augusta native and transfer from Georgia State, who is an inside-outside guy who can score with his back to the basket, and another transfer, Kelth Cameron—Jr., 6’7 259—who will be an excellent post defender and rebounder for us once he gains experience. It should be a good mix of inside and outside."

Over the past few years you’ve always had an identified scorer who could create when necessary--All-Americans AJ Bowman, Ben Madgen, and George Johnson. Will this team have someone who emerges as such, or will balance be this team’s strong point?

“I think it will be balanced. It will be more of a situation where we could have four players scoring in double-digits. I don’t know if we have many guys who can get us over 20 points on a given night, but I think we have a lot of guys who can get us 10. Doby, is probably the most talented player inside, and once he gets in a little better shape and works on his perimeter game, he has the potential to be that kind of scorer down the road.”

The schedule looking to be as challenging as in recent years?

“It’s absolutely brutal during the first part of the season. One of these years it’s going to catch up with us in terms of over-scheduling—hopefully it won’t be this year! We’re going to have a lot of new guys playing prominent roles, and many of them are Freshman and Sophomores. The more experience they get playing on the road the better off they’ll be towards the end of February and into March.”

Your team was picked to finish third in the Peach Belt Conference Preseason Coach's Poll. You think that’s about right?

“Every year I’ve been here the team that’s been picked to win it has never won it. It’s like it’s a curse. Four out of the last five years we won it, the year we didn’t win was the year we were picked to win it. When I saw us not first I was happy. And when I saw us not last I was happy."

What are some final thoughts on your team as you begin the season this week?

“I think we’ll be a team that, hopefully, contends for the regular season title. You never really know what each team has until you see them in games, or in the box score. The box score never lies."

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