Thursday, October 25, 2007

Q&A with Niners B-ball coaches

As part of the Atlantic 10 Basketball Media Day, fans of each school were able to submit questions for the men's and women's basketball coaches. Several questions were submitted by Charlotte 49ers fans.

Here are the questions submitted and answered for Charlotte women's coach Karen Aston:

-- Do you think your team got a head start on the competition after playing together over the summer for USA Basketball? Aston: "I wouldn't say it was a head start. If anything it was more of a catching up process with our staff being new and beginning an entirely new system. I think it was just a sounding board for how they were going to handle each other and how they would get to know me. I think that was the biggest advantage of going to Bangkok, other than the experience of it all." -- Submitted by Jackie, Concord, NC

-- You return a lot of talented and experienced players from last year. How have the newcomers, including the coaches, blended in with the veterans?

Aston: "Everybody is blending in very well. There's obviously a learning-curve where the players have to learn my style and I have to learn what they can and can't do best. Newcomers are having typical freshman growing pains. They have good days, they have bad days like all freshman do. I don't think it's been anything different for them because they're new to being with us. Seniors and juniors are the ones having to make the biggest changes because for a couple of them, this is their third coach so I think they're tying their best. They're seniors and this is their last shot." --Submitted by Travis, Gastonia, NC

-- How has your experience at Charlotte been thus far?

Aston: "It's been fast and furious. I had to hit the ground running with recruiting and of course for the trip to Bangkok, we were gone for three weeks in August and got back the day we started school. I've really enjoyed the city of Charlotte. It is a tremendous environment to live in with things to do and lots of opportunities for young women who are growing into professionals. I've enjoyed the coaching part the most. That's why I wanted to be a head coach and just the opportunity to get to go and practice every day has been the best part for me." -- Submitted by Kelly, Charlotte, NC

-- Here are the questions asked to men's coach Bobby Lutz. How much will your challenging non-conference schedule prepare your young team for conference play?

Lutz: "As good as our league is, and the A-10 is great this year, we're playing a non-conference schedule that will likely be rated in the top 50 non-conference schedules in the country. It's a double-edged sword. It's dangerous to play such a difficult schedule because if you get beat up, it's tough to keep your kids confident enough. On the other hand, if you don't play a tough schedule, you'd don't prepare as a team as well. We've chosen to take the challenging path. We're going to have to patient with our young guys, but they'll grow up. We certainly feel like we can win more than we lose and be in a position in A-10 play where we can be successful." --Submitted by Caitlin, Winston-Salem, NC

-- The A-10 looks to be much improved from top to bottom. Who is your pick to win the league and how many teams do you think will have a legitimate shot taking the crown?

Lutz: "I think you could pick Xavier to win the league, based on what they've done and who they're returning. But I honestly think there are seven or eight teams in the league that could do it. Anyone could emerge. This could be a year where you've got a bunch of teams with four-six losses or you could see one or two teams emerge. I think the depth and balance of our league has been the best it's every been in our three years in the A-10." -- Submitted by Doug, Jamestown, NC

The complete list of questions and answers are available on the Atlantic 10 Website, at


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