New Cal coach Cuonzo Martin got some radio time Thursday afternoon on 95.7 The Game with Damon Bruce.
Here are some highlights:
On what he looks for in a player he’s recruiting: “First and foremost, you want talent. But there are different things when you talk about a talented player. Everybody understands the runners and jumpers, a good catch-and-shoot guy. For me the talent I like to look for nowadays is a just guy that works hard. Back when we played 10-15-20 years ago, working hard was understood. That’s what you normally do.
“Nowadays, working hard is probably a skill because not many guys like to work hard and do the dirty work. A guy that wants to be part of your program, a guy that’s committed to being successful. There are a lot of talented players, but you’ve got to have guys who want to be a part of what you want to do, who want to win at a high level but also understand the importance of the academics.”
His early impression of Jabari Bird: “I saw him quite a bit on the AAU circuit, very talented basketball player. I watched him from afar. Very talented basketball player, but in my opinion probably a better person. I just had an opportunity to talk with him. Obviously he was raised well. I’m looking forward and excited to coach him.”
On how he will sell his program to fans: “My job between now and the time we start playing is to get out in the community, reach out to the fans, reach out to our student base and get those guys to be a part us so we’re all going to have have success. Before we get to the basketball side, we’ve got to get everybody generating excitement for football and get them all on board. I think they go hand-in-hand. If we all do this thing together we can have a great deal of success.”
On the influence of his former Purdue coach, Gene Keady: “He was always a tough, hard-nosed guy. A nice guy, a humble man. He was one of those guys who was very fair in his approach. If you worked hard, you had an opportunity to play. If you go to class and get a degree, you’ll be fine. With coach, he was one of those guys who stuck with it, do the right things, do the little things, be consistent with it all the time and we’ll have a chance to have ultimate success.”