After an awful 7-19 record last season, the GSU men’s basketball program gets a fresh start with a coach who brings tons of experience to the collegiate coaching level.Rick Duckett comes to Grambling with an 150-75 record that he complied at Fayetteville and Winston Salem State. In his eight year coaching career, Duckett has collected: three 20 win seasons, two CIAA Tournament Championships and two CIAA Tournament coaches awards.
Q: What do you think of the Grambling community?
A: So far, so good. The people and the community are nice, it’s still hot but I’m not used to all these hurricanes.
Q: What was reaction when you were named head men’s basketball coach at Grambling?
A: I was honored. I saw it as a great opportunity, this is a school rich with tradition, dating back to the days of Willis Reed.
Q: You coached under basketball coaching legends Dean Smith and Clarence “Big House Gaines”, how did they influence your coaching career?
A: Coach Smith was a great teacher and a motivator. Coach Gaines, who was big in stature but very humble, got the most out of his players and both were great mentors.
Q: What is your philosophy as a coach?
A: The three things that I believe in are doing things the right way, being committed to doing the right thing and doing your very best. As far as basketball goes I believe in playing good defense and playing up tempo basketball on the offense end.
Q: How do you plan to turn the 7-19 record from last year back into contenders in the SWAC?
A: We need to improve and get players that are committed to our program, also we need players who will be competitive.
Q: Any closing thoughts?
A: The past is the past and this is a new day. We are on the track of building a successful program. We hope that we will be a basketball team that people at the school and in the community will come out and enjoy.