Head Coach Larry Mays NCAA Regional Tournament Quotes
Head Coach Larry Mays took some time to talk about preparation and heading into the NCAA Regional this week.
On expectations going into the tournament
“Obviously it is the Regional tournament, there are only 81 teams left and we’re one of them. The fields are tough. We’re going down to Red Tail in Orlando, which I would say is probably one of the tougher Regionals. It is a good field. We like what we are doing right now as a team. We are rounding into shape here at the end of the year. I’m looking forward to getting down there and seeing where we stack up. Hopefully we’ll play good enough to march on to Toledo, Ohio and the National Championship.”
On preparation for this tournament
“Obviously you know there are five spots available to move on. Closer to the end of the tournament, like any other college tournament, it will get close for the spot. The only thing we’ll be doing a little different is we’ll be watching the scoreboard a little more than we would for a normal tournament. We’ll do some things on Monday and Tuesday beforehand, a little more pressure type play in our practice rounds on the way down. We’ll do some last three hole type pressure things in case it comes down to something like that.
But for the most part we got what we feel are our best five guys from the whole year. We’re going to put our five guys up against the other five guys on the other teams and tee it up, see where we’re at. Hopefully when it all shakes out, we’ll be inside that number headed to the National Championship.”
On practicing the pressure type situations
”We’re going to play on Monday and Tuesday, so when we get to the last three holes, we’ll ramp up the pressure somehow. Let them know that we need a certain score to move on or something so that they have to play the last three holes in a certain score just so that they feel that little bit of pressure. We might one night say if you do it in this amount of strokes, we’ll go eat here, you don’t, we’re going to go eat there. And here and there will be on two different spectrums of the culinary world to try and give them incentive just like having the incentive of moving on to the national championship.
But we’re focused. We’ve got a good group. They understand the drill. We’ve got a good mixture of sophomores and seniors, one junior. So we’ve got a good group of guys that I think have been focused throughout the whole year. It’s been one of the better years as far as team chemistry and team focus goes, so I don’t think we’re going to have to do too much to let them know what is there. It’s more of the communication factor between the coaching staff and the kids when it gets down to crunch time on Saturday.”
On playing the Red Tail Golf Course for the first time
“We’ve done our research on it this week and gotten in touch with a couple members and different people who have been out there and talked to them. We kind of got our scouting report on it. And we’ll do our due diligence on Wednesday just like all the other teams and see if we can’t figure it out. But looking at it on paper is a little different than getting out there and seeing it. So we’ll spend our time on Wednesday getting used to the course. Luckily we’re staying in the same region that we’re used to; so they’ll either have Bermuda greens down there or they’ll have overseeded Bermuda greens which we’re used to playing on most of the year here. So I think that’s an advantage to us over some of the other teams that are flying in from out west or up north that will have to play a different style grass. I think that’s an advantage for us.”
On the mentality of the team heading into the tournament
“I think we’re focused. The word we used all spring and most of the year is accountability. I think there is a big trust factor. In one of the meetings we had after the Southern Conference with the five guys was that they all feel good about each other and they all trust each other. It’s a very balanced team. We’ve had some good outstanding play, some individual wins, but everybody at some point has stepped up and either had a good tournament or a good round. That’s carried the team. I think we’re balanced and focused and they trust each other. And I think that’s the accountability factor we’ve been talking about all year. They’ve been accountable to each other and the coaching staff and in return we’ve done the same for them. It’s been a good group to work with and whichever way it goes next week, it’s still been a good year. We’ve got something to be proud of and something to build on in the future as well.”
On the special factor the team possesses that allows them to compete so well
“Well it’s back to the team chemistry and the accountability and the trust factors we haven’t had the past few years. I think we’ve had a lot of me’ guys maybe or we hadn’t totally trusted each other as a team and hadn’t gotten in there and fought the fight for each other to make it a team. It was more like what was in it for me?’ With this team, the team chemistry is there, they trust each other, and they’re pulling for each other for a change instead of getting pulled left and right. We don’t have little factions here and there. It’s been a team; not only the five guys traveling, but the guys backing them up as well. Overall, I think it was a lot better year on the team chemistry side. The communication between the players and the players and coaches was really good this year. It was something we really made a point to work on over the past couple of years.”
On fan support being so close to home
“I’m sure we’ll have most, or some, of the parents come down. We’ve got a few folks from Florida that have supported the team I think that will make their way to Orlando. We’ve got some Boosters in the Lakeland area that will try to make it. I think we’ll have a little bit of a cheering section down there. Hopefully we can make them proud.”
- Category: Golf
- Published on Tuesday, 12 May 2009 15:03