Mid-Major Madness sits down with Drake University assistant coach Kareem Richardson this week to get inside the mind of a MVC coaching veteran.
MMM: What are the expectations for the Drake basketball program heading into the 2009-10 season?
Kareem: We are trying to cultivate a very high standard for our guys and program here at Drake. We want to strive for perfection to achieve excellence while maintaining the standard of our personal and collective best in everything we do. Our expectation is excellence or at worse case each individual player's best each game. If we can get that done then at the end of the year, we as a team, will meet our expectations.
MMM: What's the one player on the team who, if steps up and plays at his best, will propel your team to success this season?
Kareem: Entering this season we will have ten guys on our roster that have never played a college basketball game. We will need our four seniors to demonstrate an outstanding amount of leadership. Also, we need our new players to be able to accept the senior leadership and have great preparation and focus during practices. We aren't counting on one player to propel us to success; we are counting on a collective effort.
MMM: Are there any parallels between your days as a player and now, as a coach?
Kareem: The biggest parallel between my days as a player and now as a coach is the competitive fire! I love competition and the preparation that goes into playing an upcoming opponent.
MMM: What was it like playing in an NCAA Tournament? Coaching in one?
Kareem: There hasn't been a better feeling or satisfaction in college basketball than playing and coaching in the NCAA Tournament! The experience of being an active participant in arguably sports most exciting time of the year is really indescribable.
MMM: What motivated you to get into coaching and has your experience in the business changed your outlook on the profession?
Kareem: My Dad played basketball and then eventually coached basketball when I was growing up so it seemed almost inevitable that I would coach basketball. It really excites me to share my knowledge of the game of basketball to others. I have a tremendous love and passion for the game so when the opportunity to share my knowledge of the game and to help influence young men in a positive manner coaching became a no brainer.
Now in my 13th year in college basketball there have been different experiences that I've learned from whether those experiences have been good or bad. College basketball as whole is somewhat different from when I first started in the profession but it hasn't changed my outlook on the profession. My outlook still remains the same, if I can continue to share my basketball knowledge and continue to be a positive influence to young men then everything else will take care of itself.