The St. Francis (PA) Red Flash will open the NEC Tournament on the road at the Mount St. Mary's Mountaineers this Wednesday. If St. Francis wants to go dancing this month, they'll need to win three games on the road. Senior forward Earl Brown was kind enough to answer a few questions as his team prepares for the upcoming challenge.
Q: Coach Krimmel seems like a real players coach. What role has he played in your development both on and off the court in your four years at St. Francis?
He’s played a very important role. Off the court, he’s helped me become a better leader. On the court, he’s trusted me and given me enough room for error so that I can still make mistakes in my goal to make a good play. I don’t have to play looking over my shoulder that I’ll be subbed out if something doesn’t go exactly right.
Q: Earl, this year you've noticeably expanded your game beyond the three-point line. Was that something you worked on over the summer?
Yes. I spent time all summer long with Ronnie Drinnon working on our outside game. Going into the Europe trip, I was a little uncomfortable shooting the three. But during that trip I gained the confidence I needed to bring that part of my game into our regular season.
Q: I know you probably aren't concerned with individual awards, but what would it mean for you to be named a First-Team All-NEC performer?
It would be a great honor and I’d really appreciate it. There are a lot of great players in the NEC, so being mentioned with them would be a real accomplishment.
Q: You guys started NEC play 4-1, but have since gone 5-8. As one of the leaders on the team, how do you try and rally your team for a strong finish to the regular season?
We just continued to stay focused on the task at hand. We continued to go hard in practice. We just tried to preach the same message that we did when things were going better.
Q: What do the Red Flash need to do in order to have a deep run in the conference tournament? Does the team have what it takes to win three games on the road potentially?
I definitely think that we have a chance. We play better with our backs against the wall. We really rally around each other when we go into a hostile environment. We are a pretty good defensive team, so if we can catch fire offensively I think we’ll be a tough out in the tournament.