Coach's Corner: Steve Donahue
Published: Thursday, April 19, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01
The Heights: Do you have an idea of how the league is going to look next year and who the top teams are going to be outside of Duke and UNC?
Donahue: Well, I thought this year that the league was way older and way better than people anticipated. I think everyone just thought that it was kind of down the year before, but the thing that people didn’t play into was that everybody was back. Obviously the one-and-dones stayed, and then the Miamis and the Florida States and the North Carolina States were so deep and Virginia got Scott—I just thought the league was much older. I think the league, depending on who leaves, will be much younger, but the level of talent in this league is taking a big jump next year. We have more top-100 players than any other league. We have more McDonald’s All-Americans than any other league. The talent in the league is going up. I think in two to three years now, you’re going to see a league like the Big East was a couple years ago with 10 to 11 teams really going after NCAA bids, because that’s how talented I think the league is going to be.
The Heights: You’re fairly active on Twitter. What is your goal with that and how do you use that tool?
Donahue: I think it’s important that people realize that I’m engaged in everything that goes on at Boston College. That I don’t just sit in this office and worry about basketball. I don’t necessarily use Twitter to help recruiting or anything like that. I just want people to know that I really love this place, and I try to talk about things happening within our community here at Boston College and our program for people that like to follow us and feel more attached. I think it’s a great tool, but I’m not going to overstate it. I don’t try to be funny, I just try to give people a chance to know us better and let them be a part of what we are doing.
The Heights: Are your players allowed to have Twitter?
Donahue: I stated early on that I think it’s something that, at their age, I’m doing them a favor by taking it out of their hands. If they’re a regular college student and they say something that they regret, like most kids do at this age, and that we all do, then it’s forgotten. Unfortunately, they may make a mistake that gets magnified, and they’d have to live with it. I think it’s just something they don’t have to worry about. I think unfortunately you’re just under a microscope and there’s so much in your life that is up and down, that if you say something in a moment that you really regret it’s not like you’re going to be like another student. That’s going to be magnified. That’s going to be plastered on ESPN.com, and it’s something that you’re going to be looked at for a 30-second mistake. I think it’s my responsibility to take that away, and hopefully that won’t happen because of that.
The Heights:Can you confirm that Matt Humphrey is transferring?
Donahue: Matt is. He asked for his release. Matt has been great these two years. I think the most important thing he did was he wanted to come here and get a degree and he’s done a terrific job and he got his degree. I think he and his family looked at this situation and thought—he wants to be a professional basketball player and he wants that to really be his focus now after he had his degree. He thinks that there may be a better spot to go produce and find out a place that can help him reach that goal. When anybody comes in here my first issue with all these guys is the team first, but this time of year I’ve got to find out what everyone’s thinking, what they want, what’s best, and I support it. That’s what he wants to do and we are 100 percent behind him. As I said, I think it’s important that he did everything right when he was here for two years and he got his degree and now he’s excited about being a professional basketball player and wants to see if there is a better place, and I think he thinks there is and I’m not going to argue with that.
The Heights: Is it going to be weird not having any seniors on the team?
Donahue: I think we’re used to it. Even though we had some this year I think we’re all used to the youth. I think what it’s going to enable—and the biggest thing I’m trying to get from these guys—is that I’ve got to have leadership. There’s got to be a step, someone or more than one, taking the team and being a leader and taking ownership of this team. Not the coaches telling you everything that has to happen. Somewhere for us to be a great team, that locker room has to take ownership and they’ve got to take this to the next level. If you can do it as sophomores, then holy cow, will that help you as juniors and seniors. Once again, it may be more difficult next year because we don’t have that leadership and that older guy that helps you, but I think in the long run we may look back, and I believe this, you’ll say that really makes us great now because they went through all this stuff as younger kids.
The Heights: Do you have an offseason captain named or anything like that?
Donahue: No, we didn’t name a captain last year, and I think I’ll wake up one day and I’ll know it or they’ll know it. We don’t know it yet, and that’s just part of our issue right now. It’s just a unique team since nobody’s been through it yet. I don’t feel like anybody’s ready to do it, if they’re being honest. They don’t feel like they’re secure enough in themselves to lead and serve the others when they’re still worried about themselves, and I understand that. It may happen over the next six months and it may not, but it’s going to happen. We’re going to constantly challenge them to take that, and we’ll get somebody. We will.