Raphael Chillious was on 950 KJR AM on Saturday discussing a variety of topics ranging from the new recruiting class to Will Conroy on staff.
Chillious indicated that all of the new Huskies are in Seattle. In fact, a handful of guys have been playing at Summer League games at North Seattle Community College.
When asked about the anticipated growing pains with so many new faces on the teams, he looked to the potential of the young players. "I think anyone coaching a young team…there’s a huge growth curve," said Coach Chillious. "[W]hen you have compliant kids and people who’ve won games and talented I think that mitigates some of the growing pains." He stressed the fact that a lot of the players brought in have a winning mentality having done well at the high school level. "Winning is in their DNA," said Chillious.
When talking about winning he identified Noah Dickerson and David Crisp playing a specific role and sharing the load with other great players with their respective teams prior to coming to Montlake. Dickerson is a transfer from Florida and Crisp played a year at Brewster Academy after attending Rainier Beach.
Chillious stressed culture and challenges for the incoming group of players.
He talked about establishing a culture "right out the gate." Chillious used the term "non-negotiable" as something that the staff would lay the hammer down on the players if they overstepped team rules.
He also talked about putting challenges in front of the players to see what they are made of early on.
Coach Chillious also talked about returning to a culture of an "alpha dog mentality." Again, he talked about training them to be mentality tough and avoid distractions which he stressed might be an obstacle for a young group. However, Chillious stated that this new group has been eager to please the staff.
Chillious also talked about several incoming recruits:
Matthew Atewe – The Huskies have filed a petition with the NCAA to allow him to make the Auburn transfer available right away. Coach was frank in stating that the chances of him playing this season was "minimal to none." Chillious would not compare him to Josh Smith "because Josh was out of shape." He described Atewe as a Rick Mahorn-type.
Noah Dickerson – Chillious told the story about essentially "cold calling" Dickerson as he was at Tony Wroten’s Skills Academy in the area last year. His brother was looking for going to schools to go to and was at UW the week before. Chillious called Dickerson and asked if he wanted to see the campus and Dickerson replied back indicating he wanted to take a look. Despite liking the campus, he was already deep in recruiting with Florida so he decided to go. After Billy Donovan left, Dickerson decided to transfer. He came on another visit and long story short, he was sold.
Dominic Green – The former Hazen standout plays with a "chip on a shoulder" according to Chillious. "He has quiet confidence," Chillious added. He stated that he’s a gym rat, a legitimate 6-6 wing player with a versatile game. He described Green as a "scorer" as opposed to a CJ Wilcox-type shooter. Green, originally an ASU commit, should provide the necessary scoring that Romar’s team needs.
Green actually demonstrated his ability on Monday night at the North Seattle Community College summer league. His team ended up winning 114-90 with Green unofficially scoring 39.
David Crisp – Chillious made comparisons to Isaiah Thomas and Travis Best. Coach said he doesn’t think he’s a small guard. Standing at about 6'0, Coach jokingly said that if "[y]ou asked him [Crisp] he’d say he’s 6’6." Chillious said that his time at Brewster Academy instilled discipline and helped him determine his role on a team.
Samuel Timmons – Chillious compared him to a young Aron Baynes. He believes that Timmons is "a legit 5 man." He hopes to have him in by 2016 dependent on the New Zealand national team and the professional team he’s playing with right now. He believes that this experience will help him when he plays for the Huskies.
Finally, Chillious lauded the addition of Will Conroy to the coaching staff. He stated that he looks up to Romar as a father figure and said that "he [Conroy] is a living walking testament to the [Husky Basketball] culture."
The full interview can be found here. It’s a great preview of what to expect from this year’s group.