Rashford was a late addition, but he was a guy who could have prepped and potentially landed at a bigger school. How did you land him?
[Assistant coach] Greg Manning did a great job on him. We recruit as a staff, but Greg really hung in there. Shane James played here and is his AAU coach up in Canada. Shane’s a guy who knows our system. All of these kids came not just because of the basketball situation, but because it’s a good school. Damion, being from Toronto, likes [big] cities. So we’ll see.
Tuohy is the last member of the class. What’s the expectation of him?
S.J. Tuohy is going to come in and redshirt. S.J. can play. He can score and he’s got good bloodlines – his dad was a player [at Ole Miss]. He’s got to physically catch up to the speed of our team. Remember that we play fast. Everyone wants to play fast, but not everyone can play fast. But we’re an experienced group. So some will play, some will redshirt. But we think it’s a very solid group.
How do you see the lineup shaking out to start the season?
Jordan Latham is going to start, [along with] R.J., Dylon, Bobby and Erik. Winbush is your sixth man. Julius Brooks is an inside presence with experience. He better produce this year. We need him to play backup center. Jarred Jones will play forward. And then you’ve got Tyler Hubbard. Tyler has worked extremely hard. He’s a great shooter and really did a great job for us last year on the scout team. You find out a lot about a guy on the scout team. We fell in love with Byron Mouton on the scout team [at Maryland]. … So Tyler has really improved. He’s been around all summer, keeps showing up for workouts. He’s just a hard worker. Coming from Montrose Christian, he’s ready to go.
Losing [Justin] Drummond, [who transferred to Toledo], we need someone to make shots. You hope Latham can take Shane [Walker’s] place. Winbush, obviously, getting hurt last year killed us. We couldn’t beat Ohio State with Winbush out. But if Hubbard can score, great. He can be like Marquis Sullivan, who scored 1,000 points for us. He’s only a freshman next year because he redshirted. Tyler probably works the hardest of the guys trying [to make a jump].
What have you seen from some of your veterans so far? What strides have they made?
Jordan is in better shape. Erik is always a good player. He’s shooting a little bit further out. He didn’t have to do a lot [different]. Olson is just tremendous. When your best player is your hardest worker, you’re in great shape. Doc Rivers taught me that. His best players were his hardest workers – Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen. Dylon, Erik and Bobby are our best players and our hardest workers. We’ll see what happens with R.J. and Dylon. They’re on an overseas trip to Belgium and Amsterdam. They’re going to be good. They play six games and Greg Manning is the coach. R.J.’s got to score a little more. He had a great year. Hopefully R.J. steps up just a little bit. Dylon and Bobby and R.J. make the team go. Jordan has to prove himself more, and Tyler Hubbard is so important. Then whichever freshman emerges – Rashford or Laster – if one of them can score, we’ll be in great shape.
The biggest question is who’s going to replace Drummond at the point. Drummond could score. Drummond was a good defensive player. I was sad to lose Drummond. Nobody wanted him to leave. This is the business we’ve chosen – it’s [like in] The Godfather. It doesn’t matter, but we didn’t want him to leave. Justin Drummond was a great player defensively on the ball, and he was big and he could score. But you move on. You need somebody who can be the Marquis Sullivan. It’ll be interesting to see how the young guys do. I’ll tell you a lot more after the first two weeks of practice. But R.J., Dylon, Bobby, Erik and Latham [will start], and then Winbush is definitely the sixth man because he can play so many spots. Brooks [is the backup center], so that’s seven. And then you hope Hubbard can shoot it. He works hard and does everything right, so we’re excited about that.
How is your schedule shaping up for this season?
We go to Washington up in Seattle. Binghamton. UMBC. We play a team in the Hall of Fame Classic in Norfolk State, [which] won an NCAA tournament game. We’re at Rhode Island. The Mount has gotten much better, and that’s already a tough rivalry game. Towson has gotten much better. UMBC and Coppin are local games. Local games are always tough. We go to Memphis … a team that made the NCAA and was picked in the Top 25. We’ve got Bucknell at home, a team that won an NIT game. Our league is going to be tough. Manhattan is picked to win the league, and they’ve got a Maryland transfer [Ashton Pankey] who can play right away. It’s always tough. The MAAC is always tough, but it got tougher this year.