Discussion with Bard head
coach Chris Wood
1) For basketball fans who
arenít familiar with Bard, talk a little about the history of the
program and what your expectations are for the next 2-3 years.
CW) Twelve wins in
twelve years sums up Bard Basketball. They were the doormat for many
years and most people knew it and scheduled for it. My expectations
for the next couple of years are to be more competitive and raise the
level of expectations for the players and the fans. I want to be the
best we can be
without the use of scholarship and without sacrificing our academic
2) You came to Bard before
last season from Lyndon State College in Lyndonville, VT. Can you
give us a brief overview of your coaching career and what appealed to
you about the head coaching position with the Raptors?
CW) I had always
coached women in high school and in college - with the current
trend to hire female coaches I felt it was the best option to become a
head coach. At Bard everything that my staff and players do is a
"first" and we know we are setting the standard for teams that follow
us. I like that - people will have to fill our shoes in the future.
3) To say you had a young
team this season would be an understatement. Joining you in your
first season at Bard were seven freshmen, along with three sophomores
and just two juniors. Did the lack of experienced players make this a
difficult transition relative to other coaching positions youíve
CW) This was the best
situation I could ever ask for as a first year head coach. Everyone
was young and impressionable without any preconceived ideas. "The old
coach did this" and "This is what we always do" didn't exist - it was
to create an atmosphere condusive to teaching and being part of
something bigger - i.e. a program
4) Adam Turner (Westfield,
NJ) earned Division III All-Freshman honors for his performance this
season. The 6í 6Ē forward was the only freshman to rank in the Top 50
in scoring average in Div. III, and his 25.3 PPG was the fifth best in
the nation. He posted two of the top 10 scoring performances in the
country this season Ė the only player to accomplish that feat.
Three games into his college career, he broke the 14 year old single
game school scoring record with 45 points against Albany College of
Pharmacy. He led your club in nearly every offensive category,
and averaged a double-double. Some consider him to be the top Div.
III freshman in the country. All that being said, what were your
impressions of this young man after one season? What does his
presence mean for the Bard program in terms of establishing
credibility and a winning tradition?
CW) Thankfully - "So goes
Adam Turner, So goes the team. Hard working,
determined, honest, and humble best describes Adam Turner. He is a
leader who leads by example without the need for a constant pat on the
back. His teammates and the coaching staff have the highest respect
for Adam. Our thanks
to Adam as a team will be measured in the form of matching his day to
efforts and our total support for him as he strives to become the
first All-American at Bard College.
5) Nine games into the
season, Bard was 6-3 and had matched their win total from the
2001-2002 season. But a 1-6 stretch followed the fast start, and your
club finished at 9-13. On the up side, this marked the winningest
season for menís basketball in 20 years. Looking back, are you
satisfied with your teamís performance? Were there sufficient
positives and were you able to lay a foundation for the continued
development of Raptors basketball?
CW) The foundation is
clearly established and the players have taken to heart
the steps needed for improvement. I was very pleased by the effort
dedication displayed by our young team. As a coach my total
come with the recognition by other teams and coaches that are on our
or who want to play us in the future as a team that can not be counted
as a win
before the game is even played.
6) Having lost no one to
graduation, youíll be seeing a lot of familiar faces in the 2003-04
campaign. Turner will be back, and classmate Collin Orcutt will join
him as a co-captain. Youíll also be counting on the leadership of
returning seniors Raimondo Chiari and Justin Goldberg. As you look
forward to next season, what are the strengths and weaknesses of your
CW) Actually, Raimondo
graduated and will be sorely missed as a leader for our
team. He was the only captain and did an excellent job. As for
Justin Goldberg, he was released from the team for violation of team
rules - one thing that the staff and Bard Administrators do not bend
on. All of the other players are returning ready and eager to take on
a more difficult schedule with the incoming freshman and transfers.
Strength of schedule and a lack of height will be something that we
have to overcome all year long but with the leadership in place and a
strength of commitment by the players we should have a solid showing
in all of our games next season.
7) You will be directing
the Raptor Summer Basketball Programs at Bardís Annandale-on-Hudson,
NY campus during July and August. Is this something youíve done in
the past? What role does it play in the overall scope of the Bard
menís basketball program?
CW) Basketball Camp for me
is something I grew up with. Having attended several camps as a youth
and having worked about six different camps over the last twelve years
I think we are ready to offer a camp that people will talk about
as a place to learn and have fun. We want people to return year after
those two reasons. The obvious benefit to a camp at Bard is for
local exposure, player experience from the other side of the game as
and motivators, and financial support for the program.
Thank you on behalf of the school and the members of the team for
the opportunity to speak with you about Bard College Basketball. It is
that both the team and I realize is a result of hard work during the
season. Best of luck following the teams next winter - we will do our
keep you posted on our accomplishments at Bard throughout the season.
Sincerely, Chris Wood, Head Men's Basketball Coach