UNO men's basketball coach Derrin Hansen joined host Mike'l Severe in studio on "The Bottom Line" on Monday. He discussed the team's great season, the way they have come together as a team, starters, moving on to the Summit League tournament and more during his appearance.
Check out the video for the full interview with Hansen, and read portions of the interview below.
On how he thought the Mavs' first fully eligible season of Division I play went:
I mean, let's be honest. We were picked seventh (in the Summit League). We had nobody on any preseason team. And then Marcus Tyus didn't quite come back from his injury the way we wanted to — and he averaged 14 (points per game) last year for us. So to rely on some newer guys, some guys who were hurt last year and couldn't play a whole lot in Jake White; Devin Patterson didn't play a lot last year second semester, was really banged up. If you've seen us play, those are two big pieces of what we do. Then we relied on some young guys, so to get third — by ourselves — in the 11th-ranked league in the country out of 32, well then, maybe a hair better than I thought, but that's a credit to our guys and our assistants.
On UNO's up-tempo, "fun" style of play and how opponents try to defend it:
Obviously, we want to speed people up. That's what we want, and we want possessions. ... We're just not so guard-oriented that we have to start jacking things up to make it go better for us. We can throw it in to a couple guys who are double-digit scorers, and they can go to work, and then it can also open up for us on the outside. You want to have some multi-dimension to your team — we have a little bit of that, so if someone can slow us down, we can also play that way.
On Millard South graduate Kyler Erickson's insertion into the starting lineup:
Well, what Kyler does if you've seen his play, is he can bring us a sense of energy. He's our emotional leader. He's the guy who is talking in the huddles. He's the guy who talks to the group before the games. So he's brought us a little bit of that energy and passion to start off games on the defensive end. We have four guys who are averaging double figures on the floor. We needed just one more little piece or one more little cog to kind of complete that, and to this point Kyler's been that guy.
On Baxter Arena, which the Mavs are playing in for the first time this season:
It's been great. You can't beat it. It's one of the best in the league, if not the best in the league. But the best thing about it, and I tell our guys: Baxter Arena will not win us games, but if you go out there and give some people something to cheer about — our students have gotten stronger, our alumni have gotten stronger, our general fans have gotten stronger. So we've had three or four games — 31-33 or 3,400. And we've made it a good environment, but you know what? They've helped us, too. And early in the year, we probably didn't give them enough sometimes. But then there was a game or two where they lifted us up to get us over the top. We couldn't be more appreciative of the place we play in, but even maybe more so the fans that are coming out.
On the Summit League:
Well I think the one thing about it is, the Summit puts a lot of their emphasis on the men's and women's basketball programs. It's their sport. We have the big conference tournament coming up, and that's the big thing that the Summit wants to rally around. With that, you have to fully fund it — you have to have the full scholarships, you have to have staff. And they've done a great job with that. ... It's taken the biggest leap of any conference in the country in the last five years. We think it's going to stay right about that.