donahue
Photo: Holden McGinnis

I sat down to speak with coach Steve Donahue and asked him some questions that people submitted from Twitter. Here are his answers.

Steve Donahue: One thing I’ve never talked about is turnovers. I’ve talked about being great with the ball. When I was a player, I can still remember my high school coach, whoever had the most turnovers wore a shirt the next day that had “H T” [which stands for] “Human Turnover.” I thought that was the worst thing you could do to a kid. We encourage kids to be great with the ball, make plays, make great decisions, learn from the mistakes and get better.

We’re not going to be a team that’s in the top 10 of turnovers. But we’re going to be in the top 25 percent. But we’re also going to be high in assists and high in [close-range shots, threes and offensive rebounds]. We’re trying to get under 10 [turnovers per game]. If you get 11 or 12, that’s not as bad as not getting nine or 10 threes and getting five threes because they didn’t move the ball because they worried about not turning it over.

SD: Absolutely. We did it during my time here. Ira Bowman and Matt Maloney, Eric Admundson, I recruited Andy Toole. A big part of Penn basketball, if it’s the right person. We are turning over every stone and we want guys who think this is the right spot for them and I would think we’d have at least one.

SD: This is night and day different, so that’s hard [to say]. We’re teaching the way I know how to teach. We all teach what we know in whatever profession and I’m teaching what I know. [The team] was young last year. They weren’t fully healthy. We have five new guys. It’s a lot for a basketball team coming in. We’ve got a whole new system. The league is different. I’m excited for where the growth can come and I think you’ll see pretty quickly that there’s a substantial difference in style of play and results.

[Ed note: Didn't ask him IHO part of the question. Sorry Mike Tony! Another time.]

SD: That’s something is probably the number one piece of coaching, is getting the max out of the players. We dedicate a ton of our time with them with teaching, developing practice. Our theory is if we do a half-hour, 45 minutes, to an hour every day from September 1 to March, by the time March comes, we’ve given them 152 hours individually that those guys are going to make great growth. That goes in the weight room, not everyone is doing the same weight program, not everyone is eating the same thing. We’re going through each guy individually, trying to maximize their [development]. That’s something I feel, the number one thing you’ve got to do in coaching is develop kids in every aspect.

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