By HANK ROUBICHAUD
Coach Brian Peabody has been coaching basketball at Pima Community College since 1990.
Peabody started at Saguaro High School under Dick McConnell. This is season No. 18 as Pima’s basketball coach.
Q: What are some things you are looking for from the team this year, coming off of a great year last year?
A: “We just to get better each year. The first year, we won 15 games, then 18, then 21, then 23, then 31 last year, so we just try to get better each year. One thing we haven’t accomplished since I’ve been here is we haven’t won the league outright; so our first and foremost goalwise would be to win the league this year for the first time ever at Pima. That way, you could host every game in the tournament, and then obviously if we could go one game further then we did last year that would be a pretty cool season.”
Q: Is there anyone that you would say stands out as a cleat cut leader for you guys this season?
A: “Robbie Wilson is our blue collar workhorse, he comes to practice every day. He’s our most vocal person and he works the hardest and we are expecting big things from him this year.”
Q: How do you handle the expectations of this year coming off of last year’s season?
A: “I like expectations. If you don’t have them, that means you’re no good. So I would rather have the expectations that we are going to be good every year, and we are ranked high this year, and so I like it. I think as a coach it makes you work that much harder to fulfill what people expect of you. I’m happy to embrace those every year.”
Q: What are some things the keep you motivated throughout the season?
A: “I guess the chatter behind the doors. You know when everybody is talking, and you hear a lot of negative things. Social media is big. I don’t get on it a lot, but you will hear people talking about their teams and all that stuff on Twitter and Facebook and stuff and think think they’re funny, and it motivates you to come to work every day and practice that much harder and be that much better as a coach and more prepared. Also … we have been doing things that have never been done here, meaning the last two years every kid on my team has gotten a scholarship to go to a four-year school; every kid has graduated with a degree from Pima which is uncharted waters at Pima College for men’s basketball. So if we can continue to get kids their degree and their education paid for at a four-year school, that’s a pretty cool role.”
Q: What are your expectations for you coming into this season? How far do you see you guys going?
A: “We definitely have the personnel. The thing that’s hard to teach a team — and you have no idea what it is going to be like coming into a season — is chemistry. All of our guys liked each other last year and that was I think the biggest reason we went so far. Guys didn’t care who scored, guys didn’t care about the publicity they did or didn’t receive, they just all had one common goal and that was to win. So right now we kind of struggling, because it’s new to this team. Last year, we were lucky because we started three or four third-year guys where this year we may start a freshman point guard and a freshman wing, so getting those guys to have the same goal is the toughest thing about coaching.”
Q: Do you see a change from last year’s team or past teams, as far as players being distracted by social media?
A: “They probably are. I mean, we have certain rules when I’m talking or someone else is talking you can’t have your phone on. But I’m sure when they go to study hall that’s the big thing, like, ‘Hey put your phone away,’ or when someone outside is coming in and speaking, Hey, give them 30 seconds of your time where you are dialed in.’ So, yeah, I see it getting worse every year. But as a coach, I think it’s your job to control it and we try to control it the best we can.”