Hank Curry (HC): How do you feel about your performance this year as a whole? Watching all your home games from the stands and on the internet when you guys were away it seemed to me that as the year progressed you slowly got a little more aggressive on the offensive end. Not so much by taking more shots, but by attacking the rim. Is this fair to say? Did the coaches encourage you to shoot/attack more as the season wore on?
Erik Buggs (Buggsy): I am pretty pleased with our performance this year, I obviously am disappointed because of the run that Butler went on further strengthens my belief that we could have made a run in the Big Dance in March. I definitely tried to step up on offense towards the end of the year instead of being so passive, attacking only made our offense better for everyone.
|Buggs on the attack|
Buggsy: Next year with guys leaving I definitely feel like I need to step it up more on offense. This year I was really passive and that’s not the type of player I usually am. Last year I was uncomfortable shooting with my first year being back, next year to make my teammates better I need to shoot so that I become a threat and it opens up the court for my teammates to make plays.
|Buggs guarding Moore|
Buggsy: Defense is all about heart and desire. I always take it personal when my guy scores on me or I miss a rotation assignment. I think me taking it personal makes my drive to play defense that much more intense, I also feel like I’m letting my teammates down when I give up points on defense. By far the best player I have defended this year would be Norris Cole, he just has a great feel for the game.
HC: At the end of the year the team went through a bit of a rough stretch of games. After beating Missouri State (I felt this was the team's best performance of the year), you guys fell to Green Bay and then really took a beating at home versus Loyola. Was it fatigue, poor execution, a combination of things?
Buggsy: I think it was a combination of fatigue and guys being out injured. Mainly we just had an opportunity that we let slip through our fingers. Things like that happen in life though and you got to learn to bounce back from it. Experience always makes for a great lesson in life and this will be something that helps us for this upcoming year.
HC: Besides Valpo, what team(s) do you think will be at the top of the conference next year? I hate to say it, but I'm picking Detroit to be the top seed this next season.
Buggsy: The great thing about the Horizon is that you have so many competitive teams. There is no question that once again Butler will be the hunted but every team has a chance to take the Horizon League.
HC: It was pretty disappointing when Valpo was passed over by the NIT and instead had to go into the CIT. What was the attitude of the team when you guys learned you'd be hosting a CIT game? Iona was a decent team, but watching the game from the stands it looked like you guys weren't prepared (I realize you only had a couple days to get ready) and really didn't have much desire. Please tell me I'm wrong here!
Buggsy: We were quite prepared to take on Iona, it was just one of those games where we couldn’t seem to find the bucket and they couldn’t seem to miss. Its always disappointing expecting to be playing somewhere and not get what you were expecting.
HC: What kind of leadership role, on and off the court, will you look to assume next year? You'll be one of the old vets next year so I'm sure you'll have the young guys looking to you for direction.
HC: What is the most valuable information you could give to a player coming to Valpo for their first season regarding the team, Coach Drew, what do they need to have a better chance of succeeding at Valpo?
Buggsy: To have a good career at Valpo a player just needs to play and practice like its their last. A player with the drive to get better and the motivation to win fits in our system. We are all about having a family atmosphere at Valpo and that makes it hard to let others down. We all expect the best effort out of each other, so giving all the effort that you can give is all that we ask for here.
HC: Any nicknames (Buggsy perhaps?) or pregame rituals you can share?
Buggsy: I either want to go into coaching or I want to be a Behavioral Analyst for the FBI
Remember if you'd like to receive an email alert when a new post is made on sectionee just put your email address in the space above this post and click submit!