Seaspan Corp Takes Over GCI Adds Collection of Boxships

first_imgzoomIllustration; Image Courtesy: Pixabay Containership owner and operator Seaspan Corporation has acquired the remaining 89 pct in vessel owner Greater China Intermodal Investments (GCI) from affiliates of the Carlyle Group and the minority owners of GCI.GCI’s fleet of 18 containerships is comprised of 10,000 TEU and 14,000 TEU eco-class vessels, representing a total of 204,000 TEU. Of these, there are currently 16 on-the-water vessels with the remaining two newbuild vessels scheduled for delivery during the second quarter of 2018.The implied enterprise value of GCI is approximately USD 1.6 billion, including assumed third party net debt of approximately USD 1 billion and USD 140 million of future vessel payments, Seaspan said.As informed, consideration to selling shareholders will be cash of approximately USD 330 million and a USD 50 million issuance of Seaspan Series D preferred shares. “This significantly accretive acquisition materially increases our contracted future revenues and enhances our ability to provide our customers with modern, state-of-the-art containerships. With GCI’s fleet now under our ownership, we are strengthening our partnerships with customers and enhancing our scalable integrated platform for sustained growth and future consolidation. As the container shipping industry is beginning to show signs of a recovery, we are taking decisive actions to capitalize on compelling opportunities in our market,” Bing Chen, President and Chief Executive Officer of Seaspan, said.Seaspan financed the cash consideration with cash from its balance sheet and a USD 16 million reinvestment by the Washington family in Seaspan common equity. The company has also closed on a USD 100 million secured credit facility from Citi.GCI’s current fleet is expected to boost Seaspan’s revenues by approximately USD 1.3 billion pushing it to a total of USD 5.6 billion.Seaspan also announced that Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited has entered into definitive agreements for an additional USD 250 million investment in Seaspan Debentures. The USD 250 million investment will be funded in January 2019, the company informed.This is in addition to the USD 250 million of investment finalized between the duo in January this year.last_img read more

Bill Clinton Thanks Supporters For Birthday Wishes

first_imgBill Clinton has thanked supporters of the Clinton Foundation for the birthday wishes sent to him last week.“More than 35,000 people made my birthday special by sending in messages of support for the Clinton Foundation’s work – work that truly wouldn’t be possible without people like you,” he wrote. “From connecting Malawian farmers with essential tools and resources to helping U.S. communities live healthier, I know I have you to thank for improving the lives of so many people around the world.“After 67 years, I’ve learned that by working together, we can do more than any one of us could do on our own. It’s the best birthday gift to know that you share our commitment to building a better world, and that I can count on you to help us improve even more lives in the months and years to come.”last_img read more

Choose Jai Bhim followers over those chanting NaMo Maya

first_imgJalaun (UP): BSP president Mayawati on Friday said people are going to bid goodbye to those chanting ‘NaMo, NaMo’ and choose the ones who follow ‘Jai Bhim’ in this Lok Sabha election. Addressing a rally here, the former chief minister said, “This time you all are going to bid goodbye to the NaMo-NaMo people and choose Jai Bhim followers in the elections.” Prime Minister Narendra Modi is often referred to as ‘NaMo’ by his supporters. Mayawati said the BJP will be removed from power at the Centre this time and no amount of “jumlebaazi” or “natakbaazi” was going to help them. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM'”Their new ‘natakbazi of chowkidari’ is also not going to save them,” the BSP supremo added. She alleged that the BJP had made several promises before coming to power but all of those turned out to be hollow. Targeting the Congress, Mayawati said although the party had been in power for most of the time since Independence, its wrong policies and works ultimately led to its ouster. She accused the Congress of ignoring those belonging to the ‘sarv samaj’, especially the weaker sections, the poor and the unemployed, and alleged that the party neglected Bundelkhand and did nothing for poverty alleviation and employment generation in this region. The Congress says it will remove poverty but had they really done anything about it, the party would not have gone out of power, the BSP chief said. “Had they taken care of the ‘sarv samaj’, we would not have felt the need to form the BSP,” she added.last_img read more

Police seek details on body armour present in districts

first_imgNew Delhi: The Delhi Police has written to all districts seeking details regarding the body armours present with them and their condition.The law enforcement agency also asked their officers for the future requirement of these armours in the next five years. Sources told Millennium Post that a letter was written from a unit in Delhi Police to all districts, other units, battalions in which the subject was the requirement of body armours by State/UT police forces in the next five years. Also Read – Odd-Even: CM seeks transport dept’s views on exemption to women, two wheelers, CNG vehicles”It is stated that a letter received Government of India, MHA, Police Modernization Division in which Under Secretary of the Government of India has directed to say that Government of India is working towards increasing the soldier protection level and decreasing end article weight,” sources said quoting the letter. Sources further added that plans are going on to set up a manufacturing unit for lightweight armour materials in India for which five years projections of the number of units of BP jackets, vest, helmets, vehicles and helicopter required for the forces. The projections would be factored for finalizing the production capacity and estimating the investment required in this regard. “In view of the above, it is therefore requested keeping in view of the operational requirement is required to the production plan in the country to produce lightweight armour material that operational requirement of items for the period of next five years in the prescribed format, furnish to this office for persual of MHA,” sources further said quoting the letter content.last_img read more

Liverpool in talks to sign Shaqiri

first_imgAfter missing out on Lyon’s Nabil Fekir, Liverpool has now set their sights on signing Stoke City winger Xherdan Shaqiri.With a reported release clause of €13.5 – a steal in the current market – the Swiss midfielders stock has skyrocketed and Jurgen Klopp’s side are the favourites to secure his services.Shaqiri was relegated last season with Stoke and is surely too big a name and too great a talent to spend next season languishing in the Championship.Despite an abysmal season on the team front, individually Shaqiri still often stood out and managed to contribute 8 goals and 7 assists for the Potters.At 26 years of age, the Switzerland international is approaching his prime and after failed spells with Bayern Munich and Inter Milan in the past, he could well be ready for another stab at the big time at Anfield.divock origi, liverpoolReport: Origi cause Klopp injury concerns George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Divock Origi injury in today’s game against Newcastle is a cause for concern for Jurgen Klopp.Perhaps with one eye on Tuesday’s trip to Italy…Following his country’s friendly win over Japan at the weekend, the winger remained coy on speculation, responding plainly to questions over his future: “I can’t tell you anything, my agents take care of my future. I’m focusing on the national team right now.”The Stoke Sentinel reported that talks began as early as last Friday between the two clubs, with plenty of time before the World Cup for this deal to be finalised.last_img read more

Napoli president accuses Juventus boss of being in love with Hamsik

first_imgJuventus boss Massimiliano Allegri is “in love” with Napoli captain Marek Hamsik, says the Naples’ club president Aurelio De LaurentiisIn his 11 years in the Serie A, Hamsik has become one of the most highly-regarded midfielders in Italian football and has attracted interest from rival clubs.One such admirer is allegedly Allegri, who has reportedly attempted to sign the Slovakia international during his time in charge at AC Milan and most recently for Juventus.But De Laurentiis insists that Napoli have always stood their ground against Allegri, while also downplaying Hamsik’s offer to go to China.“In the past, there were offers from Milan, when Allegri was the coach, and Juve, when Allegri was the coach,” said De Laurentiis, as stated on Football-Italia.Franck Ribery, FiorentinaFiorentina owner: “Ribery played better than Ronaldo!” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Fiorentina owner Rocco Commisso was left gushing over Franck Ribery’s performance against Juventus, which he rates above that of even Cristiano Ronaldo’s.“He’s in love with Hamsik. I never believed in his transfer to China, I have [film] units there and I know how the Chinese think.“Many things are said, but it’s a long time before anything happens.”Following their near-miss in landing their first Serie A title in 28 years last season, Napoli have since removed the new Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri from his position as head coach and have appointed Carlo Ancelotti as his replacement.Hamsik himself recently revealed that it was Ancelotti who convinced him to remain at Napoli instead of doing a life-changing move to China.last_img read more

Lopetegui will rotate Real Madrid goalkeepers

first_imgReal Madrid manager Julen Lopetegui has said that Thibaut Courtois is not certain to be an automatic starter, hinting that his goalkeepers would be rotated.Last season’s number one keeper Keylor Navas was in goal for the 4-2 loss to Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup.79% – Thibaut Courtois posted the second lowest save percentage in #UCL last season (after Sergio Rico, 58%), saving 62,5% of the shots he faced (min eight games). Premiere— OptaJose (@OptaJose) August 9, 2018Thibaut Courtois travelled with the squad to Tallinn but was left out of the squad entirely.Sergio Ramos, Real MadridZidane reveals Sergio Ramos injury concern for Real Madrid Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Zinedine Zidane has put Sergio Ramos’ availability for Real Madrid’s trip to Sevilla next weekend in doubt after withdrawing him against Levante.Lopetegui is prepared to keep Belgian keeper waiting as he considers his options in goal. Sportskeeda reports.“There isn’t a magic formula. We need to manage it week by week,” Lopetegui said.“We will see as we go who is best for the team at any given time. We have two magnificent goalkeepers, and others as well.”“But of course these are two international-level keepers and we will try to manage it well and make decisions for the team.”“Of course there is huge competition for the team but I see it as something positive in that position. It’s good for the team to have competition.”last_img read more

Lothar Matthaus predicts the outcome of the Bundesliga

first_imgGerman great Lothar Matthaus has boldly predicted how the Bundesliga table for the 2018/19 season will turn out come the end of the seasonTo the surprise of many, Bayern Munich’s hopes of a seventh league title in a row are under serious threat from runaway leaders Borussia Dortmund.BVB’s perfect combination of youth and experience has proven to be, perhaps, the catalyst behind their title charge with youngsters Jadon Sancho, Achraf Hakimi and Jacob Bruun Larsen all starring. while the likes of Marco Reus and Axel Witsel have also been receiving plaudits for their respective efforts.Currently, Lucien Favre’s men lead Bayern by six points from their opening 18 games with only one defeat.Now Matthaus has laid out his final predictions for this season’s Bundesliga table to Sport Bild with Dortmund narrowly clinching the league title from Bayern by a single point.Jadon Sancho, Borussia DortmundCrouch: Liverpool could beat Man United to Jadon Sancho Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Peter Crouch wouldn’t be surprised to see Jadon Sancho end up at Liverpool one day instead of his long-term pursuers Manchester United.The German World Cup winner, who won the Bundesliga seven times at Bayern, predicted last week that his old club will struggle to break Dortmund’s hold of top spot.“I still believe Dortmund will decide the title race in their own favour. But if anyone can catch up with them, then, of course, it’s Bayern,” said Matthaus.RB Leipzig will finish third with Borussia Monchengladbach, who were one of the surprise packages from the first-half of the campaign, completing the top-four.But Hannover 96 and FC Nürnberg will be relegated with Fortuna Dusseldorf finishing in the relegation play-off spot, which will see them face whoever finishes third in the Bundesliga 2 in a two-legged play-off tie for a place in next season’s top-tier division.Matthaus’ final 2018/19 Bundesliga table after all 34 gamesBorussia Dortmund – 79 pointsBayern Munich – 78 pointsRB Leipzig – 65 pointsBorussia Monchengladbach – 63 pointsTSG Hoffenheim – 56 pointsEintracht Frankfurt – 55 pointsBayer Leverkusen – 54 pointsVfL Wolfsburg – 46 pointsWerder Bremen – 44 pointsHertha BSC – 43 pointsSchalke 04 – 40 pointsMainz 05 – 35 pointsSC Freiburg – 35 pointsVfB Stuttgart – 33 pointsFC Augsburg – 31 pointsFortuna Düsseldorf – 30 pointsHannover 96 – 26 pointsFC Nurnberg – 22 pointslast_img read more

Cards Season Included NCAA Tournament Appearance Big Wins

first_imgLouisville is one of four Division I schools in the nation which has won 20 or more games in each of the past 17 seasons. Reaching over 20 victories this season and extending their streaks are Kansas (30), Duke (23), Gonzaga (21) and Louisville (17). (On if he’s learned anything about his job in the last year that he didn’t know when he signed on) “Not really. I think being a head coach for a long time prepares you rather well. I knew that the fan base would be bigger, opinions would be more varied because there are more opinions. There’s a lot of pride in our program, a lot of people that love our program. I don’t think anything came up that surprised me.” Mack guided the Cardinals to a 20-14 record while facing the nation’s third-toughest schedule.  Picked to finish 11th in the ACC, UofL achieved a 10-8 conference record and earned a tie for sixth in the final regular season standings.  The Cardinals beat four Associated Press Top 25 teams and were No. 22 in the nation in the NCAA’s NET rankings. Louisville ranked among the nation’s top 30 teams in both offensive (27th) and defensive efficiency (25th).  Entering the season, the Cardinals returned one starter and about a third of its scoring and rebounding from last year’s team. (On if he’s been to the Kentucky Derby before) “I don’t think I can say I officially went to one because it was a downpour all year last year. It’s maybe the most miserable experience I’ve ever had. Thankfully, (athletic director) Vince (Tyra) got us some tickets that were indoors, so I’ll make it there a second year in hopes that it doesn’t rain harder than it did last year.” (On who he think will win the national title) “I’d love to see a team in our conference, Virginia, win it all. I think what Coach (Tony) Bennett and his program went through, I think the heartache of losing in such a visible manner, and for those guys to have the wherewithal to swallow that for everybody to see, to let them use that as fuel to be in a situation where they’re down three points with five-and-a-half seconds to go at the free throw line, it says a lot about that team’s character and their coach’s character. So, you want to see a conference member do well, and there’s not a person in the country that wouldn’t say Tony Bennett does it the wrong way. He does it the right way, so you root for those type of guys. I’m hoping that our program and our guys can take a page out of their book in going from one year to the next.” Print Friendly Version Louisville defeated the champion of four conferences this season in Lipscomb (Atlantic Sun/tie), Michigan State (Big Ten/tie), North Carolina (ACC/tie), and Vermont (America East).  Louisville also faced four non-conference opponents who finished in the top three of their respective leagues in Tennessee (tied for second in the SEC), Kentucky (tied for second in the SEC), Marquette (second in the Big East) and Kent State (third in the Mid-American Conference East Division). (On the improvements sophomore forward Malik Williams has made over the past year and if he has made a step in the right direction of where he wants him to be as a player) “I thought Malik had as big of an improvement as anyone on our team. When you watch tape of him as a freshman, he just got thrown around and he was effective when he could make a pick-and-pop three. I thought this year, he was a really good defender virtually every game. He affected things at the rim, he’s extremely intelligent, he sees things happening and gets on the floor. Not many guys that play the four or five are willing to put their chest on the floor and dive for a loose ball and come up with things. What he maybe lacks in strength—hopefully he’s going to make up a lot of that ground over the summer—he makes up for in his hustle. I think offensively, he has a long way to go. I asked him the other day, ‘What are you great at? What on offense do you really hang your hat on, or can you hang your hat on?’ He looked at me for a few seconds and said, “I’m not sure.’ I thought that was a great answer because he’s right. He’s got to figure out what his game is on offense. His game is not just floating around shooting threes, and if it was, he’d shoot 45 percent from three and he’d have a green light every time he touched the ball, but he was closer to 30 percent, so he’s got to get a whole lot of reps in there. I referenced Channing Frye with him, who’s about to retire from the Cleveland Cavaliers. Channing Frye is 98th all-time in the history of the NBA in made threes, 98th, and that includes Detlef Schrempf, Larry Bird, Steph Curry, he’s 98th. Do you know how many threes he’s shot in his career at Arizona—which I don’t know how many years he played, two or three, I don’t think he was a one-and-done—he shot 24 threes in his career. So, he’s got to be more than a guy who just makes pick-and-pop threes. I think he took a step forward. He’s still not completely comfortable with his back to the basket, but the improvement he made from last year to this year hopefully lights a fire under him to improve more and more because we’re going to need him to to get better.” (On the workout regimen for incoming players) “I think (strength and conditioning) Coach (Andy) Kettler has an expectation that they’re doing something in the weight room. So much of that is a function of what they have access to, including what they can eat. So often, one of the big differences from high school to college is just the physical difference. It can overwhelm a freshman. If you all of the sudden had to hold your ground in the post versus (junior center) Steven Enoch, that’s different than the 6-4 kid that they called up from the JV right before tournament play that was trying to push you around. I think that’s a big part of it. Until you’re in the gym with the guys, it’s hard to convey the footwork, this is what’s important. I think you really have to be hands-on, at least that’s how I feel. I really want to be hands-on, you just have to be in the gym. I know these guys are workers. I know they’re trying to improve, but we’ll worry about getting our hands on them when they get here and giving them specific information on where they need to get better.” (On if he pays attention to horse racing or if he bets on it) “I don’t pay attention to horse racing, and absolutely, I bet on things that I’m allowed to—blackjack, horses.” Chris Mack Press Conference Louisville and Duke played more NCAA Sweet 16 teams (eight) than any other school in the nation and the Cardinals’ 11 games against those teams was the third-most in the nation prior to the NCAA Tournament.  The Cardinals beat Michigan State, North Carolina and Virginia Tech during the 2018-19 season, and those three victories against the Sweet 16 field were tied for the seventh-most in the nation. Story Links LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The University of Louisville men’s basketball team produced a successful season, participating in the Cardinals’ 39th NCAA Tournament in its first year under head coach Chris Mack. (On how the new NCAA recruiting rules will impact Louisville’s recruiting strategy moving forward) “It’s just harder with the limited AAU days to get your eyes on as many kids as you have in years past. We’re still working through that, still trying to figure out who is going to be where, what state associations are going to be doing things, what does the NBA players camp look like in terms of who do we miss, who do we not see? It’s going to be very, very different. For us, we don’t feel like it’s going to be as big of a class as 2019 was, but it’s still going to be every bit as important. What you want to be able to do is continue to stack really good classes together, so it’s huge. You’re at Louisville, we need to get good players.”(On the impact of the KHSAA’s plans for the offseason) “I think it hurts the high school players. I think the Louisville’s of the world will be fine. We’ve got great high school coaches in this state, in this region that will email us, word of mouth. We’ll get to see those kids at some point, but their opportunities get really limited.”(On holding team camps in the summer) “We elected this summer not to have team camps. A year ago, it just wasn’t feasible. Most of the teams that you’d really want to come to your team camps were already committed elsewhere. Then, with the whole commission putting team camps, state associations, really weren’t sure how that was going to look. The last thing we wanted to do was start a team camp and figure that 80 percent of the teams we wanted to get here, we couldn’t. I’ve never been a real big believer in the elite camps.”(On his grade for the season) “Pins and needles. Probably a B, probably a B. Man, it was tough the last 10 games, let’s put it that way. Our effort level was good. The guys came to practice with the right attitude, we just weren’t as effective. We have to get better this offseason.” Mack has built for the future as well, with Louisville’s 2019 signing class ranked second in the nation by and fifth by both and met with media representatives following the season, with the following a transcript of that news conference.Chris Mack Postseason Press ConferenceApril 3, 2019(On what he has done since the end of the season) “Just end-of-season meetings and laying out our offseason program, both on the court and the weight room, conditioning-wise, putting our calendar together for recruiting, which never really ends. But, with the calendar being changed by the NCAA, and all the opportunities we have, and how much high schools are getting back involved, state associations in June, it changes what we do in the summer months preparing for that.”(On sophomore guard Jo Griffin and freshman guard Wyatt Battaile entering the transfer portal) “Well, all three of the walk-ons put their names in the portal, so I don’t know what those decisions were made personally. Obviously, they were in the computer when they were.” (Follow-up: On discussing their decision with Mack) “Oh yeah, they discussed it. They discussed it.”(On the overall first year at Louisville) “It’s been great. It’s a year of trying to figure out what to expect. You sort of go into this path with eyes wide open. You try to learn new people, get established what you want to get established, establish the environment you want for your players. It’s been great. Really excited about our future and where we go from here. I didn’t know a whole lot a year ago at this time. It was a whirlwind.”(On the importance of staff continuity) “I’m very, very fortunate to have a staff that I really trust and believe in that those guys are, first and foremost, really good people, excellent coaches. They hold the respect of all of our players, and they established relationships with our guys over the last 12 months or so. I’m not naïve enough to think that change doesn’t happen. Change happens with your coaching staff, on your roster. There’s always going to be change, and being able to adjust is important, but I feel like everyone on our staff is going to be back. They have the same mindset as I do. We want to be better. We’re going to be better. We’re going to continue to establish the environment that we have our players in and what’s important in the standards that we hold. And those guys know me, they know what we’re all about. That was a big reason why I hired (assistant coach) Dino (Gaudio) in the beginning because I didn’t want to take several weeks to coach the coach, and I think that really helps with what we do in the offseason when we’re focused on the right thing and that’s our players.”(On what he will remember most about the 2018-19 team) “That we were able to get to the NCAA Tournament in a year that I don’t think many people thought we would, and selfishly, for (graduate forward) Akoy (Agau), (graduate guard) Khwan (Fore), and (graduate guard) CC (Christen Cunningham). Khwan and CC had never been to the tournament, so I really wanted them to experience what it’s like to hear your named called — to be better that people expect, to hold true, not to a promise I gave them, but a belief that I held, that is our team could certainly be a NCAA Tournament team and I would hate to come up short in their one and only chance to go somewhere else and be a part of that. So, that’s probably what I’ll remember most is when they come back, and they’re 30 years old, I’ll see them down the line or they’ll come back in the summer and play pick-up, I don’t think that they’ll ever feel like they were let down by what they were told and what actually transpired.”(On if he anticipates remaining scholarship players to return next season) “It’s 2019. Rosters are fluid, so my job, as I see it, is to be very, very honest with our players and I expect to see the same in return. I want them to be honest with me in terms of what their expectations are, what I thought they did well this past year, what I think they need to work on, and I have to be as honest as a heart attack with them. At times, you are on the complete same page with where we go forward, and sometimes, there’s got to be a lot of thought, both by the coach, by the player. So, to say we sit here and we’re ready to go for 2019-20 in terms of what our roster is going to look like, that would probably be inaccurate because I don’t know. I do know that we’re never settled…we’re always looking to see how we can improve on our team.”(On if the transfer portal bring difficulties as a coach) “It’s part of the job. I don’t know how to answer the question. Everybody has difficulties in their job, and where that ranks, it’s just part of the job. Nobody cares when I played, it’s just sort of you did what the coach told you. Now, it’s a little different, and it’s OK. It’s just who we’re dealing with. It doesn’t make kids any different at heart, but I think you have to have really good relationships with your guys and be honest with them. If this isn’t the place for somebody, you probably want to know sooner or later. Job is always difficult, but it just is what it is.”(On how players will respond to second year under him) “I think, for one, our players have so much better of a feel for expectation standards, the environment that we’ve tried to establish for them, what the expectations are from a work ethic standpoint. You’re trying to establish that from day one. Now, I expect our upperclassmen to have a regenerative leadership type of approach, where the freshmen are learning from guys that have been through it. We didn’t have that luxury this past year because the seniors, who were first-time guys here at Louisville, were looking at me like they had never heard me introduce anything, so I’d like to think that our older guys will be our best leaders—they better be our best leaders. I’m looking forward to having 13 guys on scholarship, as opposed to nine and a 10th one can’t practice every day. Sort of hard to go five-on-five when you have nine guys at times.”(On considering graduate transfers for next season) “We’re always recruiting. We don’t ever stand still. That doesn’t mean, nor should it be taken as I would ever force anybody out or tell them, ‘Hey, you’re not welcome here.’ That’s not how we do things. I’ve never done it that way. Again, rosters are a lot more fluid in this day and age than they were even 10 years ago. Kids want to have immediate impacts. I will tell you, Kent, that I don’t think we’ll add another freshman. I just feel like this isn’t a football team. We have to have balance among the classes, so that limits our options a little bit in the sense that we’re good on incoming freshmen. But, we’ll always to continue to look, whether that’s adding a fifth-year guy, whether that’s adding a sit-out transfer, we’re always to going continue establishing what our roster looks like and how we want it shaped.”(On sophomore forward Jordan Nwora’s improvement during the season) “I think it’s evident that he’s a very talented scorer. I think part of that is that he had a lot more opportunity this year, but that opportunity wasn’t just handed to him—he earned it. He was our best offensive player from day one. He got a lot better defensively. I’ll tell you that he has a long way to go and I think he knows that. Whether you talk offense or you talk defense about Jordan, the great thing about him is he has a lot of room for improvement, a lot of room, and whether that happens here at Louisville or in the NBA, it will be his decision and we’ll get the information over the next month-and-a-half to two months to help him make the best decision that he can. But, he’s got a long way to go in terms of becoming the player that I think he can be.” (On the challenges of not knowing which players will be back yet) “You can’t really fill a spot until one makes that decision, so that’s part of the challenge. It’ll certainly change our look offensively because Steven and Jordan provide some offense, and they do it in different ways than our other guys do. We have a long time in the offseason. That decision needs to be made by May 29, so as long as we don’t start practicing on June 1, that will give us enough time to adjust how we need to play on both ends of the floor. The good thing about Louisville’s academic schedule is, our guys are basically gone the entire month of May, whether you put your name in or you’re just going home for four or five weeks in the summer. So, when guys come back for summer school, like they did a year ago, you’ll know who’s on your team. And, at that point, you won’t have the freshman because they won’t have graduated from their respective high schools. We’ll know a lot more when we’re all reconvened here at the first available time in the summer.”(On strategy in recruitment) “We won’t take the ‘best available player’ approach and then try to fit him into a roster. We’ll certainly hone in on some positions, and again, right now, there are no positions open. We’re always looking.”(On a potential summer trip) “That won’t be for this summer. I think next summer that might be a strong possibility. But, just getting our feet on the ground after the first year, I don’t think that would be in our team’s best interest.”(On when he thought the team fully established itself) “I thought our team, at the beginning of the year, I think, after we played Pitt at Pitt, we were maybe 90th in the country defensively. We had set a goal to be a top-25 defensive team, but we were falling woefully short. I think our players, to a man, even from day one, knew that we weren’t the most talented team in the league. And, if we were going to meet some of our goals, some of which we did and some of which we fell short, some were lofty, some were very specific, then we were going to have to be better on all parts. We were going to have to be a team that could get stops, that believed in our defense. And from that point on, I think today we’re 25th in the country on KenPom. Maybe that shakes out and we’re a spot or two away, who knows. But, in one year to become a top-25 defensive team, with a collection of guys that had never heard of pack-line or understood how it was played, without really any rim protectors and without really great size on the perimeter, I’m really proud of our team to be able to compete the way we did defensively. We came up short in some games. It was a tough last month because we wanted to be better. We felt like we could’ve been better. But, when I look back at this team, I just feel like defensively, we came a long, long way. And it was that belief that we could better than one of the parts that I’ll always remember about this group.”(On opening next season with a conference game) “A big part of the schedule was done before we got here. A lot of the exempt events, they’re planned years in advance. You don’t just say ‘Hey, we want to play in Maui’ or ‘We want to play in the Bahamas,’ it just doesn’t happen. They’ll pencil you in for 2030 and get back to you. From that standpoint, we have a lot of games that were already on the schedule. Moving to 20 conference games makes our schedule even tougher. You’re not going to lose the ACC-Big Ten challenge. You’re always going to play Kentucky. We obviously have a new series starting up with Western Kentucky. Eighty percent, 90 percent of your schedule is already hammered out before you sit down in your chair. We’re always going to have one of the best schedules in the country. I don’t know if it’ll be as challenging as this past year’s, but we’re always going to have one of the best. When you see our partners and who we play, we didn’t have chopped liver either. To answer the first part of the question, ACC game to start the year, I’m not a huge fan, but it is what it is.”(On getting draft information for the players) “Well, it’s the NBA’s job and we sort of pass it along.”(On if he offers an opinion to a player considering the draft) “I absolutely offer my opinion, but that’s what it is. It’s an opinion. I think it’s a valid one, I think it’s an honest one, because I’m with these guys every single day. I know where their strengths lie, I know where their deficiencies lie. Watching guys go through the process year after year after year, you see the guys that have made it. You see the guys that made it for a little bit, see the guys that have lasted, see the guys who never got a shot, the guys who return to school, see the whole gamut. You feel like you have a really good rolodex of information to go back on and say, ‘These are my thoughts.’ Having said that, when a player and their family make the decision, I’m always going to be supportive. It’s not going to be combative. I always want them to feel like they can trust that I’m going to give them my honest opinion.”(On the incoming freshmen class) “That remains to be seen. It’s a huge jump from high school to college. It is a huge jump, and I think because of a variety of reasons, it  seems to look easier because of the Zion’s and the RJ’s. Not necessarily to fans, but to the players themselves. It’s a lot harder than it looks. So much has been made about the teams that are left right now are veteran teams, teams with not a lot of one-and-dones, and I think there’s some truth to that. It’s hard when you’ve never been in situations before. When you haven’t been in tight games. When the guys you’re lining up against have been. When they’ve lost in the NCAA tournament. When they’ve worked an entire offseason with that in their minds. It’s tough. And I think there’s something to be said for experience. Having said that, I think our freshman are extremely talented. I think they all bring different things to the table. There’s going to be an adjustment period, and this summer is going to be huge for them. That’s why we’re going to be counting on our veterans to really help them understand what expectations and standards are in our program. But, each one of them can help our program and are going to help our program next year.”(On the importance of the freshmen coming to the program as soon as possible) “I think it’s important, but what they’re about to experience is the longest commitment to basketball they’ve ever faced. As excited as I am to get them here, I want to make equally sure that we have their attention in February and March down the stretch and not make the season any longer than it needs to be for them, if that makes sense. In terms of getting them bigger and stronger, getting to know their teammates, getting to know their coaching staff, us getting to know how best they respond to coaching, that’s huge. We’ve got enough time to figure that out before we start playing games.”(On the increased expectations for the 2019-20 season) “Absolutely. People ask me all the time, ‘How do you think the first season went?’ and ‘What were your expectations,’ and ‘Did they get mad?’ I just look at is as this is a process. We’re moving our program in a direction to compete for conference titles, tournament titles, and it’s a hard process. That’s a narrow eye-of-the-needle to get through, if you will. But, we are on the right track. I love the guys we have coming in. I think they’re going to add a whole lot. The more expectations, the better. I was disappointed with the last 10 games of the season, not in our players, but that we couldn’t get over the hump in certain games. We’re moving in the right direction. To think of where we were a year ago, when some fifth-year grad transfers wouldn’t answer my phone calls, didn’t want to visit, recruits didn’t really feel Louisville, to be sitting here off an NCAA Tournament appearance with some of the best, high-character guys I’ve ever been around before. Knowing that we have a top-10 class in the country coming in. We’re going to be at 13 scholarships versus 10. We’re really excited about next season.”(On if there was a specific moment that caused recruits to begin committing to Louisville) “I don’t think I could point to one moment and say it changed. I think Christen Cunningham saying, ‘I’m coming to Louisville’ helped. I think (incoming freshman) Josh Nickelberry saying, ‘I’m coming to Louisville’ really helped. Unbeknownst to our coaching staff, every kid always says, ‘Coach, I’m going to recruit these other guys you’re recruiting.’ You always sort of shake your head, ‘Yeah, I appreciate it.’ They generally text a kid, ‘Hey, why don’t you come to Louisville with me’ and that’s it, but I guess Josh really worked those guys and that’s great. I can’t point to one particular moment and say it changed right here. We were always a coaching staff that felt like it was going to change, we just have to keep believing and keep making Louisville cool, and keep doing what we had to do.”last_img read more