Oct. 17, 2008
Memphis, Tenn. - Tulane head basketball coaches Dave Dickerson and Lisa Stockton were among the 24 head men's and women's basketball coaches in Conference USA that attended the annual C-USA basketball media day on Thursday, October 16 at the FedExForum.
The league's women's coaches selected the Tulane women's to finish with a fifth-place performance in this year's conference race, while the men's coaches tabbed the Green Wave men to finish ninth overall in 2008. The Wave women posted a 16-14 overall record, while the TU men registered a 17-15 overall mark and both team notched ninth place performances in league play.
"This is always a special time of the year for coaches and players when we get to talk to the media because it's a sign that we are starting the basketball season," Dickerson said. "We had a difficult offseason with injuries to a lot of key guys, and they are just now starting to come around and becoming healthy. I am excited to have those guys back for practice because it's difficult to coach with a lot of injured players."
The central theme among C-USA's the men's and women's coaches was the improvement of the conference and amount of parity that exists in both leagues, while the majority of the men's and women's coaches stated their belief that the Conference USA race for the 2009 title is a wide-open race.
Tulane head coach Dave Dickerson's Opening Statement:
"We were disappointed in how we ended last season with our program. We were 15-6 at one point with 11 games to go and just had a horrendous February where we didn't play well and we didn't perform. We thought we could have had a special year. I always thought there were three things that can hamper a team from being good, and those are attitude, injuries and academics, and we couldn't overcome the injuries, but I love the core of this year's team. We have five or six guys who have played a lot of minutes and should be hungry to have a special year. We are going to go out, play as hard as we can and make no excuses. Hopefully, we will play smart. Kevin Sims is back for his third year and I believe is one of the best guards in this conference. Robinson Louisme was our third-leading scorer last year and he is back for his senior year. The one player that no one talks about for us is Daniel Puckett. Throughout last year he made some great plays and helped us win some games. The one young man that has had a great offseason for us is Kris Richard, a sophomore guard from Beaumont, Texas, who I think has the chance to be a very good player in the conference. We are excited and ready to do some great things."
Tulane head coach Lisa Stockton's Opening Statement:
"We excited about this year. When you look at our schedule, we begin the year in the preseason WNIT, which tremendously competitive, and I believe it's going to be a great challenge for our team. We could play some two or three top 25 teams, so we are very excited about that possibility. We open the season at home with the preseason WNIT and then we finish the season with the Conference USA Tournament at Fogelman Arena. We are excited to host the tournament and I know it will be very special for our team, especially our seniors, to play at home. We will make it the best event that we can possibly make it. I'm excited about our group and our senior leadership. These seniors are the players that went to Lubbock, Texas, with us when (Hurricane) Katrina hit New Orleans. They stuck with us and have been tremendously loyal and I am really glad they are here and they will try and make this a special year.
We have four newcomers, including a transfer from TCU that has to sit out this year. Danielle Nunn is going to help us a great deal in practice. We have two freshmen and our first junior college transfer. I think Indira Kaljo is a great shooter, who gives us great experience at the guard position. Last year we started two freshmen and one sophomore in our lineup, so those players received a lot of playing time and we are expecting great things from them, especially from one of last year's freshman, Brittany Lindsey. If she continues to develop, I believe she will be one of the better players in this league as she gets older. The one freshman who should contribute right away is Brett Benzio, a 6'3" player who has come in and played well and above herself. We haven't spent a lot of time with them. The pieces are there and it's up to us to put it together. We have a challenging schedule and this is going to be a very competitive league. I was a part of Conference USA in the beginning and then we had the realignment and I think it is very much like the beginning where each team is building within then the league and it's getting stronger and stronger each year. I'm excited about what the conference office is doing to better our television coverage and when we do our jobs as coaches I believe the league is going to put us in a position to be successful."