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Men's Basketball

Jim Christian Press Conference Transcript

April 8, 2014

Brad Bates
Opening Statement:
"This is an exciting day in Boston College basketball. There are a lot of characteristics that you look at when you are selecting the next leader of your basketball program. There are core elements at Boston College that go without question; integrity, competitiveness, the ability to coach and recruit. Beyond that, Jim Christian brings four elements that make me very excited to have him leading our program. First of all, he wants to be here. He has a passion for Boston College. This is a place he wants to come to and lead us to compete in the greatest basketball conference in the country. Second, everyone has a vision, but your ability to articulate a plan to realize that vision is really something that struck home in the way Jim talked about Boston College. Third, we have a track record of championships because we believe winning championships teaches a skill, knowledge, and an experience that students can take with them and serve them in any endeavors they engage in as leaders. Finally, a fit - someone that fits the values and culture of Boston College and, at the end of the day, Jim distanced himself from a lot of candidates in this job. Oh by the way, I've never met a basketball coach who can develop professional basketball players and using a basketball court, NFL players. That is Jim Christian."

Jim Christian
Opening Statement:
"I have to start off by saying how honored I am to stand here as the new head basketball coach at Boston College. I am deeply indebted and forever grateful to Father Leahy, to Brad Bates, to Leo Sullivan for this special opportunity. I think as a basketball coach you want to be in a situation where there are proper fits. I have unbelievable appreciation for the players and coaches that have created the unbelievable tradition here at Boston College. If you look at all of the regimes, from back to Tom Davis, Gary Williams, Jim O'Brien, Al Skinner, and the great players - some of who might be here - that tradition is unbelievably impressive. As a coach, the only thing you are trying to do is you are trying to look at where they have been successful. The next step is I sat down with some members of the faculty and you hear them talk about Boston College and these things all resonate in my mind that this place is just the ideal fit for me. It is everything that I want. Everything I want in a community, everything I want in a school. You can hear the passion in their voice when they talk about Boston College, not just Boston College basketball. It just became so clear that this is just the ideal fit for me. The process for me went to the next step. I got the chance to get up here yesterday right off the plane and meet with our players. I told the players our program is going to be about two things every single day. Number one is identity and the other is development. I told them exactly what I am going to do to create an identity because I do it in all the places that I've been. Every day at practice we will roll a board out and call it our Identity Board. Our Identity Board is who we want to be, so during the course of practice we have to make 20 offensive and defensive identity plays. This is who we have to be. Then we chart it during the course of the game or practice and put the playmakers name on the board. What does it do? It gives me a chance to praise our players and resonate in his mind this is who we are. One of our players takes a charge and five of our players are diving over to pick him up. That's who we are trying to be. Every single day we know who we are trying to be on both ends of the floor. Every day the players need to understand what it means to be a Boston College basketball player. Once you gather those things and you add them all up, you are creating a culture, a culture of who you are so when things don't go well you go back to that culture of what you created. The other part is development. We play basketball at the highest level, in the best league in the country. Every single guy that comes here wants to be developed in all areas and every single player that comes through our program will be developed in all areas. It has to start with me - the development I put into them as a player, the amount of time I spend with them building relationships and that's my first goal here. I had 16 individual player meetings today because I wanted to do it right away. I wanted to reach out. I told them the challenge was two-fold. I can't just reach out to the players on this team, they have to extend themselves and create relationships as well because that is how important it is. It is important to their growth to understand what the head coach is about and they want to do that. I told them when they walk by the basketball office, it is not a suggestion to come in and see how we are doing. It is not a suggestion. It is something that we are going to do. This time of the year when these types of changes happen, developing relationships as quickly as we can is paramount. With all that being said, the minute they told me I got this job I hit the ground running and doing all the different things we needed to get done. I couldn't be more excited to be here because of what Boston College is. The goal now is to get community involvement and student involvement and there is one way to do it - winning. It is winning and extending yourself. It is going out and meeting people and getting into the inner fabric of the school, and that is what we are looking to do because we couldn't be more excited to be here. I am unbelievably thankful for this opportunity and as I told Brad when he called me and told me I was fortunate enough to get the job, I am going to work every day to make him as proud as I possibly can for the commitment they have given to me."

On where he is at with hiring his staff:

"I have had some intensive discussions and I know the type of people I want, and I know the areas I want to attack and approach. I am doing all my due diligence because I do think it is important that I get people that understand the level that we are recruiting. I have not recruited as an ACC head coach so I'm trying to get guys who have already proven and established that they can do that. I want to do it as quickly as possible but I am not going to hurry. I want to have as many conversations and talk to a lot of different people because to me it is the most important decision."

"When I look at the staff, I am trying to get three things. Number one, I want a proven recruiter from New England, someone who has gotten high-major talent from this area. This is a talent rich area and I want someone who has strong ties. With that, you have to have great evaluators. If you look over the course of Boston College history, it hasn't been just recruiting. It has been great evaluating and recruiting. So those two things have to tie together. With another spot, I want a guy who can prove he can get players nationally. With a name like the ACC and the academic reputation of our school, you have to attack it in both ways. I think if you have too many New England guys they almost get in each others' way. You have to spread yourself out as much as you can because the growth of the ACC is incredible. One thing I know is great players want to play against great players so it is our job to go open up as many doors as we can. If you rush right away you just get talent and you don't cultivate the culture in your program. It is just talent. You have to catch people twice. You aren't just catching the talent pool. The guys that you are bringing in better be able to fit the culture pool as well."

On Ryan Anderson transferring:
"I came in yesterday afternoon and we talked briefly. Let's face it: Ryan has done some great things at Boston College. I let him know how much I would have loved to coach him. I think he is really good for the way I like to do things, but at the end of the day, I want all the players to do what they think is best for them. I wish him well."

On Olivier Hanlan possibly leaving:
"We had a couple of great conversations. We had a couple on the phone when I first got the job and I talked to him and his family and we will continue to do so."

On admissions at Boston College:
"I have not sat down and talked with anyone specifically on admissions. I think it is more on a case-by-case basis. I think it is more of a personal approach than a paper approach, because at the end of the day, what you really want is people who can obviously be great basketball players and you want people who also want to be at this school and represent what the school is about. The best way to do it is sit down and talk to people and approach their academic life. I think it is a great process."

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