Chat Transcript: Larry Shyatt


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Larry Shyatt is in his second year as Clemson's head basketball coach.

Question: Has our traditionally strong football program handicap our recruiting?

Answer: no it has had a positive effect with the excitement of new staff and will help Clemson University in the future.


Question: Besides us, who in your opinion should we watch out for in the ACC?

Answer: Wake Forest and NCSt have been a crest in the last two years with young talent and have the potential to have national break through years.


Question: ? for LS: Was there nothing that could be done to challenge the SAT committee when they refused to verify the test score of Ronald Blachshear? It's my understanding that he passed, but they wouldn't count it. Publicly, it looked like Clemson made no effort to challenge this.

Answer: I am not able to comment on this academic issue...furthermore, I am positive that Clemson did all they could for Ronald and any other student to help this out.


Question: Coach Shyatt, congratulations on the 4 signees in the early period. Are they all qualified from an NCAA stanpoint (assuming they successfully complete their remaining high school requirements)??

Answer: We can not comment on this because of the privacy act, but they are all solid people with outstanding families.


Question: Coach I understand Chucky Gilmore has really changed his weight and physique during the off season (I have not personally seen him). Was this on his own or at the coaching staffs suggestion?

Answer: A combined effort by Chucky and our new Strength Coach Jeff Watkinson...came in at 298 and is currently at 267.


Question: Coach do you feel this team will be better from the free throw line than last year's team?

Answer: We have improved in practice and haven't been able to truly test our % in front of crowds...we are currently 8985 for 11479 which equals 78% during practice - that can't hurt.


Question: Coach, is there anyone else we are recruiting for next years class?

Answer: Yes, we are always keeping communication open and looking for possible Tigers.


Question: Coach can you comment on the progress of Scott's recovery from the foot injury?

Answer: Edward has had very little pain - good sign - the pin is in place and we are waiting for the bone to heal.


Question: Coach how has that guard from Canada been doing? specifically, his 3 point accuracy? his Defense?

Answer: Shooting has been excellent at practice...Pasha Bains attitude has been tremendous...he still needs work on his ball handling and defense and will continue to improve daily like all of our freshmen.


Question: Coach, How is Henderson's knee? Will he be redshirted?

Answer: Ray is coming along excellent from surgery and practice the full time daily...we are counting on 15-20 productive minutes THIS YEAR.


Question: Coach Shyatt can you give us an overview of how the staff works together? Which coaches work on which aspects of the game,ie big men , guards etc. Thanks.

Answer: We are a close staff that experience growth in every area...Darren Tillis and Matthew Driscoll work with the big men / Scott Duncan and Bruce Martin work with the perimeters...during pratice they all do a little of everything including offense and defense to help in their professional development...overall, our staff is one of the more experienced in the ACC.


Question: What type of goals have you set for yourself and this young ball team for the 99-00 season?

Answer: We are trying to measure our level of aggression, attitude and discipline, and lastly our intellect and see how they improve daily...at the end of the year we are looking to be in a position to gain a post season bid and compete for a national championship.


Question: Coach- Welcome to TAC, Thank you for coming and now my question: How is Scott progressing? Maybe Streeter can give him some quick recovery tips!

Answer: Edward is doing well and we are looking for any additional calcium...we miss him mostly because he is a great kid and need him to help stablize our back court.


Question: Coach, I know it's very early but who seems to have progressed the most from last year to this season?

Answer: Will Solomon has shown a tremendous amount of maturity in the game of life, in the class room, and on the floor.


Question: Coach Shyatt, what is it like having your son on the team? How is he liking playing for you??

Answer: Jeremy has always been a delight and a great student because of his mother genes...he is a practice player and it is rewarding for us to share all this time together...I look forward to having this opportunity to do this with all three of my sons.


Question: Have you talked recently with Harold, Terrell, Tony and Tom recently? Any updates on what they're all up to...?

Answer: Harold is with the Miami Heat / Terrell is nursing a foot injury while playing professionally in France / Tony is playing professionally in England leading the league in 3-pointers attempted / Tom was released by the Atlanta Hawks and has signed with Fort Wayne of the CBA.


Question: Can you give a little background about #20 Holt? I hadn't heard his name at all until I had gone to both of the exhibition games.

Answer: Walker came to Clemson as a walk-on from Greensboro, NC...4.2 student coming out of high school...he is an excellent addition at any of the perimeter positions...he is 6'4".


Question: It looks like Chucky Gilmore has really toned down a bit from last year and looks much more fit. How much has his shot improved and how much playing time can we expect from him this year?

Answer: Chucky has worked hard since last April on his body (losing 45 before gaining back 20 properly)...he is not counted on for jump shoting, but rather his ability to finish around the glass, rebound on both ends, and defend inside and sometimes smaller forwards.


Question: Talk about Tony Stockman and what he brings to next year's Clemson team?

Answer: Tony Stockman could well be on of the most creative and exciting guards in the country. His is from Medina OHIO (I'm from Cleveland) and we have always wanted to recruit the best player in Ohio and we feel we have.


Question: I liked the look in the second exhibition game when both Gilmore and Henderson were playing side by side - a very intimidating front court. Will we see that often this year?

Answer: Because of our lack of perimeter depth and nine man roster we will see many combinations...including the one we showcased on Tuesday with Allenspach (7'1"), Gilmore (6'8"), Henderson (6'8"), Jurkunas (6'9"), and Solomon (6'2").


Question: What game will we expect to see Ed Scott on the court? Sure is sad to see him on the bench with that ankle cast.

Answer: We agree with the sad on the bench part, but he will not play or participate until he is medically cleared by our doctors.


Question: Coach do you have one person that you are looking at as a backup for AA at center or will it be more of a center by committee when he is out of the game?

Answer: We have 6 inside players who will play 20 to 30 minutes any night at the 4 and 5 spot and sometimes the 3.


Question: When Pasha, Ed, and Will are all healthy (and allowed to) play, will Solomon switch over to SG?

Answer: We would hope that Will be able move around as the game progresses and has proven that he is one of the best lead guards not only in the ACC, but in America.


Question: Whos your favorite Head Basketball Coach and why? And you cant pick yourself, hehe

Answer: Rick Majerus is one of the finest basketball minds and teachers in the game...his teams rarely give up more than 59 points and always play with a high intellect and level of intensity.


Question: Are there any question marks as to the grades / test scores for any of yesterday's signees?

Answer: We answered this earlier and it is privacy related...they are all classy people with excellent families.


Question: As realistic as you can be,how much or how little should we the fans expect from this year`s Tiger Basketball team(this season)Thanks Coach.

Answer: Expect a tremendous effort, improvement and excellence every time we take the court.


Question: Will the starting five next week against ETSU most likely be Jurkunas, Solomon, Allenspach, Gilmore, and Braddick?

Answer: Likely, but who knows?


Question: Hey coach, who was your favorite Tiger Mascot? he he he

Answer: The Tiger!


Question: Can you compare/contrast the styles of Nagys and Javtokas?

Answer: Nagys is more of a 3 man learning his way through the 5 man because of the newness...he has tremendous touch and feel for the game and plays harder than anyone in the country - his future is bright / Art is a strong tough inside bully (Jamison/Wideman) with the ability to step out to 15-17 feet with nice touch...his progression on a daily basis has been outstanding ---- both of these young men along with Juice have taught me great ways to communicate between the international wall.


Question: Nagys has a similar - although a little smaller - build to that of Jurkunas. Does he have as sweet a 3-point shot?

Answer: He has the ability and tools to become as deadly if not better shooter in the future, but most importantly he has an outstanding passion to improve in all aspects of his game.


Question: Coach,what kind of team will this years Tiger team be as far as what they want to do offensively & defensely;thanks.

Answer: Because of our tremendous size and strength we are always finding ways to use those traits as positives...therefore, we must pick our spots in transition and keeping the ball out of the paint on DEFENSE and attacking the paint on OFFENSE.


Question: Are we going to be able to up-tempo this year? I do understand that alot depends on how the other team is playing us but if get a chance to dictate tempo will it be up and down or half court?

Answer: We would like to put as much pressure on their defense as possible while taking care of the ball...however, with our large line-up we could be unique in size yet get several more easy baskets because of our ability to block out and outlet.


Question: Evenin' Coach Shyatt, this is Jim Addison from Cullowhee, NC. My question is "Who's looked the best in practice so far this fall?"

Answer: On different days it has been different people, but on a whole during the pre-season Jurkunas, Allenspach, and Solomon have been outstanding every minute.


Question: How do you feel this year's team will do at the charity stripe?

Answer: By the way, it is 61 to 60 Duke with 1:30 to play...we will improve and practice daily in order to make those free throws during the games.


Question: off the 99-00 season i was wondering if you still have a relationship with your old players like boogie, Widman, and O

Answer: Harold, Boogie, Wideman, and Tony talk with us often and it has been very consistent with all of the players I've coached at Cleveland State, New Mexico, Providence, Wyoming, and Clemson...our family is in this for people not wins and losses.


Question: What's a typical Clemson game gonna look like this year?

Answer: 5 bad guys vs. 5 cornered rats...40 minutes...let the best team win.


Question: Larry how many players can we sign next year and what will be our needs.

Answer: The 2000-01 season will have two seniors...Adam Allenspach and Arturas Javtokas.


Question: Will we run more 3-guard sets with the return of Ed Scott and Pasha?

Answer: We run several sets with 3 guards and 3 bigs using our size and strength...hopefully, we will pick the right spot.


Question: how has it been having your son on the team this year?

Answer: An awesome experience...family is at the top of the list.


Question: Larry why can`t we play USC more than once in a year?

Answer: Because of ACC scheduling and out of league tournaments.


Question: Larry, with the men's and women's basketball teams sharing LittleJohn, how much interaction is there between the teams and Coach Davis and yourself? Do you ever offer suggestions or vice versa?

Answer: Coach Davis is one of the brightest minds in the game...forget sex...we have a couple sets that we stole from him and he has a couple of things he borrowed from us...it is an outstanding relationship.


Question: How is the Free Throw shooting going? Can you take jump shots from the line or does our feet have to be still?

Answer: Duke 68 Stanford 66 with 22 seconds left and s


Question: I know we have been picked last in the ACC, but what is your pick in the ACC this year. With your new recruits, do you think we have a chance to make a run in the ACC? Thanks. GO TIGERS!!

Answer: Last question...it is Stanford


Question: Coach Shyatt, I along with my a friend have set you e-mails over the past offseason and gotten no response. Is it your policy to answer these letters or do you have someone in your staff to respond?

Answer: I'm not very good with emails, but we do print them daily and I'm sorry if I didn't respond.


Question: Will the small number of returning players this year dictate a different style of play from last year's team or will this group continue to pursue a fast paced game on both offense and defense?

Answer: Duke 68 Stanford 68...Overtime...we will have a similar look, but we will always look for ways to score easy baskets off our defense...remember that last years team was 3rd in the ACC in scoring per game...we can score.


Question: I don't know if you can answer this or not. How's LeDarion Jones doing out in Wyoming?

Answer: We speak to LD once and week...he is doing great and has an outstanding relationship with his Coach...he means a great deal to our family and will someday be back coaching with the Tigers.


Question: Does picked last make the players want it more???

Answer: I'm certain that it can serve as a motivator...and American's love underdogs (General Patton).


Question: Coach: I saw both exhibition games. The youth of this team excites me. They seem to do the little things like talking to one another and have good energy. How is this group bonding during practice?

Answer: They have meant a lot to our practices because their youth makes them exciting, but at sometimes wild...I love them.


Question: How far will you travel to see a recruit?any countries you can name?

Answer: Anytime / Any place / Anywhere!!!


Question: Coach, once everyone gets healthy and PBains is eligible to play, what do you anticipate your starting lineup to be. Or will it very throughout the year?

Answer: In fairness to the current players I can't answer that questions, but our guys appreciate competition.


Question: Did the exhibition games give you a good feel of player combinations?

Answer: Yes, because we were forced to play with Allenspach, Braddick, and Jurkunas in foul trouble it helped us see different guys in different situations.


Question: Coach- What do you feel are the real expectations for the Tiger this year based upon what the preseason ACC predictions are.

Answer: Improvement and daily habits will determine our future.


Question: Will we still stay more toward D rather than an offensive game like past years

Answer: Yes, because our defense creates offense with a high level of balance.


Question: Coach, who has been the biggest suprise early on in practice, and do you use the last place prediction by national writers as motivation with your players. :You are doing a great job. Go tigers.

Answer: We are surprised daily...let's suit it up and get it on...go Tigers!


Question: Coach..thanks again for being at Clemson University!! Hope you retire here! I think we are all excited about AA this year. How good do you think he can be??

Answer: I hope I can retire here also...he will play in the league for years to and is an outstanding person and student...a true Tiger!


Question: Are there any new rule changes this year that players must adjust to?

Answer: None that are important to the players, but we now have 5 :30 timeouts instead of fulls along with the medias.


Question: Coach, can you comment on the level of recruits that the program has just pulled in?

Answer: We are on our way to a stable and solid foundation for years to come.


Question: Coach, How much do you expect Adam A to score this year?

Answer: Adam has improved on strength and weight giving him more of an inside/outside game...he has a green light!


Question: Coach, when you are recruiting a player, what are the three most important things you look for?

Answer: Attitude / Talent / Intensity


Question: HI Coach. Are we still recruiting anybody for this year's class?

Answer: We are always looking.


Question: Coach how many of your recruits were at the FSU game did any sign because of that?

Answer: All of our young men committed to us prior to the FSU game...three of our prospects did attend that weekend for their official visit with their families.


Question: Coach - who can jam it with the most style??? (Gotta have fun)

Answer: Pearl (my son Geoff loves the group).


Question: Coach- What made you come on to TAC to answer our questions?

Answer: We are always looking for ways to reach out and improve fans knowledge of our players and family...we need people in the JOHN to make our court crazy for EVERY GAME.


Question: What will cure our road woes in the ACC?

Answer: Change opponents?...it is tough to win on the road in any league.


Question: Larry Shyatt pre-season ACC Basketball ranking? Go get'um this year coach, we're all pulling for our TIGERS!!!!

Answer: We will battle every night...every night.


Question: Your non conference schedule is pretty tough this year, do you feel it will help you get ready for the ACC race.

Answer: All games at this stage will help us improve greatly because of our youth.


Question: Coach - What do you attribute your success now and when Rick Barnes was here in finding "diamonds in the rough" such as Buckner and Terrell?

Answer: The ability to have these players understand the importance of work ethic...strength and intelligence will overcome talent on any given day...and as you said sometimes it is just a diamond in the rough.


Question: Both Allenspach and Solomon seem much more confident. Was there any offseason program that this can be credited to? Do they have the "green light" from you?

Answer: They have any colored light they want...they both went overseas and played and spent most of July in player development camps...that helped.


Question: Who do you consider to be the most dangerous opponent on our schedule this year?

Answer: All of our opponents are dangerous because every win gets you closer to a bid for an opportunity to win a National Championship.


Question: Back in the 70's and early 80's, scores in the 100's were becoming more and more common. I've noticed that scoring has declined significantly in the last 10 years. Is this a result of more coaching emphasis on defense and do you see high powered offenses coming back into style any time soon?

Answer: The game is very cyclical...changing daily...but truly free throw percentage has caused the decline along with more talent being spread evenly around the US.


Question: Coach....what is the expected starting date/completion date for the renovations of Littlejohn?

Answer: That is not available at this date...we are looking at the current plans to make sure we are ready for the new Century.


Question: Were there any recruits at the FSU game? and were any signed because of that excitement?

Answer: They all committed earlier, but the excitement around here was outstanding...we had a lot of Juniors around to enjoy the excitement.


Question: can the california all-stars beat florida tomorrow nite???

Answer: They are capable any night because of experience and scoring ability...ask Georgia Tech.


Question: Coach, What will be the most significant improvement to Littlejohn in the Tiger Pride Campaign?

Answer: The entire project will enhance our facility and help tremendously in recruiting.


Question: and you answered the mascot question?

Answer: The Tiger!


Question: Was Walker Holt given a scholarship? If so, are scholarships for walk-ons for 4 years or on a yearly basis?

Answer: Walker Holt EARNED a scholarship...every student athlete in America has a 1 year scholarship that is renewable yearly.


Question: Do you plan to continue to recruit internationally?

Answer: Anytime / Any place / Anywhere


Question: Will the uniforms change significantly this year?

Answer: This is our first year as an all NIKE school and our uniforms have changed...they are a lot like Arizona's.

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