His eyes were calm, he cracked a smile from time-to-time, and even slowly sipped coffee out of a paper cup as he addressed the media this morning. It's hard to deny that University of Cincinnati Bearcats head coach Mick Cronin is more relaxed than ever in his role at his alma mater. Better yet, he knows there's a ways to go before this year's squad can reach their full potential.
"One thing a bunch of new players does is - although you're inexperienced - but they have the youthful energy. They're so excited to be college basketball players. To be a part of the program."
And in regards to their trip to the summer trip to the Bahamas:
"We focused on how hard we play... The biggest thing for us, and the most promising thing for us from the summer, was the leadership of the 5 guys that played last year."
Cronin was quick to point out Jermaine Sanders, the 6'5" senior forward/guard, for how well he's taken to his new leadership role.
When asked about Kevin Johnson's role on this team and how he might replace last year's All-American, Sean Kilpatrick, Cronin was quick to compare it to his first days at UC when taking over for his old boss and legend, former coach Bob Huggins:
"It's the same way I would handle, back in the day, of 'How are you going to follow Bob Huggins?' Never thought about it and still don't consider it. You know. Couldn't fill his pants if I tried to... Especially the one's he's wearing now."
All said with a great deal of laughter from the head coach, of course.
The full video of Cronin's media session is available here: