PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) – Pitt men’s basketball head coach Kevin Stallings stopped by “The Fan Morning Show” for an hour-long special on Thursday, with hoops season drawing ever closer.
Stallings said he’s been very happy with how things have gone for him so far in Pittsburgh, and he’s been especially pleased by his relationship with Athletic Director Scott Barnes.
“He just gets it,” Stallings said. “He gets what an athletic department is supposed to look like, supposed to function like. We talked about the vision for the basketball program and what he expected of me. And fortunately, I was able to say what I expected of him, and he was very receptive to that. I think the thing that kind of got me is I said, ‘What do you want in your basketball coach?’ And he said, ‘I want a teammate, I want a partner to help me make this thing as good as it can be.'”
Stallings was also effusive in his praise of Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, who he had the pleasure of meeting recently during a visit to the South Side football facility.
“I spoke to our team for a little bit, and Mike came out as the Steelers were getting ready to start their practice,” Stallings said. “I walked over and said hello, and literally, I was blown away. I called my wife, I called my son, I said this guy’s unbelievable, what a great guy. He probably spent 30 minutes just standing there talking to me as their practice was starting, and I was absolutely blown away [by] the presence, the depth of character, the quality of a guy that he is, and absolutely humble, down to earth, easy-going. That was 30 of my favorite minutes that I’ve spent in Pittsburgh so far.”
Stallings is very excited to coach in the ACC, which he views as the best conference in basketball.
“It is the best league,” Stallings said. “I spent 17 years in the SEC, and every year at league meetings, we were trying to figure out how to close the gap with the ACC…It’s the most powerful basketball league in college basketball.”
Pitt fans will be happy to hear that Stallings places a high value on building a team that can score, and that he’s confident he can do so with the pieces he has in place.
“When the NCAA Tournament starts, you have to be able to score,” Stallings said. “And a lot of times, you have to have a guy that can go get you a bucket. It doesn’t become all those pretty plays that you run, or your system, or your style – it’s do you have a dude that can go get you a basket, and knows how to get it, knows how to get to the foul line or get it in the goal. And that’s kind of why I’m excited, because I think we’ve got at least one dude on my team right now.”
The interview can be heard here: