While Shakespeare might have been right in writing “uneasy lies the head that wears a crown,” the Fairleigh Dickinson men’s basketball team has embraced the role as the hunted in its quest to retain the Northeast Conference championship it won just 10 months ago.
After the Knights’ 79-73 victory over St. Francis (Brooklyn) College on Thursday night, we got a chance to talk with fourth-year FDU head coach Greg Herenda, who last season led the team to its first winning campaign since 2005-06 on its way to a conference tournament title. The Knights are now 8-1 in Northeast Conference play after Thursday, and Herenda explained to us what makes this team such a good team and how its championship run helps with the confidence it plays with this season. Also discussed in our extended conversation is the parity that continues to be a hallmark of the Northeast Conference, and how the Knights’ game with the Terriers served as a small sample of just that. We also talked to Coach Herenda about his sideline demeanor and what’s actually going on inside of him during the many times he appears to be a picture of calm on the sidelines. (Of course, we did notice him pace up and down the sidelines and, sometimes, spend possessions standing on the baseline, on the complete opposite end of where head coaches are usually situated.)
Today is our latest edition of “Coachspeak,” where we have an extensive talk one-on-one with some of the biggest names and up-and-coming stars on the sidelines in college basketball. Enjoy our interview with Coach Herenda, and in each subsequent week, we’ll invite a new interview subject for a conversation about the ins and outs of coaching in the college game and beyond.