The Miami RedHawks had a really good year last season. One that saw them on the edge of making the NCAA Tournament as an at-large bid. Megan Duffy decided to move on, so now for the third time in four years the players will have to adjust to a new head coach. That makes accurately predicting the up-coming season impossible. Let’s be honest, most predictions are a bit of crap shoot to begin with. What I can do is look at returning talent. Check. Miami has that. Look to see if there are players that could potentially step up, check, they have that, too. Star and leadership? Check and check. So the future should be bright. Do I believe in the new coach and what she is trying to do? Check. The problem is, sometimes things just don’t gel. A team of superstars does not always perform because there are a lot of factors you just cannot predict until the games are played.
I did get a chance to interview Coach Hendrix. I also watched her interview on the Miami team website, and I really like what I heard and read. My prediction for the upcoming season is that Miami will continue their upward trajectory and be competitors in an especially competitive conference. Here is the interview that coach Hendrix was gracious enough to give, given all that is on her plate.
1. Coach Hendrix, as the third college coach for some of these players, do you anticipate any trust issues, or issues with getting them to adjust top your schedule and style?
I try to remain cognizant of the amount of change that has taken place for this current roster in a short amount of time. The entire focus the first few months will be away from the court. We will establish trust by first getting to know them and vice versa. If we can get them to know who we are as a staff and what our intentions are for everyone, I don’t think trust will be an issue. I empathize for them and realize change is hard. I want to be sensitive to that while also being regimented in our approach to the season.
2. With a couple more key wins last season, the RedHawks would have received an invite to the NCAA tournament.The conference was generally regarded at one of the 7 best in the nation last season and looks to be loaded again next season. How excited are you to be coaching in such a competitive environment?
Family played a big factor in me making this move, but the conference was the ultimate reason. The MAC is such a great league with so many credible coaches! To coach against the best night in and night out is exhilarating. The challenge that lies ahead is a competitor’s dream.
3. What would you say is your defining trait as a coach, and what defining trait do you want your teams to have?
I’d say my defining trait is “passionate”. I love what I do and the people I do it with. I’m obsessed with mastering this craft for the benefit of others
I want our team to be defined as “Tough” and/or “Gritty”. Those traits describe a team that is able to just figure it out in order to succeed; one that can withstand adverse situations and come out on top.
4. If you could steal one player from your past that would help to transition this team into your own, which player would you choose, and why?
Latrice Phelps. Trice was never our standout player but she was the reason we won. She would literally run thru the wall for both me and her teammates. She demanded focus, energy, and effectiveness from everyone around her and was given it because of what she gave. She epitomized what I want Miami Basketball to be.
5. (you don’t have to answer this question if you don’t know the answer or don’t want to) When I think of Richmond basketball, a bald guy with a headband sticks in my head. I can’t think of his name, or which years he played (though I am thinking late 80s or early 90s). It’s been driving me crazy since reading your bio. Do you have any idea who I am talking about?
LOL! I do not.
6. With a total of 4 bids in two years, and a couple of near misses last year, how important for momentum do you think a third year of multi bids would be for the Mid-American Conference?
I think it’s really important and the coaches in the MAC are adamant about making that happen. In my initial weeks, I can see that there is an accountability amongst coaches that is admirable. Every detail is being examined to make sure we are positioning ourselves, as a conference, to get multi bids every year.
Again, we at Hustle Belt are very appreciative of the time Coach Hendrix took out of her especially busy schedule to answer these questions, even if she had no idea of the player that is still causing me sleepless nights. As for the upcoming season, I personally would sleep like a baby if I were a RedHawks fan, I think this team is in good hands.