College Basketball

Mark Price on coaching 49ers: ‘Right place and right time’

New Charlotte 49ers men’s basketball coach Mark Price said Thursday he has wanted to be a head coach “probably since I was about 10 years old.”
New Charlotte 49ers men’s basketball coach Mark Price said Thursday he has wanted to be a head coach “probably since I was about 10 years old.” rlahser@charlotteobserver.com

Mark Price was introduced as the Charlotte 49ers’ 10th men’s basketball coach Thursday. He answered questions during a news conference:

Q: How long have you wanted to be a head coach?

A: “Probably since I was about 10 years old. I grew up around coaching all my life, and I got to play under great coaches like Bobby Cremins, Lenny Wilkens, Chuck Daly and Rick Adelman. I’ve coached under Stan Van Gundy and Steve Clifford (with the Hornets). I’ve looked at college jobs at different times, but Charlotte has afforded me this at the right place and right time.”

Q: Attendance has dipped to all-time lows at Halton Arena. What’s your plan to improve that?

A: “It starts with the product on the floor. We’ll be exciting to watch, go up and down. We need to add some defensive identity to make us successful. I’ll do whatever I can do. I’m going to go around campus, meet students and be part of the community. We should be something they all want to be part of.”

Q: What will your recruiting philosophy be?

A: “It will start right here in Charlotte. There’s great talent in Charlotte and North Carolina. But I’ll head down south where I have roots in Atlanta. But we’ll go strong wherever we need to go to recruit players who fit what we do. If that’s New York City, we’ll go to New York City, as well.”

Q: What will be the biggest transition for you from the pros to college?

A: “The recruiting side is extremely important and any coach tells you if you’re going to be great you have to have great players. The daily challenge of development – you had no restrictions in the pros, which is different than college – I’ll have to get my arms around that so we can get to our best potential.” David Scott

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