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Author Topic: "Win Now......There are no excuses or extenuating circumstances"  (Read 3423 times)

Offline VUWildcat2103

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CHICAGO -- There was absolutely no mistaking the message new men's basketball coach Dave Leitao delivered to a media throng and several hundred members of the DePaul community attending the introductory press conference Monday at the Student Center.

The time to win is right now.

It's not next week, not next month, not next year.

Forget about rebuilding this or replenishing that. There are no excuses or extenuating circumstances.


The winning began the moment Leitao agreed to finish the job he had started back in 2002. That's when he took a 9-19 Blue Demon team and proceeded to orchestrate one of the nation's biggest turnarounds going 16-13 his first year in Lincoln Park and earning a berth in the NIT.

After leading DePaul to the second round of the NCAA tournament in 2004 and another NIT the following season, Leitao took over the program at Virginia and promptly led the Cavaliers to the NIT his first season (2005-06). The next season, Virginia claimed a share of the Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season title and advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament.

When Dave Leitao arrives in town, the articulate 6-foot, 7-inch coach hits the ground running---and winning.

"It's about infusing your players with an understanding of how to win and making them realize that winning is part of your DNA," Leitao said. "And it's not limited to winning for 40 minutes on a basketball court. Winning is a process you engage in every day.

"It's about believing in yourself and in what the program is going to accomplish. You win games, get to the NCAA tournament and win some more games.

"People are going to see us play and then pick up the phone or text or tweet to their friends that you've got to come and see this. If not, you're going to miss out on something very special."

In three seasons at DePaul (2002 to 2005), Leitao was 58-34 with a Conference USA title, a pair of NIT appearances and an NCAA tournament berth in 2004 where the Blue Demons defeated Dayton 76-69 in double overtime as Drake Diener scored a career-high 28 points and Delonte Holland added 13 points and 14 rebounds.

DePaul lost 72-55 to BIG EAST champion Connecticut in the second round as former UConn assistant coach Leitao went against his coaching mentor, Jim Calhoun.

In his final two seasons at DePaul, Leitao's teams won 44 games.

"We were looking for a coach with a background and history to compete in the BIG EAST Conference," said DePaul athletics director Jean Lenti Ponsetto. "We wanted a proven winner who could recruit all over the country.

"We don't see this as a rebuilding project, but an opportunity to take the next step in the process. Our expectation is to win now. We have talent here that needs to be re-engineered. It was clear to our search committee that Dave Leitao was our No. 1 choice."

Leitao certainly demonstrated he could coach against some of the best during his first stint at DePaul. He won that Conference USA title going against the likes of John Calipari at Memphis, Rick Pitino at Louisville, Bob Huggins at Cincinnati and Tom Crean at Marquette.

The new Blue Demon coach has a clear vision of how to win immediately.

"To defend and rebound is absolutely necessary to win games," Leitao said. "It's in my blood, and it's what I know.

"Playing defense is the most controllable asset in sports. You don't need to jump out of a gym, shoot three-pointers or be super athletic to play defense. It's a mindset, and you can bring it every single night. That's why I love defense.

"This is a very blue-collar town, and your coach is a blue-collar guy."

Ponsetto and Leitao remembered sharing the tears 10 years ago when the up-and-coming coach left Lincoln Park for Charlottesville. Amidst that emotional time, Ponsetto said she realized college basketball was still a business and that such a move could occur.

That didn't make it any easier---on either of them.

"This day fills me with a lot of emotion," Leitao said. "Coming back here to the place where I shared so many great memories is really inspiring to me. I am overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from the DePaul community."

Leitao said he is grateful to DePaul President Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, CM, for giving him the opportunity to finish what he started.

"I absolutely love this school and everything that it stands for," Leitao said. "There isn't anybody more special in college athletics than Jeanne, and I am honored to help raise the basketball program to the level that she deserves."

Most recently, Leitao was an assistant coach at Missouri and Tulsa under Frank Haith. Missouri posted back-to-back 20-win seasons during his time in Columbia that included one NCAA and one NIT appearance. Last season at Tulsa, Leitao helped lead the Golden Hurricane to 23 wins and a NIT berth.

He was scouting at the junior college national tournament when he took a phone call from DePaul expressing an interest in hiring him.

"I was pleasantly surprised," Leitao said. "After our conversation, they said we'll get back to you. I had a very good interview, and here I am today."

Leitao's recruiting prowess prevailed over Michigan State, Indiana and Ohio State to land future pro Wilson Chandler. Along with Chandler, Leitao also signed eventual NBA Draft picks Sammy Mejia and Dorell Wright. At Virginia, Leitao helped develop NBA Draft pick Sean Singletary.

"I believe in myself and have always been around programs that have been winners," Leitao said. "Winning is part of my DNA.

"To our players, this is a new day. What I heard about you and what you heard about me---we're all starting with a clean slate. I challenge them to go out and realize your dreams and let us dream together.

"To everyone else out there, I dare you to give us a try. We are absolutely going to make you proud."

http://www.depaulbluedemons.com/sports/m-baskbl/spec-rel/033015aaa.html
« Last Edit: March 08, 2018, 09:10:02 AM by Freshjive2103 »

Offline VUWildcat2103

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Re: Press Release when Leitao was hired
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2018, 08:36:15 AM »
http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/college/ct-spt-depaul-jean-lenti-ponsetto-disgruntled-fans-20180307-story.html

“If you want to do it the right way, you have to be patient,” Lenti Ponsetto said Wednesday. “You want to build it with young men who are terrific athletes but who are also good students and have good character. It’s not turnkey. It doesn’t happen overnight.”

“I’m excited what I hear from our longtime, loyal season ticket holders who come to games because they want to support DePaul student-athletes,” she said. “They’re not coming to games expecting it to be the junior NBA.

“I appreciate we have some fans who want to win right away. I think there are some people who thought as soon as we opened the doors to Wintrust, that was going to equal winning right away. For us to be able to really realize the value of having a brand-new facility and amenity space that goes with it, it’s going to take us a few years to do that because it’s a recruiting process.”

Offline bluedemon45

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Re: "Win Now......There are no excuses or extenuating circumstances"
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2018, 08:43:40 AM »
Athletic Director Jean Lenti Ponsetto got a fourth chance to hire a new men’s basketball head coach.

And to potentially get it right, she went back to the same guy who gave her the most amount of success in men’s basketball: Dave Leitao. Leitao was Lenti Ponsetto’s first hire as interim athletic director in 2002.

Now as the season gets closer, she said “there is a bright light on men’s basketball.”

“It’s got all the signs of a Dave Leitao handprint right now,” Lenti Ponsetto said. “I watch us from a defensive standpoint and a rebounding, transition defense aspect … I think we’re improving in all of those areas.”

read more bb preview

Lenti Ponsetto said she will measure progress by how they match up in the school’s non-conference schedule and the Big East conference. She said one of the team’s goals is to get into the top six of the Big East conference, noting there were four teams practially locked in and there were four others, where she included DePaul that could vie for the last two spots.

“The most important thing is for our student athletes is to achieve at a level where they can maximize their potential,” she said.

Lenti Ponsetto admitted she felt last year the Blue Demons  underachieved, “which is why we made a change and should have won more games.”

She also acknowledged the “higher expectation” to get this hire right, but doesn’t apologize for the previous two coaches, Jerry Wainwright and Oliver Purnell, she hired.

“I don’t think you can work in this position without having a tough outer shell,” she said. “I feel confident that we’ve hired good people to coach our basketball program.”

This is from the DePaulia back in Fall of 2015.  Our goal is to get into the "Top 6"
Melvin-Moses-Young

Offline Big Kid

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Re: "Win Now......There are no excuses or extenuating circumstances"
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2018, 08:43:55 AM »
I love how it’s not a rebuild 3 years ago and we expect to win now to now it’s still not a rebuild but it’s going to take time because it’s a “recruiting” process. What the hell does that even mean? She is such an egomaniac that she’ll use double speak so she cannot officially admit she is wrong.

Good find 45!!!

Offline DPU70

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Re: "Win Now......There are no excuses or extenuating circumstances"
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2018, 06:16:33 AM »
WOW, a complete reversal in Athletic Philosophy.  She is NUTS.

This statement damages our ability to even recruit.  No player would come here NOT to win.  And, no Coach would want to come here either.  Can you say Hurley Drew, etal?

To publicly state that she is not striving for top quality basketball, should be grounds for immediate dismissal.

Good to see you, 45.

Offline DPU70

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Re: "Win Now......There are no excuses or extenuating circumstances"
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2018, 08:08:38 AM »
WOW, a complete reversal in Athletic Philosophy.  She is NUTS.

This statement damages our ability to even recruit.  No player would come here NOT to win.  And, no Coach would want to come here either.  Can you say Hurley Drew, etal?

To publicly state that she is not striving for top quality basketball, should be grounds for immediate dismissal.

Good to see you, 45.

Offline VUWildcat2103

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Re: "Win Now......There are no excuses or extenuating circumstances"
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2018, 05:15:53 PM »
Audio from 670Score with the DePaulia writers - https://clyp.it/kjowzkin

Offline VUWildcat2103

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Offline lake county fan

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Re: "Win Now......There are no excuses or extenuating circumstances"
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2018, 07:47:20 PM »
I can not believe the new President is in hiding and not speaking out

Offline VUWildcat2103

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Re: "Win Now......There are no excuses or extenuating circumstances"
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2018, 09:08:00 AM »
I can not believe the new President is in hiding and not speaking out
Well he spoke out now. You satisfied with his answers?

 


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