The Mirror: How have things been going thus far?

Ed Cooley: We are trying to keep our guys sharp with workouts and weight training and identifying some recruiting late in the process. I am trying to get an overall feel for how it is going to be here at Fairfield.

TM: What are your thoughts about the players and your chances of finishing high in the MAAC next season?

EC: I am still evaluating our current players, finding out what their strengths and weaknesses are and what we have to identify in the recruiting process. There are a lot of positives; you are playing with young guys in the backcourt that have some game experience, such as sophomores Herbie Allen and Jonathan Han. We are just getting comfortable with one another right now. We need some help up front. [Geoff] Middleton [’08] is going to develop as the season goes on and we are going to see about the health of [Marty] O’Sullivan [’07]. There are some pieces but I want to let our people know that we are a work in progress. I am going to preach patience. It is a process, to build a program you need to have a solid foundation. That is what we are looking to do here – build a foundation that will have success over a long period of time.

TM: Have you thought about the schedule for next season? What is your philosophy on the non-conference scheduling for your teams?

EC: I am pretty sure that there was a schedule in place before I got here. However, the philosophy is that you want to compete, you want to give your kids a chance to be on the big stage, compete against teams with the so-called high profile name. It is not just about playing the games, though. You want to give them exposure not only on the court but also exposure to culture, life and other environments.

TM: Providence and St. Joseph’s both came to the Arena last season and you were here with B.C. for the N.I.T. game four years ago. What are your thoughts about playing at an off-campus site like the Arena?

EC: It is a beautiful place to play. In the past they have had some decent crowds. Hopefully we can continue that but most important, we want to get our students involved. If you have student involvement, it is an energy level and a sense of pride. We want to have an identity in that building and it starts with our students. This is their school. We want to give them something to cheer about. We can’t do it without them- I can’t emphasize that enough. They will be our foundation to success in that building when it comes to fan support. I have gotten a couple of e-mails from students that I am grateful for. They want to create the “cool zone” for student fans. I thought that was pretty awesome and I will support that. I am going to give 110 percent to our students, our administration and our community. I am thrilled, excited and at the same time understanding of where we are at. You have to build, preserve and nurture a program, and we are going to make strides. – Joe Serzan

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