Texas A&M women’s basketball coach Gary Blair sounds off on Aggies moving to SEC
Texas A&M women’s basketball coach Gary Blair was asked about visiting Gallagher-Iba Arena for the last time before the Aggies move to the SEC following A&M’s 57-53 loss to Oklahoma State Tuesday night.
He had plenty to say about OSU, the Big 12 and his unhappiness about leaving the conference.
I’ll get out of the way.
“I hate not coming back to this place.
“We had always played well here because of the respect that I have for this building, like when I went to Kansas. Y’all got the two best arenas, not just in the Big 12, but maybe in the country. Throw Cameron in there, too (Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium).
“Y’all have figured out that you don’t have to just be a football school. You can be a basketball school. You can be a wrestling school. You can be the whole thing. We’re starting to get that way. That’s one of the reasons I was not happy leaving the Big 12. Look where we’ve been in the Sears Cup the last two years—No. 6 and No. 8. We were No. 2 in (the women’s rankings), next to Stanford.
“You get a familiarity with the schools, and your fans get going and it’s just great. Now, we’re going to have to go find new teams and new rivalries. They only have to look at us and Missouri. We’ve got to look at 12 other schools and learn how to play against them and their tendencies. I know a little bit about it, but there’s only three coaches left in the SEC (from) when I was there (as the head coach at Arkansas). Three pretty damn good ones—Pat (Summitt) and Andy (Landers) and Sharon Fanning.
“I’m happy for the Big 12 that it stayed together. It would have been a joke if y’all would have had to go to the (Pac-12). That would have been the demise of Oklahoma State. Now you’re in the Big 12 again, you’re bringing two schools in. Be the best that you can be.
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