Heat center Joel Anthony, a former UNLV player, remembers OU men's basketball coach Lon Kruger fondly. The two men helped the Runnin' Rebels reach the NCAA Tournament in 2007 after a seven-year drought. Anthony believes Kruger can put together a tournament team in Norman.
Q: Has Kruger always been such a nice guy?
A: Yeah. From the day I met him. That's always been his reputation. A great guy, great coach, great individual. I definitely enjoyed my time of being able to learn from him.
Do you think Kruger can rebuild the program at OU?
Definitely. He has his reputation, obviously, for a reason. He pays attention to the details of the game. He makes sure things are done the right way. I was (at UNLV) the first year that he was there also. To see how he goes about it, he's really a good fit for that program and for what they want to do. I'm very confident he'll take them there.
Why did you want to play for him?
I heard from other people that he was a really good coach. He had a lot of experience. Also, how he would develop his players. He pays attention to his players both on the court and off the court. I was able to develop — it sounds kind of cliché — but I developed as a player and as a man. I learned a lot from him. One of the biggest things is that I trusted him — fully. He's someone I could fully trust and allow him to coach me, allow him to teach me. It was one of the best decisions of my life to be able to grow as an individual.
What are his best attributes as a coach?
He obviously has great insight to the game. He knows his X's and O's. His play calling, he puts his players into situations where they can succeed. He's done a great job of being able to adapt to different players. He knows their strengths and tries to keep them away from their weaknesses.