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Archive for Sunday, March 25, 2001

Knight

March 25, 2001

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— Bob Knight wasted no time getting to work Saturday, holding a 7 a.m. closed-door meeting with his new team at Texas Tech's United Spirit Arena.

Players, including freshman guard Mikey Marshall, said it was already clear there was a new boss in town.

"I won't be sleeping my life away anymore," joked Marshall. "My job is to come out and work hard every day."

Saturday's 20-minute discussion with Knight was just long enough for the team and the "General" to get a feel for one another a day after Knight signed a five-year contract with the school.

The agreement will allow the coach to make about $400,000 a year from the school and another $500,000 in outside income.

This week, Knight will have individual conferences with each player.

The volatile coach was forced into a six-month hiatus from coaching after Indiana fired him last fall for breaking a no-tolerance behavior policy when he grabbed a student by the arm for referring to him by his last name.

Tech players said Knight did not discuss any of his turbulent past with them, instead focusing on the future and making sure his new team is aware of his expectations.

"He told us three things: Play hard, play smart and go to class," Tech guard Jamal Brown said. "He came in like any coach should he came in with charge. It's either his way or the highway."

Marcus Shropshire, a freshman guard, said the team had a tough road ahead, but said everyone on the squad should be able to handle it.

"He's very demanding," Shropshire said. "Basically you have a choice. Either you do what he asks or you don't do what he asks. If you don't do what he asks, you pay the consequences."

The tough approach is something Brown likes.

"That's what this team needs," he said. "We need discipline. Discipline doesn't win games, but it sure helps."

The Red Raiders finished 9-19 in the team's last season under 10-year head coach James Dickey. He was fired March 9, after the school completed its fourth losing season in a row.

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