VIDEO: 2013 Men's Lacrosse Media Day

Follow PSU Men's Lacrosse:    





Feb. 13, 2013

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Head coach Jeff Tambroni and redshirt-senior Jack Forster (Jenkintown, Pa.) answered questions from the media on Tuesday afternoon at the Bryce Jordan Center.

2013 PENN STATE MEN'S LACROSSE MEDIA DAY TRANSCRIPT

Head Coach Jeff Tambroni

Opening Statement
"Were just excited about the season, now that it is officially opened on Saturday against Michigan. It's going to be a great learning experience. We have a lot of new guys playing for our program this year, a couple of freshman starting for us. It's nice to be back in Spring, not based on the weather, but based on the lacrosse season. We're really excited about our upcoming schedule, which includes a wonderful challenge for our program this weekend, against Denver down in Jacksonville. Our guys have worked extremely hard since they have arrived back on campus in August. I'm hoping we are going to continue to make the incremental improvements as we have since the fall and continue to be a challenging opponent throughout the course of the spring."

Q: Should we be expecting four goals from TJ Sanders every game?
A: "Yes, absolutely. I know our coaching staff is. He has been wonderful. He is a benefactor of the veteran attackers we have, Jack Forster, Shane Sturgis. If he has any room, space, or time he has been very good. Four goals against Army and four against Michigan. It was a huge boost for us offensively."

Q: What did you learn about your team after your first game?
A: "First and foremost we have a long way to go. I know that we felt we were going a long way against our opponents' defenses, especially the way we were shooting the ball in the first couple scrimmages. We literally have to be a little more selective offensively. We took 57 shots against Michigan and scored 11 goals. We have to do a better job of taking care of the ball and being more selective with the shooters that we have. We also learned that we have some depth this year, which is exciting. We got some younger guys, some sophomores and juniors, that haven't played a lot but are jut starting to come onto the scene. It was nice to see those guys crack into the line up and compete and play a little bit with the poise that they did. We're excited with having a few more options this year. I'm hoping that they are going to continue to grow as the season goes on, become more and more confident as we have seen it through practice."

Q: For both of you, playing with the new rules what was the overall feeling for how it impacted what you wanted to do as a player and as a coach?
A: "These guys as players, they want to hear less and less as us, from coaches. (is this right?) Throughout the course of practice and games, coaches want to have a little bit more control of the course of a game. When there were more whistles and horns, signaling the stop of play, coaches tend to get more involved. Right now there is less involvement from coaches. Players make plays in the game. The game has become more exciting. From a fan's perspective, because there are very little stoppages of play, other than in between quarters, timeouts, and goals. The other thing we have learned is that you have to play more people. The good thing about having more depth right now is that that is what the game is going to transcend into. You have to play at least six offensive middies (spelling?), five or six defensive middies. The game is just going up and down a field at such a rapid pace this year. You don't have as much time to sub, offense to defense, defense to offense. You have to have guys that can play both ways. I am hopeful that we can keep up with the excitement of the game but I know it's going to be a lot more exciting for fans. A little less involvement from the coaches, but I'm sure our players are excited for that. A lot more of what occurs throughout the course of the game is now in the hands of our guys and they have done a pretty good job with it."

Q: How do you work on that during practice?
A: "We've done it in the past. We practice in a way that tries to keep the tempo of practice up without blowing horns, blowing whistles, and giving our guys the chance to react instantaneously versus blowing the whistle and stopping things to give our guys the chance to think about it. Doing a better job of reacting at a higher pace. I believe that the tempo of our practice over the past couple of years has led into this year. We just try to play at a faster pace. Just make sure that our guys are keeping up with the pace from whistle to whistle. Constantly communicating the importance of being prepared when the whistle starts and when the ball comes back in from the end line or sidelines. That part is going to be important. The other side of it is conditioning. You have to be a well-conditioned team. We have had the benefit of having some wonderful strength and conditioning coaches here at Penn State. We try to do our part as coaches throughout the week of practice. These guys have to be in tip-top shape right now. They have to be in peak conditioning. The combination of the two, the way we practice and the kind of shape you are in, is going to lead to more success."

Q: Are you expecting this to increase your offense and also in general across the country?
A: "I do. I think it is going to increase both team's offensive opportunities. We had 57 shots and I said to our guys yesterday in our film session, `I have been coaching for 14 or 15 years as a head coach, that is as many shots as I can remember from our offense against an opponent.' I think we took a lot of bad shots but we generated a ton of shots. I think you are going to get more offensive possessions and your going to have an opportunity to get more shots. We just have to do a better job with our shot selection. I do think it comes upon them so quickly that we have to be more selective. The ball movement back and forth and if the officials don't feel you are trying to advance the ball they will put the timer on and you have 30 seconds to shoot it. If you don't the ball will be awarded to the other team. I know it is going to put a lot more pressure on our defensive coach and our defensive team. But certainty at the other end we have to take advantage of the options. I would say it goes up about ten percent throughout the course of the game in terms of possessions and effectively your shots."

Q: How are you preparing for this weekend, playing in a big stadium, are you expecting a big crowd? How do you think the guys are going to handle it?
A: "I am not sure what to expect down there. I think it is going to be a valuable experience for our guys. If we are ever going to get to that point where we make it through the threshold of our conference, the CAA, and get off into that elusive playoff structure where 16 teams are invited to play after the regular season. The platform comes a little bit higher. The arena comes a little bit bigger. The stage in itself can overwhelm you the first time you have ever done it. We, as a coaching staff, wanted to put our guys in a couple of positions, this being one of them. The PPL Park game against Lehigh will be another one, where the stage is just a little bit bigger than being at home or an away site. I'm hopeful that they will be really excited to go down to compete and play. We talk about a ton about limiting distractions the first day they walk onto campus. I am confident with the leadership that we have. Jack Forster, Travis Crane. These guys will manage themselves and handle themselves like pros. We talk about traveling like pros, having the mindset of a business trip when we are down there. At the same sense, having coached in these types of stadiums and these types of scenarios before, I am hoping that we can just enjoy it. Reflect, maybe not step back during the game, but step back and enjoy the opportunity to play on such a big stage on live television. Hopefully performing on a level we are capable of, just doing the best job we can."

Q: Do you have any idea what kind of turnout you'll have down there?
A: "I don't know. I know last year when they had a similar event there was over 5,000 people there. Denver is a top five team and I would imagine they would be a top five team by the time we get down there. Jacksonville being the home team, Ohio State and Penn State just being the brand that we may bring. I am hoping that there will be anywhere from five to ten thousand people. It would be a pretty cool atmosphere to compete in."

Q: What does a game like this in Florida, not a traditional hot bed of the sport, do for the sport's growth?
A: "Over the last decade, the growth of the game has been exponential. I'll give the sport of lacrosse, whether it has been US Lacrosse or Inside Lacrosse, have put on a number of games to expand the regions in which we play. It has continued to grow. Denver is a great example of the growth of the game. It is a great opportunity for those people in Florida. I know that there are a lot of multi-sport athletes, football, basketball, and hockey players starting to leak over into our sport. We are starting to get some of the premier athletes without playing lacrosse. Some of those areas like California, Texas, Minnesota and Florida, which has increased not just the numbers but also the athleticism. I think it is going to be great for Penn State having that kind of exposure. I think it is also going to be a wonderful opportunity for the sport of lacrosse, certainty promoting Jacksonville as a division one team down in Florida. Who would have ever thought, I know that in my lifetime I would have never imagined a division one lacrosse team being down in Florida. We have Jacksonville and Florida on the women's side. It is a great stage, in a great area where the weather is a little bit nicer. Last year we had the chance to go out and compete in Atlanta. I know it was a great opportunity for us in front of about 7,000 people and I would imagine we are going to get about the type of a crowd. First and foremost we are going down there to compete, to do the best that we can. Promote Penn State lacrosse but also promote the game of lacrosse. I think it provides a wonderful platform for all of those things."

Sixth-year Senior Jack Forster

Q: For both of you, playing with the new rules what was the overall feeling for how it impacted what you wanted to do as a player and as a coach?
A: "First off transition. We had at least eight or nine transition opportunities from defense to offense, from the quick whistles off the end line and off the sideline, no horns anymore. Our defense was able to pick it up and we would transition over the top. It would give us a lot of opportunities in the transition game."

Q: Jack, what do you look forward to doing down there?
A: "I am just really excited to play in a big stage like this. I have never been in a big stage like this. Myself, and the team, are very excited to get down there and actually compete against a top five team. Right now we are just focusing on ourselves and getting better this week in practice to get after Denver on Sunday."

--NITTANY LIONS--

 

 

Online Store