Found November 05, 2012 on College Chalktalk:

Coaches will tell you that many times a player makes the most improvement between his freshman and sophomore seasons.  In most cases, even the most talented players must get stronger physically, learn the speed of the game at this level, and develop strong work habits.  As sophomores, they have worked on these parts of their games, and they know their coaches’ systems much better.  They can play the game instead of having to think the game and many times this leads to a big jump in production. (Credit: MSU Athletics/Tab Brockman) There are several coaches around the country heading into their second years who are looking to make improvements as well. Just as players have learning curves, there are things that coaches deal with in their first years besides just X’s and O’s.  Coaches at new schools take time to familiarize themselves with their new program.  They get to know their new players and establish their style of play.  They get a feel for the recruiting landscape. They work hard to create a groundswell of support among fans and boosters.  And behind the scenes, they have to make sure the family is making a smooth transition. For Murray State’s Steve Prohm, last year wasn’t his first with the Racers.  However, it was his rookie season as a head coach.  Being promoted from within helped ease the transition, he explains. “I didn’t have to spend time learning a lot of the unknowns. I knew the campus, I had relationships with the players and I had a good understanding of what this program was built on.” Being a first-year head coach did provide its challenges, however.  “The biggest thing is the lack of sleep. If you ever wake up for a second, it takes a long time to get back to bed because your mind is racing on 100 different things from recruiting to your team to day-to-day responsibilities.” Well, Coach Prohm, there’s good news and bad news to keep you awake at night. First of all, you went 31-2 and led Murray State to an NCAA tournament win in your first year.  At one point, you had the Racers ranked in the top 10.  That’s the good bad news.  Seriously, you could coach your brains out for the rest of your career and not have a season that great.  It was truly a historical run. However, there is good news too.  You have an All-American guard returning in senior Isaiah Canaan averaged 19.0ppg on 45.6 percent shooting from downtown a season ago.  (Credit: Tab Brockman) Canaan.  The kid can make shots from anywhere on the floor and can flat out take over a game by himself.  You also have All-OVC big man Ed Daniel (and his hair) back.  This freaky athletic frontcourt player will help you set the tone defensively and throw down some highlight reel dunks on a nightly basis.  You are the defending OVC Champs, and you have the best home court advantage in the conference. The even-keeled Prohm handled last year’s spotlight with great poise.  He and his staff obviously pushed all the right buttons.  Expectations will be high again this season, but should probably be tempered, if ever-so-slightly.  Canaan and Daniel return, but three starters from last year have graduated.  Two key players that likely would have stepped into starting roles this season are out of the mix.  Forward Latreze Mushatt suffered a ruptured achilles that will keep him out most, if not all of the season.  And guard Zay Jackson has been suspended for the year due to legal troubles. After last season’s success, Prohm’s name was involved with some high level coaching searches , most notably at Mississippi State.  Racer fans shouldn’t expect another 30-win season, but they should be thrilled that he decided to stay in Murray.  There is a new practice facility set to open in January, banners are hanging, and Prohm is one of the bright young stars in coaching.  Plenty of reasons why The Bank will be the place to be again this year. Other Second Year Coaches to Watch This Season Mike Anderson, Arkansas-longtime Razorback assistant returned home last season and tries to get the Hogs back to the glory days of 40 Minutes of Hell. (Credit: UT Athletic Media Relations) Cuonzo Martin (left), Tennessee-led Vols to surprising second-place finish in the SEC last season; has All-SEC players Jeronne Maymon and Jarnell Stokes returning. Frank Haith, Missouri-suffered a disappointing first round loss in NCAA Tournament last season; stockpiled transfers to surround floor general Phil Pressey. Mark Gottfried, N.C. State-rebuilding project is ahead of schedule in Raleigh; can he break through and challenge Duke and Carolina for perennial dominance on Tobacco Road? Archie Miller, Dayton-a rising star in coaching business, led Flyers to 20 wins in his rookie year. Mark Turgeon, Maryland-has gotten out of the gates strong on the recruiting front; will translate to more wins soon. Dave Rice, UNLV-former Runnin’Rebel looks to build on last season’s 26 wins. Andy Enfield, Florida Gulf Coast-former Florida State assistant made the Atlantic Sun finals last season in his first year; will make a run at league title this year. * * * Related Posts:Engles moving NJIT Highlanders to higher groundSneak peek: Sumner’s ACC predictions and all-conference ballotLook out for TennesseeCoaching CarouselEmbracing what’s new: Andre Gray – UNCW

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