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UVM Basketball 2007-2008
Written by Kenny White Diehard   
Tuesday, 28 August 2007
 Growing up in Cabot, Coach Will Voigt rooted for the Cats. Now, we're rooting for him and the Frost Heaves to win their second straight ABA championship. Coach Voigt, who also serves as an NBA Scout, took some time off from his hectic schedule to give us this interview...

VTSN: Talk about the night the Catamounts shocked the world, the night the Cats beat Syracuse. Where were you? What were your thoughts? Who did you celebrate with - if anyone?
WV: I was in Norway. In Europe, they don't really watch college basketball. They only follow pro basketball. I did not watch it. I found out about it on the internet. I actually had UVM beating Syracuse in my bracket. I was pretty far from anything or anyone associated with Vermont, so I didn't have anyone to celebrate with.

VTSN: In your bracket, did you have the Cats winning their second round game?
WV: Don't tell Coach Brennan, but I don't think that I did.
VTSN: Speaking of which, describe your relationship with Coach Brennan. How involved is he with the Frost Heaves?
WV: I have a terrific relationship with Coach Brennan. He has been incredibly supportive of me. He has been a mentor and a friend as soon as I arrived to coach the Frost Heaves. I can't say enough good things about him and I can't be any more thankful for everything he has done for me.
VTSN: What's the greatest lesson that Coach Brennan has taught you?
WV: How to treat people. How to interact with people - both players and people in general. Anyone who knows him knows what a charismatic person he is. All of his players have loved playing for him and there's a lot of lessons to be learned from that.
VTSN: What's your relationship with Coach Lonergan? Do you have one?
WV: Yes. We did a coaches clinic together in the fall when I first came in. I talked to Mike a lot about some of his guys and other players in the league [America East]. We signed Aaron Cook last year. He's someone they competed against. Mike helped a lot with scouting him and giving us a great assessment of what he would be like as a player. Mike has also been helpful in allowing our guys work out with his guys. He also has been very supportive in what we are doing.
VTSN: Have the Frost Heaves approached Chris Holm about playing for them?
WV: No, we have not done anything directly. I'm not really sure what his interest levels are. I left Chris a voice mail a while back. I never really heard anything more from him.
VTSN: Have the Heaves reached out to any former Cats?
WV: We have.
VTSN: Can you talk about it?
WV: Laughs. Not yet. Obviously, the Vermont program is a huge resource for us. Being a Vermont team and being geared towards the community, we want to keep people with as many local ties as possible. We have definitely contacted UVM players in the past and have a keen eye on the Vermonters on this year's team - the seniors of course. Hopefully, we can be a great stepping stone for their pro careers.
VTSN: Have you considered trying to get Tony Orciari out of retirement?
WV: Laughs. Tony is from my era. I think Tony might be past his prime.
VTSN: He can still shoot though.
WV: This is professional basketball though, so the demand is pretty high. It takes a pretty high commitment level.
VTSN: What does Taylor have to do to make it to The League?
WV: I worked with Taylor last summer leading up to his summer league. I think the biggest thing for him is extending his shooting range. He has got to become a viable threat from the NBA three-point line. He has got to be able to get his shot off a little bit quicker - especially in pick and pop situations. I think that those are the biggest areas.
VTSN: What about TJ? What does he have to do to get to the next level?
WV: I really don't know TJ's game well enough to answer that.  Taylor asked me to work with him, so I really got a chance to assess him.
VTSN: Growing up in Cabot, what are your fondest basketball-related memories?
WV: Definitely playing in The Aud. Divisions 2, 3 & 4 play their championships in the Barre Auditorium. Just the atmosphere of that. That's the goal of every kid to get there. My senior year, we went there for the first time in thirty years, so that's definitely a memory that sticks with me. All the big, rivalry games. I definitely remember the senior North-South game, AAU, friends that you make through the sport- all that. It still carries with me.
VTSN: Were you a Catamount fan growing up?
WV: Of course. I think that every kid growing up in Vermont follows the Cats. Especially for me, that was the mecca. That was one of the first things I told Coach Brennan. The guy has been my idol for a long time. To actually have a relationship with him is amazing because as a kid you think the world of him and the program.
VTSN: Who were your favorite Catamounts growing up?
WV: I'm from the days of Kevin Roberson and Eddie Benton. Those were the big studs when I was in high school.
VTSN: There's a Frost Heaves fan in Japan. How is the development of basketball going in Asia?
WV: I'm just on my way back from working at the Chinese Basketball Association Draft Camp. They are putting a lot of money  into the development of basketball in their country. Japan has just developed another pro league. Korea has had a very strong pro league for a while. The Asian market is very legitimate.
VTSN: As far as repeating for the Frost Heaves, what is your biggest obstacle?
WV: Complacency. Coach Popovich calls this the residue of success. I think that it's important that you get rid of that residue quickly. I think that what we did last year was fantastic and I never want to take that away from the guys that were involved but we have to understand that come October, it's a new year and new people. We just have to be hungry and we have to continue to prove ourselves on the court.
VTSN: Will Aaron Cook be back?
WV: No. Aaron has an offer from an NBA camp, as well as offers from overseas.
VTSN: How do you feel about about his chances for making it in the NBA?
WV: He has a marketable skill. He's a very high-level shooter. He worked really hard with us on developing his ball handling and making the transition from shooting guard, which he played in college, to point guard. I think as he gets more and more comfortable with the ball in his hands and making point guard decisions, I think he will be able to play at a high level.
VTSN: How fruitful were the recent Frost Heaves tryouts. You had ones in New Jersey and Vermont.
WV: They were great. We had great turn outs at both camps. There were really good local players at the Vermont camp that we're definitely interested in. I think the biggest thing, especially with the local camp, is to continue to provide an opportunity for Vermont players or players with Vermont ties to play professionally.
VTSN: Will Ferrell is playing an ABA coach in upcoming movie. Which actor would you choose to play yourself?
WV: Laughs. Good question. Tom Cruise.
VTSN: Why?
WV: Hopefully for the physical similarities.
VTSN: What's your favorite Burlington spot?
WV: As far as a social setting, I'm a big fan of the waterfront. I like walking along the lake and sitting on the swings and taking in the sunset.
VTSN: If you had one place in the world to recommend, which place would it be? Play travel guide for a moment. You can name more than one if you have a few.
WV: I love Senegal. I really enjoyed Indonesia. Santorini, Greece is pretty spectacular.

VTSN: Why?
WV: It's an island. The landscape is pretty dramatic. It's a beautiful place.

VTSN:Thank you for time.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 29 August 2007 )
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