Jerod Haase talks to Menlo Park Kiwanis about what’s ahead for Stanford men’s basketball

by Judy Horst on August 14, 2017

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Stanford men’s basketball coach Jerod Haase wanted to play for Stanford while growing up in South Lake Tahoe, but attended the University of California before transferring to the University of Kansas, playing for coach Roy Williams.

Jerod highlighted Stanford’s upcoming men’s basketball season for the audience at the Menlo Park Kiwanis Club’s luncheon earlier this month, eventually yielding to questions from the audience, some of which are excerpted here.

Are you glad to be at Stanford?

Since I wanted to play ball at Stanford many years ago, I’m very happy to be here and to start another era of Stanford basketball. Stanford University is a world-class institution which represents excellence across the board. My goal is to continue this tradition. We will compete for championships by doing it the right way and graduating young men who will go on to accomplish great things in the world.

What’s the upcoming schedule look like?

All I can say is that it’s tough! We will be playing North Carolina in Maples right before Thanksgiving. Then we travel to Portland to play Florida in a holiday tournament, and if we win, we could play Gonzaga, Duke, Ohio State, Texas or Butler. If we win this tournament, we’ll be #1 for sure. After that we will play highly-ranked Kansas before we start the Pac 12 schedule.

 What kinds of players will you have this year, and how are you preparing them for the upcoming year?

Here’s the situation. We have just 13 scholarships to give. We lost three players from last year’s team, but there are 9-10 returning players. We have four new players and one redshirt freshman. Currently there are also two walk-ons, who are a huge part of our success in practices. Right now, we can practice just 2 hours a day, but the players can work with our strength and conditioning coaches for up to 6 hours.

How do you overcome the academic requirements Stanford places on its student athletes?

It’s not as difficult as you might think, because Stanford is one of the easiest places in the U.S. to recruit to. Stanford is a strong brand. The academic piece is a big plus for us, because when we call, people listen. In addition, it creates a sort of safety net, because our players don’t transfer out. There are no “one and done” players here. In fact, in 102 years, only four players have transferred out, compared to 75 or so in the U.S. who transfer out every year. This makes player development key to our program, because we know our players will be at Stanford for three or four years.

What is your coaching philosophy?

First, I hope to be at Stanford for 25 or 30 years, so I take a long-term approach. I want to make sure that we develop more than just skills in our players. I hope to instill three core values in our players. I want them to be invested in our program. I’d like them to be tough competitors. I’d like them to be selfless. These are things that will serve us well. When I evaluate players, I look for those three qualities, too.

What’s the hardest part of your job?

I love coaching, recruiting, and working with my staff, but the most stressful part of my job is game day. It’s always been that way for me, but I’ve learned how to adjust to it.

Photo by Judy Horst (c) 2017

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