(Courtesy CSC Athletics)
Select quotes from Wednesday's introductory web conference with newly hired head men's basketball coach Shane Paben.
Athletic Director Joel R. Smith
"We had a very strong pool of candidates, which makes Shane's appearance here even stronger. Of all of them, he graded out as the very best candidate that we could have for this position. I also want to personally thank alumnus Larry Riley, who gave us an awful lot of help on the search committee, and did a lot of work in the background to get us to where we are today. This is the 20th head men's basketball coach at Chadron State College, and we have a great opportunity to take our program to another level and bring the success from where [our coach] was previously."
CSC President Dr. Randy Rhine:
"Coach Paben's record speaks for itself. The thing that stood out for me the most in the interview process was his understanding of what an educator coach is, and the role of the coach in preparing our student-athletes – not just for the court, but also for life. So I'm anxious for [coach Paben] to get to work and make a difference in the lives of our student-athletes."
CSC Head Coach Shane Paben
"What I'm going to do as a coach, is talk about opportunities in life and making the most out of them. As a coach, and as a player, you should appreciate the opportunity to be part of a team. As everyone found out in society these last few months, things can be taken away very quickly. When that happens, you sit back and appreciate things more. Both the returning players and the guys we recruit in – hopefully they take the chance to be on the court and to let the ball bounce in practice, as an opportunity. Things can disappear so fast, and we're all shaken by that. As we go into the season, there's a wealth of possibilities here. I'm looking forward to the challenge and the opportunity.
Paben on his role as head coach
My players will hear a lot about, 'what are you going to do once the ball stops bouncing?' A lot of basketball players have dreams to play professionally. Going overseas could be an opportunity for them too. Eventually the ball stops bouncing. What do you want to do with your life? How do you want to give back to your community and your school? As for a coach, I would say I'm a defensive coach first. I was taught early on that you can demand perfection on one end of the court. The baseball coach at my former school always told me, 'the other team's going to score,' and I said, 'they don't have to.' Just play good defense, be fundamental, and see guys compete. It's going to be a requirement, it's not a choice.
Paben on recruiting
Every coach in the country would love to get high school players and build it through four and five-year players. With the dynamic and the culture of basketball right now, with the transfer rules, and how it's going to change next year, the ability to adapt is the biggest thing. I would love to have four and five-year players, but the way the transfer portal works, kids just have more options, seeing the world.
We're definitely going to try to recruit high school players and build it through that, but you have to have the ability to adapt and understand kids and what they want to do. Right now there's over 1,000 Division I transfers in the country. Being able to adapt is going to be a must. Right now it's late, and high school kids have been picked through, so we're going to have to dabble in junior colleges and four-year transfers.
We have some holes to fill in the guard core. If I brought in five high school kids, it's hard to win, unless you're Kentucky and you bring in five NBA prospects. If you can have that, I would love to take that, but the opportunities have to present themselves. I've done it both ways at the NAIA level. We got a lot of transfers at Bellevue University, and we did it the four-year way at Morningside. It's dictated by the culture, almost.
Paben on the 2020-21 CSC roster
We lost our guard core last year. There's a couple pieces here we can definitely build on. They had a redshirt who no one got to see last year, but Houston [Reed] was very high on him, with a lot of potential and athletic ability. Jefferson, obviously, was the third-leading scorer. Then Brady [Delimont] is a really good shooter.
Shooters really love me, because we've broken shooting records at almost every school I've been at. We have an opportunity to bring in some quality players in recruiting. The nice thing is, with people transferring, is there's a lot of potential for bringing in some talented players and compiling a list of guys who are going to fit what I demand from them.
I also tell them that if they don't plan on coming here and getting their degrees, then it's not going to be a good fit, because class checks will be a must. Being good student-athletes is going to be a must. It's not a choice. You need to go to class and get your degree, because I don't want any mothers yelling at me. Education is important. I think it's vital. Don't waste your opportunities. Use basketball to get an education. The worst thing that happens – if you come here and you don't score a point, or it doesn't go the way you want it to – if you get your degree, it's still a pretty good life.