Q&A: Head coach 伦纳德佩里 provides insight into 2023-24 season



The start of the 2023-24 University of the 太平洋 men’s basketball season is less than a month away. The Tigers open Monday, Nov. 6 at home against Sam Houston State. Head coach 伦纳德佩里 sat down to share his thoughts entering his third season at the helm, his eighth on the men’s basketball staff.

Take us inside the program as you get ready to start the season.

佩里: As a staff we like the way the team’s thinking. They have a good rapport with each other. It seems to be a close group. They hold each other accountable and that's a big part of what we're doing with our program.

You and your staff have recruited four newcomers to join 11 returnees. Tell us how the new players fit in.

佩里: Each one is an outstanding young man.

小Lesown Hallums. joins us as a senior transfer from South Carolina State. He’s a special young man to have join our program. He brings a lot of experience to our locker room. He can shoot and moves incredibly well without the ball. He is the kind of guy who can change defenses because of his cutting.

Tan Yildizoglu is from Turkey. He's a fantastic young man. He’s a workaholic who is going to be a good player. He'll have his moments for us this year where he's the difference between winning and losing.

Villiam Garcia Adsten is from Sweden and is so talented. He is 6-foot-8, plus he can shoot, pass and dribble. He's going to help us win some basketball games, there is no question about it.

Burke Smith comes to us as a transfer from Boise State. He plays the game for all the right reasons, so he's been an unbelievable addition. He cracked our lineup right away. 他是6-foot-11. We are excited to have him at 太平洋, and he's going to make an impact from day one.

Who is someone that the fans might notice more this year?

佩里: Makai Richards could be one of the bigger surprises. We didn't see a lot of him last year. I think us showing belief in him, and his better understanding of what it's like to bring it every day will pay dividends. He is a lefty who can shoot the basketball with some range and block shots plus can rebound the basketball.

Plus, Cam Denson is back, and he’s been terrorizing the glass (rebounding). That’s the one thing that he can bring every night. Once he gets out in the open court, our fans will like watching him play.

Maurice Odom is shooting a lot better, and he'll be a threat. He can stretch the floor and is going to play at the pace that we need. He is quick and has great vision on how to set guys up. You know he'll be a joy to watch.

And Donovan Williams is a bulldozer in a tank top and shorts. He is a tough kid and a super defender. He is an absolute gem in our program, and our campus is better with him on it. He’s going to make his presence felt because he's a warrior. He makes us compete every day because there are no off days for Donovan.

上个赛季, 太平洋 won four more West Coast Conference contests than the previous season (7-9) and won a game in the WCC Tournament (over Pepperdine). What do you see as the next step for the Tigers?

佩里: We'd like to have a great non-conference season. We lost some non-conference games at home and got knocked down. But we got up, brushed ourselves off and had a heck of a year. This season, we'd like to defend our home court and do it with vengeance.

Our team showed we are capable of tremendous road wins last year. We know we can play well at home. We want to get on a roll to a point where the fans feel like they can't miss a home game.

What is the vibe in the program right now?

佩里: I really enjoy coming to work every day and being around these guys. I look forward to spending time away from the court with them during the season, so our vibe is a good one. I think that will help us as the season progresses.