Robert Brickey, the former Blue Devil high-flyer and former Shaw men's basketball head coach, has joined Joanne P. McCallie's program this year as the director of basketaball operations. Ben Cohen sat down with the former Duke captain Friday in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
What are the differences between the men's and women's game besides this funky line on the court now?
I think women pay attention to detail better than men do. Their listening ksils are sharper than men's. I think it's a natural thing—sometimes men think they can compensate with athleticism, speed and quickness. But I'm learning the women's side. It's been fun, it's been interesting and it's been challenging, so it's stretching me as a coach.
In what ways has it challenged you?
Guys don't talk that much. You ask a guy a question, he gives you an answer. Women are more complex creatures. It's just natural—across the board, even outside athletics, I think peole would say the same thing. You have to be attuned to a woman's overall mindset, whereas a guy, you can say, 'When we step inside these lines, we deal with baketball, and basketball only.' That's challenging for me, because I've been on the men's side—that's what I'm used to.
How hard is it not to be able to officially coach?
I have to bite my tongue many a day sitting on the sideline, like, 'Chante! Throw it to her!' That's probably the most frustrating part, not being able to be on the floor teaching or help players I think I could offer some positive insight.
What are the differences and similarities between the Duke men's and women's programs?
They're both very driven, very passionate about this game, very organized and love to be successful for all the right reasons. I'm still learning Coach P some, and Coach K's evolved as a coach since I was here, so now I'm still learning. I'm still a young coach with a lot to learn.
Could you see yourself staying in the women's game?
You know, I could. Iknow about seven guys who made the jump from men to women and they all said they reeally liked it, and I asked why, and they all said the same exact thing: Because women listen. When you think about tie ballgames with 35 seconds to go on the last possession, execution is what's going to win that game, unless you have a fabulous player that can go win the game.
Get The Chronicle straight to your inbox
Signup for our weekly newsletter. Cancel at any time.