Below you will find questions answered by coaches and players within the Miami Dade basketball community
Q -Who is JJ Thatcher?
A - I am a young coach that worked very hard at all the programs I’ve been at. I’ve been fortunate and privileged to coach on both sides to men and women in college basketball. I’ve been a head women’s college basketball coach and now I'm a head men’s basketball coach. I am one win away from 100 wins. My record is 99 wins and 50 as a head coach. I love this game. It is the greatest sport in the world. And I’ve built a reputation as a tireless recruiter.
Q -Where are you from?
A -South Philly (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Q- How long have you been the coach at Florida National University?
A - 2 as an assistant and the last 5 as the Head Coach.
Q -What division do you play in?
A - NAIA / USCAA
Q - Did you play College basketball?
A - No I played for one of the top prep schools in the country (Shores Christian Academy).
My teammates where:
Kevin Young SEC University of Missouri
Ismael Ndiay University of Miami / FIU
Cliff Clinkscales DePaul Univ
David Monds Oklahoma State University
And 20 more NCAA D 1 players.
Q - What was the team like this year?
A - We had a phenomenal and great group of young men this year. We started five international players. Two of them went to school here in Miami. One from Miami Christian and one from Doral Academy. They were our top scorers. We are a very diverse team and it was so fun coaching these young men.
Q -Who are the recruits that you have coming in next year?
A -We have NCAA D1 Transfer, NCAA D2 Transfer, and a couple of Juco (Junior College) and High School kids coming in this season.
Q -What are the academic requirements to go to Florida National?
A - Our academic requirements are by the standards of the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics)
Q - What kind of players are you looking for from the 2020, 2021, 2022 recruiting class?
A - We look to sign the best players we can get each and every year because of the level we are at players trickle in and trickle out and we have to fill those voids. For spots on the team we are looking always for the best players that are available at the high school level, junior college level and in the transfer portal.
Q - Will you recruit Miami kids?
A - We recruit Miami kids and players from all around the world and country.
Q - What’s your basketball philosophy?
A - My philosophy is I like to let players play. We play a high up-tempo basketball like Iona College we shoot a lot of threes. We attempt from beyond the arc anywhere from 35 to 40 3-pointers a game. I believe in letting players play. Obviously we run sets but we don’t handcuff players.
Q - What coaches do you look up to?
A - Jay Wright Villanova,
Billy Donovan Oklahoma City Thunder,
John Calipari Kentucky,
Bob Huggins West Virginia,
Rick Pitino Iona College
Q - Who are your top players this year?
A - So Jeffrey Hernandez 20 ppg 5 rpg 2 apg Dominican republic Miami Christian Two times state champion.
Jr. Kenneth Santos 19 ppg 7 rpg Puerto Rico
Jr Jose Benitez 10 ppg 5 rpg 4 apg Dominican Republic Covenant Christian Ministries Academy.
Fr. Hirotaka Ohashi 10 ppg 6 apg from Japan
Victory Rock Prep.
Sr. Thomas Dillon 12 ppg 4 rpg Texas Wake Forest transfer ACC
Q - What is was your season like this year?
A - We were 24-6 on the season. #1 seed in our National tournament. We lost
at the beginning of the season to NCAA University of North Florida by 7 points.
Q - How has the coronavirus affected your season?
A - It’s actually made us come closer as a team. It made us realize how much we need to embrace and be thankful for what we have and not take it for granted.
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