The Sidelines: Mid-major coaches explain how they plan to bust your bracket!

Mar 7, 2016; Asheville, NC, USA; East Tennessee State Buccaneers head coach Steve Forbes calls out to his players in the first half against the Chattanooga Mocs in the Southern Conference tournament final at the U.S. Cellular Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports/Jeremy Brevard

It’s March and the madness is here! With brackets being released, we’ve got a special episode of “The Sidelines” podcast, as FS1 college basketball insider Evan Daniels welcomes three coaches ready to bust your bracket: East Tennessee State’s Steve Forbes, Winthrop’s Pat Kelsey and Mount St. Mary’s Jamion Christian.

First up is an interview with Forbes, coach of the Southern Conference champs. The two discuss:

  • The unique construction of his team. Who is T.J. Cromer, and why does every college basketball fan in America need to know him? And how do others — including Indiana transfer Hunter Mosquera-Perea — fit in on this year’s squad?
  • Forbes’ unique path through coaching. How being fired as part of Bruce Pearl’s infamous “barbecue” led him to where he is today, as one of the brightest mid-major coaches in the sport.
  • Why Forbes believes his team is not only good enough to be in the tournament, but win a game or two.

Next up is Winthrop head coach Pat Kelsey. He chats with Evan about:

  • The influence the late Skip Prosser had on his career. How Prosser shaped Kelsey into the man he is today, as well as the role Skip’s son, Mark, has as a Winthrop assistant.
  • Like Forbes, Kelsey has a bona-fide star in senior guard Keon Johnson. Johnson stands just 5-foot7, but was one of the nation’s leading scorers at over 22 points per game. What makes Johnson so special? And what kind of impact can he have in the Big Dance?

And finally, Mount St. Mary’s coach Jamion Christian joins the show. Christian and Mountaineers actually play in the first NCAA tournament game — a 16/16 play-in game against New Orleans, with the winner facing Villanova. Christian and Evan discuss:

  • Christian’s unique road in coaching. He was hired as his alma mater’s head coach at just 29 years old. What has Christian learned in five years on the job, and how is he different today than when he was hired? Also, Christian explains the role that Shaka Smart had on the type of coach he is today.
  • The spark plug of Mount St. Mary’s basketball, Junior Robinson. The guard stands just 5-foot-5, but has explosive athleticism and could be the key in the Mountaineers’ opener against New Orleans.

Remember, this is just the latest episode of ‘The Sidelines’ Podcast with Evan Daniels. Throughout the season, Evan has welcomed some of the biggest names in college basketball to the show. Previous guests include Hall of Fame Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, Villanova’s Jay Wright and Kansas’ Bill Self. To listen to all episodes click here.

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