As I was developing the story about Derwin Kitchen, I contacted Iowa Western Community College Head Coach Jim Morris to learn more about our point guard.
Coach Morris was kind enough to take some time to answer our questions and confirm many of our suspicions about Derwin.
Image from here.
Out of respect for Coach Morris's time, I only sent him a few questions that would shed some light on Derwin and the road he has traveled to get to Florida State. His answers confirmed what we have learned about Derwin in the past year and shed some delight on his development as a point guard.
Here are the questions and answers unedited:
1) TNation: When you first heard that Derwin would be attending IWCC, what were your initial thoughts? Had you heard of him? How was he going to fit into your system?
Coach Morris (CM): The recruiting process for Derwin started and ended very quickly. It started during the first semester in November and we had heard he was leaving St. John’s, so we called the St. John’s coaches and everything worked out for us. We had heard of him in high school and knew he was a great player. At that time we didn’t know what position he was going to be, the point guard position evolved as we watched him practice with our team.
2) TNation: Do you think Derwin is ready to lead Florida State to a repeat NCAA Tournament appearance? Does he have the skill set, basketball and personality, to take on that responsibility and fill the void left by Toney Douglas?
CM: One of Derwin’s biggest assets is that he hates to lose. Sometimes he just liked to go with the flow and just play, but when we were challenged he would just take over. I see the same possibilities at Florida State, he knows he will have to step up and he is very capable of doing that for his team.
3) TNation: What was Derwin's greatest area of improvement while he was at IWCC? Meaning, did you see any improvement of his weaknesses?
CM: Derwin’s biggest area of improvement was his ability to play the point guard position. He was so extremely fast with the ball, we knew we had to have the ball in his hands early in the offense, so the point guard position fit him the best. In order to play that he had to be able to lead and that was difficult for him because he was not a very vocal player. He did improve in his leadership qualities and that was probably his biggest gain.
4) TNation: Last year, Florida State ran a motion offense, which unfortunately suffered at times due to the team's inexperience. Do you think that Derwin is the type of guard to excel in a motion system? If not, what type of system fits his game style the best?
CM: We also run motion offense here at Iowa Western so that would be a natural progression for him. He is a very smart player, who has a good feel for the game and that is a lot of motion offense.
5) TNation: How would you describe Derwin's non-basketball traits? (ie leadership, work ethic, etc...)
CM: Derwin has excellent non- basketball qualities, he doesn’t get into trouble, minds to his business, and was very determined to get to the next level. He was very well liked by everyone on campus.
Derwin's development at the point guard is an interesting point for Coach Morris to comment on. IWCC put Derwin in a position to succeed based on his raw talent: speed and ball handling ability. With time, Derwin was able to develop into a leader on the court. This should be an reassuring point for Florida State fans. These answers are nothing but encouraging and hopefully shed a little more light on Derwin. Again, I'd like to thank Coach Morris for taking the time to share his thoughts with us.