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Continued: Jerry Zgoda's interview with David Kahn, Part IV

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  • Last update: May 3, 2013 - 9:33 AM


Q.  Did you change your scouting system after not identifying Kenneth Faried in the 2011 draft?


A. Yes. When I arrived, there really was no scouting database to speak of. When I asked list of top 10, top 30, top 40, nobody kept a list. It was kind of unbelievable to me. There was no infrastructure. And second year, one of things that hurt us was Fred Hoiberg, who I kept and I like a lot,  ran the scouting but he left for Iowa State in May. We brought Tony Ronzone in, he was intended to supplant Fred. He’d be an additional body to Fred, his own skill set, largely international basketball, USA Basketball and other things. Fred left and we didn’t have somebody leading it those last few weeks heading into that draft. That’s two years in a row where we had change leading into draft period. Going into the 2011 draft, I tried to change system but it just didn’t get implemented the way I wanted. We went to a system with scouts watching players play on numerous occasions as opposed to just once or twice, hopefully getting a much more meaningful understanding of their skill sets. We started to require scouts to come to meetings in January and February with clear opinions who should be funneled into a shorter list. We did that this past draft, I just felt I had to take control if we really wanted to make a change. We emphasized regional scouting and cross-checking and put a much more heightened emphasis on analytics and background research.


Q. Why was Faried the trigger?


A. We did have a scout who was advocating for him but his voice had been squelched and felt if we had forced that scout into a process where he could stand up in the whole room and be forced to advocate the player would have stayed in a funneled list and we would have given him the appropriate attention. That scout only saw him once or twice. That’s still just too thin. If you can put someone in a region where he can see players multiple times, not only would you accumulate more information on skill set, but also accumulate more background information, more game information, the whole nine yards. He just fell through the cracks and here comes the draft and he’s not even discussed. In looking back on him, I did the analysis and I could see we had somebody like him a lot. I just think we’ve added depth in every single area of analysis and it was important to do.


Q. What do you do now?


A. I don’t know.


Q. Want to stay in the league?


A. I don’t know yet. When all speculation last couple weeks started to incur, I had a call from inside basketball and from outside basketball. So I don’t know yet. I’ll stay here and attend to some affairs for now. There’s a lot to do.


Q. Anything you’d do differently?


A. Oh, for sure. For me, important thing was if you made a mistake, understand why you made a mistake and change the behavior so next time you don’t make the same mistake. Countless mistakes, c’mon, but everybody does, though. Every franchise can point to decisions that were made that you regret. I walked you through a lot of the draft stuff.


Q. Any that will keep you up at night?


A. No. We have a pretty good team, just got hurt.
 

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