The Byrd Cage

Murray State’s Coach Prohm Speaks to the Byrd Cage

In Game Posts on February 7, 2013 at 7:05 am


Just in case you forgot:

Thank the Lord for pot stirring ‘Adult Steve’ (who got a shout out from Troy Machir this morning at NBC) because, frankly, I’m nervous about this game.  I know, I know – Murray so far has been a bit  of a disappointment this year.  But I just can’t shake the nervousness when we’re favorites away in a must win game (-4).  The expectations from last year were definitely high, about as long as the line to Coach Prohm at OVC Media Day at the beginning of the season.  But you know how we do.  The Byrd Cage was in there – and we were able to get three questions out before the OVC realized they let us crazies in and hastily hurried us out.  Ok, that’s not true.  The OVC people were wonderfully generous.

But what is it about Murray State this year?


Murray State Fans Vote.  

Courtesy of

Losses to Colorado, Dayton, Valparaiso, Eastern Kentucky, Jacksonville State- and a close win in overtime to a then 4-win Austin Peay team do not necessarily make for an intimidating opponent.  An unnamed Byrd Cager told me it was Coach Prohm’s fault and that it is just hard to win consistently when you are the 12th best coach in the OVC.


So who knows?

All I know is this is a must win, there’s going to be a white-out, and this is Coach Byrd’s 1000th game.

It’s time to get things done.

But let’s cut to the chase.  I asked Coach Prohm about the conversation with Isaiah Canaan about the NBA in the offseason and how scared he is of Belmont.  Check it out.

ByrdCage:  Coach, how do you feel about the new addition to the OVC, Belmont?

Coach Prohm Well, it is great for the league, but bad for coaches (laughs). You know, everybody says the same thing- I have so much respect for Belmont, for their program, for Coach Byrd.  He wins at a high level.  He does things the right way.  They’ve got a great program.  They’ve won, they know how to win, they know how to win championships.  They know how to win conference tournament championships.  They have a great atmosphere down there.  It is great for the league, I think it puts our league in a position to where if we have a couple of teams have a great regular season, we have a possibility of getting a second team in the tournament that can win a game. Belmont has had great non-conference wins of the last several years and likewise, many teams in the league have.  But the addition is great, it makes our league stronger, makes our RPI better and it makes us know we have to be good every night because they know how to win.
BC:  CBS Sports pre-ranked Isaiah Canaan as the number one guard in the country.  Do you agree?
CP:  That he’s the number one point guard?
BC:  Yep.
CP:  Yeah, I wouldn’t trade Isaiah for anybody.  I mean, he played against everybody in the country.  I think he proved what kind of player he was last year for 33 games.  Even his freshman and sophomore year he didn’t get the national notoriety but he still played well.  He was out there this summer, playing against everybody this summer and, you know, if he’s not better- he’s as good as anybody out there is.  He’s been awesome for our program and he’ll go down as one of the best who has ever played there.
BC:  Can you talk a little bit about that conversation you had with him while he was thinking about the NBA last year?
CP:  Yeah, it was more just- once we had finished up, you know -we had talked about it a little bit as we were finishing up the season- but that we would talk about it once the season ended.  We just got all the feedback we could from all the people we could- from agents, from NBA personnel that helps you with that decision.  I laid it out there for him and his family.  It was up to him and his family.  And he made a quick decision- a few days into the April period- the 3rd or 4th.  He decided he wanted to come back.  And the great thing about Isaiah is that he came back for the right reasons.  He wanted to experience senior night.  He wanted to get his degree.  He wanted to win four championships, he wanted to go down as one of the greatest players to have played there.  And, you know, when people doubt him, I think that is when he is at his best.  You can’t say enough positive things about the kid as a whole.  But that was really his decision.  It was his decision and he met with his family and he made it and he hasn’t looked back.  
Now he’s here and ready to go.


Belmont tips off at 7:00 PM CT in Murray, Kentucky.  Check it out on ESPNU-  Or GET THERE. 


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