Chat Transcript: Head Baseball Coach Rayner Noble

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    Chat Moderator asks:Welcome to UHCougars.com! Let's Chat!
    Richard Stahmer asks:Do you think the team is better than it's #3 conference ranking? Do you think the Coogs should be in the top 25?
    No, I think we are probably right where we need to be in the conference pack, solely because 75 percent of our team has never had Division I experience. If anything we might be ranked a bit higher than we should be. I don't think we are top 25 material yet because we haven't proved anything yet.
    Randy Brann asks:Rayner, I am a life member of the alumni assoc. and have a 17 yr. old nephew who is a senior and plays baseball at Taylor HS in Katy. He has called for info about the baseball program at UH and has had not response. Is there any way you could give him a look. His name is David Widaski and is an excellent player, has played variety for 3 years and plays ball with Kyle Chapman. I would love to see him become a Cougar. Thanks! Go Coogs!
    What you will need to do is send some information to our office along with a schedule, and we will try to get out there to see him in the spring. If we can't make it in the spring it will be in the early part of the summer.
    Bill Diecks - season ticket holder asks:With the personnel you have this year, are you going to try to hit and run, steal, and bunt more this year?
    Yeah, we are going to have to create more than we have in the past. We don't necessarily have the players with the power, so we will definately need to do something different with our offense this year.
    Mason Ray asks:Does winning back-to-back Coach of the Year honors add pressure to this season to attempt to win three in a row.
    No, anytime you win a coach of the year award it is based on your talent on the field. It would be nice to happen again, and it might if we mature a bit on the field and if things fall into place.
    Ryan Monceaux asks:Coach -- Tell us more about Gene Flores. He looked impressive on Saturday.
    Gene isn't a big guy, but he has a very strong arm and really knows how to pitch, and I think that's why you'll see him right in the middle of the action on the weekends. He has good mound presence and knows what he's doing. He's a three-pitch pitcher. His fastball ranges from 87 to 91 mph. has a good overhand curveball and a very good changeup. I look for him to do big things for us.
    Jeff Mayhle asks:How do you feel about your large amount of young players on this year's team?
    I think that everybody has to start over sooner or later, and I think it is our time. It may be a little difficult starting out our season, but in the long run it will benefit us playing so many young players because of the experience they will receive. Depending on how quickly we mature, we might boast a very strong ball club this season, and that will help us over the next two or three seasons.
    Red Simpson asks:What will the middle of the lineup look like this year? Can we expect more small ball and running with this team as opposed to last years?
    Yes, we just don't have the big hitters. We're going to have to rely on singles and doubles to produce most of our runs. We have to have smart base runners, and be able to bunt and steal when necessary.
    Red Simpson asks:Do you feel the restrictions placed on the bats by the NCAA has helped college baseball?
    I think it has saved it to a certain extent. I think the offense side of it was getting out of hand, and I think the NCAA was smart with their restrictions. I think it also allowed the pitching to get better.
    Baseball Fan asks:Who will be your main competition in C-USA this season?
    Well I really think that three clubs stand out in my opinion. Southern Miss is the strongest in the league because they return two of their top pitchers. I think they are the team to beat, although the coaches poll has Tulane as the top. Tulane however has lost it's pitching staff, and a pitching staff is hard to replace. I also think that Cincinnati will be a tough team to beat.
    Bill North asks:Coach, Congrats on the great season last year. What Freshman do you see making the most impact this year and what does recruiting look like for next year.
    We have lot of freshman coming in that can make an immediate impact on our team. Michael Bourn is an outfielder from Nimitz High School. Hyung Cho is a shortstop that is coming off an injury and is probably at 80 percent right now. Genee Flores will be one of our pitchers that will probably see time in our rotation. We also have Austin Faught, who will see innings from the bullpen and could possibly be added to the rotation. Jared Grein will aslo see action from the bullpen, but may be a regular in the rotation. We also have twin brothers Michael and Steven Reiss who will come in and make an impact as well.
    Chat Moderator asks:Thanks for taking the time to chat with us on UHCougars.com!

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