Arizona basketball: Geary caps sensational start to career as Japanese coach with title in second season

2013-05-23T20:00:00Z Arizona basketball: Geary caps sensational start to career as Japanese coach with title in second seasonBy Ed Odeven Special to the Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

TOKYO — In two seasons, head coach Reggie Geary and the Yokohama B-Corsairs have established a standard of excellence for new teams as the upstart Basketball Japan League has morphed into a major-size league.

When the Osaka Evessa captured three consecutive titles in the league's infancy, there were six, eight and 10 teams in the 2005-06, 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons.

When the B-Corsairs reached the Final Four as an expansion outfit last May, 19 teams competed in the 52-game season, including 10 in the Eastern Conference.

And when they earned the championship on last Sunday with a 101-90 victory over the Rizing Fukuoka, former Arizona Wildcat Geary’s B-Corsairs had taken their game the the next level in proving they are the best in the 21-team circuit.

Two seasons, two Final Fourth berths. What's more, Geary, a former star guard for Lute Olson’s University of Arizona powerhouse teams in the 1990s, has a 66-38 record in the regular while proving he is an elite coach in this league.

Catching up with Geary before and after Sunday's championship win, here's a look at his general thoughts on his work in Japan, the team’s success and his career a few months before he turns 40.

Q: As the head coach and the staff as a whole, what is the most satisfying aspect of establishing a standard of excellence in Yokohama for the franchise?

A: “The most satisfying aspects are: First, I was given complete freedom from day one to acquire the American players myself and to implement my basketball philosophies and teachings which have resulted in great success. Second, I was embraced by the players I work with, they bought into my system and style, and watching them execute on such a high level is very gratifying. So for them to work as hard as they have and win it all, I am honored to be a part of their championship journey.”

Read more questions and answers with Reggie Geary in Friday's Arizona Daily Star.

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