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SEC Staff

Photo: Phil Ellsworth | ESPN Images

What is the best book you have read since sports came to a standstill on March 12?

Nate Oats, Alabama – “The Film Doesn’t Lie by Jimmy Dykes – It takes Jimmy’s basketball background and uses basketball illustrations to illustrate how you should evaluate your own personal life to see where you need to make improvements. It’s a great read for anyone involved in sports that wants to make themselves a better person.”

Bruce Pearl, Auburn – “The best book I’ve been reading has been the Bible. The reason why we should read it is because it ties all religions together. Abraham was a father of all nations. Regardless of our differences and how teachings have evolved, in the beginning we all have the same God. If you listen to the teachings, it’s a great playbook for how you should try to live your life.”

Tom Crean, Georgia – “Experiencing God Day by Day by Henry Blackaby”

Will Wade, LSU – “Upstream by Dan Heath. It challenges the way you think about problems and helps you to solve them on the front end.”

Ben Howland, Mississippi State – “What I have been reading, I’ll be honest, is everything I can get my hands on relative to Coronavirus and COVID-19. I am obsessed with it. It has changed our lives. It has changed our country. It has changed the world. I am constantly every day looking for new information. That is what I have been obsessed with right now, learning as much as I can. The thing that I have enjoyed as opposed to reading books is having more time to get a chance to see some films and things that I have enjoyed and wanted to see. One of the great things I have watched is a Ken Burns series on Vietnam and the history of Vietnam. I thought that was really interesting. Obviously, like many people, I loved “The Last Dance” and loved watching that series on the Bulls, in particular Michael Jordan.”

Frank Martin, South Carolina – “The Double Life of Fidel Castro. Provides an understanding of how a communist government actually governs its people.”

Despite of all the negatives associated with COVID-19, what has been your biggest positive or silver lining?

Eric Musselman, Arkansas – “We have found new ways to continue moving forward with recruiting and had more time to do X and O studies for our team next year. We have had more time to research recruiting classes and evaluate them on film as well as build relationships with those recruits. More family time.”

Mike White, Florida – “The silver lining for me has been the extra time at home with my family. Obviously, a coach spends a lot of time on the road under normal circumstances, but this has provided a unique window of time to be with our loved ones.”

John Calipari, Kentucky – “How often in our world – whether it’s coaches, administrators, staff, the players – do you get a chance to slow down for a minute and be with your family? There aren’t a lot of opportunities in what we do. We try to carve out time and I think we all know that our families are most important, but we’re all going 100 miles per hour in this business. There’s little time to slow down. I hope that when this ends and we return to a new normal, we take some of the good out of this, which is taking some time to focus on our families. Ellen and I and Brad and his girlfriend have had more time than we’ve ever had together. This past week we had a chance to go down and see our oldest daughter. Now, we’re still working and I’m itching to get going again, but I think we as coaches have all valued this time. It’s put some things in perspective. I hope it’s opened our eyes to the summer recruiting period and made us realize that we don’t need to be on the road every week. We should be using that time to be with our families.”

Kermit Davis, Ole Miss – “As coaches, we all seem to adapt to many different, adverse situations. I’m so proud with how our staff has done that. We have made the best of what we have been dealt, and it has helped make us better coaches.”

Cuonzo Martin, Missouri – “It’s really been a blessing to spend so much time with family. You get so caught up going a hundred miles an hour for 12 straight years, so it’s been tremendous to have that time together with loved ones.”

Rick Barnes, Tennessee – “First, I think we’ve learned how to communicate differently. We’ve tried to continue to do everything that we would have normally done even though we weren’t able to be (together) in places, physically. We adapted to the Zoom system and how that works, and we’ve continued to try to help as many people as we possibly can. We’ve stayed connected that way with our team family, and that’s how we’ve been able to stay in touch. Also, as the days started getting longer, my wife and I decided we were going to get ourselves in better shape, physically, so we worked that way to try to improve. We’ve spent time in The Word, because that’s another way to do some good things with our time. Overall, we’ve just tried to embrace where we are right now and have tried to stick to our normal life as best we can-we’ve just relied on different ways to communicate.”

Jerry Stackhouse, Vanderbilt – “Family time has definitely been the biggest positive that has come out of this situation. I have two kids that are college-aged, so having them around the house and spending time with them and my wife has been great for us. Most of my career has had me on the move so it’s nice to be in one spot all together for an extended period of time.”

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