SI: So why coach again after six years away from the game?
Cremins: When I was out of coaching, everybody asked, "Why are you not coaching?" Now that I'm back in, everybody asks, "Why did you get back in?" It's because basketball is in my blood. Being a TV analyst was fun, but I felt like I had something else left in me. I wanted another challenge, and I certainly got what I asked for.
SI: What did your years away from coaching teach you that will help you in this job?
Cremins: I think I'm a little different person. Hopefully, I'll be a little more patient. I made some mistakes late in my career at Georgia Tech. The program was slipping. We lost our edge and our swagger.
SI: Would you like to play against Georgia Tech?
Cremins: I'd have to think about that one. I'd love to coach against them in the NCAA tournament. [Georgia Tech coach] Paul Hewitt honored me by putting my name on the court. I think I'd be a little bit nervous playing on a court named after me.
SI: While you were out of coaching, you were a columnist at The Island Packet on Hilton Head. [Cremins is a South Carolina alum.] Were you a good writer?
Cremins: I wrote about college basketball, mainly the SEC. I wrote some good articles, I thought.
SI: Your close friend Bob Cunningham, a former North Carolina player, recently died. How did his death affect your decision to return?
Cremins: It was not the only reason [I returned], but it really bothered me. The way he went so quickly. It kind of told me, Look, you're alive and you're healthy, why not get off your ass and see what you can contribute to society besides playing golf and tennis and swimming.
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