INDIANAPOLIS (November 9, 2015) -- Jason Gardner is an Indiana high school basketball legend. Same goes for the Arizona Wildcats. His attempt to reach legendary status as head coach at IUPUI continues Friday when his Jaguars open the college basketball season at Indiana State.
"There's so many kids in the Indianapolis area, and there's so much talent here that I think if we can hammer down and just control Indianapolis and obviously neighboring cities and states, I think that we can be very successful here," Gardner said when he sat down for a 1 on 1 chat with CBS4's Mike Berman.
After finishing his playing career and spending time as an assistant coach at Loyola and Memphis, Gardner took over the Jaguars program last year. His first season as a head coach wasn't a great one, as IUPUI finished 10-21.
The North Central graduate says he thinks it'll take some time to get his team where he wants it to be, but he hopes a challenging non-conference schedule (games against Purdue, Butler, NC State and others) will help hasten the learning curve.
"We're going to play against good coaches. We're going places where they have a lot of history of winning, a lot of fan support. I think we're playing against some really good teams, tournament teams. I think it's really going to prepare us."