Last month, I spoke with Charlotte Hornets assistant coach Jay Hernandez about his time playing for Villanova’s head coach Jay Wright. Hernandez played under Wright back when he was the head coach at Hofstra University from 1998-2000. The Long Island, New York native, also was teammates with former NBA Champion Speedy Claxton. Claxton is now an assistant at Hofstra University.
“I learned a lot about leadership skills and how to control a team being a point guard for him and playing alongside Speedy Claxton. He did a great job getting us to play our roles and creating a culture that had not been there before at Hofstra. You can see what he did at Villanova winning two national championships, so the fact that he is an assistant coach with Team USA Basketball doesn’t surprise me”, Hernandez told me.
“He would continue by stating that “I was extremely happy for him he has been with Team USA for a very long time running the younger teams. For him to be selected with other great professional coaches that shows the level of respect that everyone has for him. Regardless of level, everyone knows that he is one of the best in the game. So, having a guy like him, who knows how to work with players and build relationships he is the perfect guy be in that position. ”
Jalen Brunson also played under Jay Wright at Villanova and helped capture two National Championships in 2016 and 2018. He recently shared the differences between Rick Carlisle and Jay Wright coaching philosophies.
“It kind of similar. We want to play fast and get the ball moving they both have very good offensive minds. On defense we want to disrupt and be a unified unit on defense. It not really that much different it is really similar,” Brunson told me.