Rainmen-Razorsharks Game Preview with Rochester Head Coach, Rod Baker

One of the reasons why the Rochester Razorsharks are two-time champions is because of the two-time PBL Coach of the Year, Rod Baker.  Baker has well over 30 years of coaching experience. He has coached everywhere from Seton Hall University to the US Men’s Basketball team at the University Games to his head coaching duties with the Harlem Globetrotters.  This season, the Razorsharks continue this success as they are just one of two teams remaining with an unblemished record this season, with a record of 5-0. 

This Sunday, the Razorsharks face off against the Halifax Rainmen here in Halifax.  I had the opportunity to ask Rod his thoughts on Rochester’s successful start, his thoughts on the upcoming matchup with the Rainmen and what it was like working with NBA superstars at the Nike Skills Academy this past summer.

Romy (Haligonia.ca): The Rainmen have a tough test ahead of them facing off against the two-time PBL champs, your Rochester Razorsharks. Your Razorsharks currently hold a 5-0 record, what has been the key to the Razorsharks’ success this season?

Rod Baker: We return a core of players who have been with us for awhile and that continuity helps our success. There is a level of understanding of me and what we do that doesn’t happen overnight.

Romy (Haligonia.ca): What’s going to be the biggest challenge in your matchup with the Rainmen?

Rod Baker: The Rainmen are a team with a very high skill level and there is mixture of youth and experience that is tough to match. I am also sure that from what I have seen online your fans will be out in force to welcome us. Our fans in Rochester are the best but yours are a very close second in their support for the team.

Romy (Haligonia.ca): For those of us in Halifax who have yet to see the PBL’s leading scorer Keith Friel play, what does Keith bring to the Razorsharks?

Rod Baker: Keith is a great long range shooter who also knows how to play the game. He has a tremendous feel for his teammates and vice versa. He can go on streaks that must be similar to what Ferguson has done for the Rainmen.

Romy (Haligonia.ca): Former Halifax Rainmen player, Glen Dandridge, is currently on the Razorsharks roster, how has Dandridge fit in with the team?

Rod Baker: Glen has done a tremendous job for us to this point. He is a gifted athlete whose shooting ability complements Friel and makes it difficult for an opponent to shade to one side. Another former Rainman, David Bailey is also helping us firm up our interior play especially defensively. I am sure that your fans will welcome both of the young men back to the area.

Romy (Haligonia.ca): You have over 30 years of coaching experience, what is your ultimate goal as a basketball coach? Do you ever see yourself as a coach in the NBA?

Rod Baker: I presently have the best job in minor league basketball and I am grateful for the success that we have had. My responsibility is to help Rochester put a quality product on the floor day in/day out. I enjoy the job that I have and that’s where my aspirations lie.

Romy (Haligonia.ca): You coached at a Nike Skills Academy this past summer working with the likes of NBA superstars, Lebron James, Vince Carter and Paul Pierce, how was that experience?

Rod Baker: I have worked for Nike for the last 5 summers I think and have had the opportunity to work with not only those guys but also Kobe Bryant and Amare Stoudemire. All of these guys spend a great deal of hands on time with the campers and staff so from that standpoint it is great. The athletes there are both HS and College level and to watch their development is the most rewarding. Almost every night when I turn on the TV to watch a game I see a guy who has come through our program.

Rod and his Rochester Razorsharks face off against the Halifax Rainmen this Sunday (game time 2pm AST) at the Halifax Metro Centre.  You can also watch the game live online right here on Haligonia.ca  

A big thanks goes out to Rod Baker for participating in our game preview, be sure to check out Rod and the Rochester Razorsharks at Razorsharks.com

Romy Aquino covers the pro basketball game (the Canadian Flavour of the NBA, the PBL’s Halifax Rainmen) from a fan’s perspective.  He also can be found at NBA hoops blogs, Hip Hoop Junkies (A Member of TheScore.com’s Sports Federation) and Hoop Heads North.  Follow him on Twitter: @romyaquino

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