VESTAL (WBNG) -- Binghamton University introduced Levell Sanders as its new interim men's basketball coach Monday afternoon.
Sanders will hold the interim tag after Tommy Dempsey's contract was not renewed after nine seasons.
Sanders has spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach on the men's staff. He said he was informed of the decision to be named interim coach last Sunday, following the Bearcats' loss to Hartford in the first round of the America East tournament.
Sanders said he met with the team last Monday after the announcement.
"We had the opportunity to talk to everybody and let them know we're all in this together. Just throughout all last week and even today, I've been speaking with players individually...we definitely have to stay in close contact," said Sanders.
Sanders played college basketball at Seton Hall, where he was an All-BIG EAST selection. Following a 15-year career playing professionally overseas, Sanders became a head coach for the BK JIP Pardubice in the Czech Republic.
Sanders spent five years with the team, taking it to the elimination rounds of the 2017 FIBA Europe Cup, and also being named All-Czech Republic League coach of the year.
Sanders said his coaching style begins with "playing hard."
"If you can play hard, and you should play hard, everything else after that will take care of itself," said Sanders. "Defensively we like to be aggressive...I do think we have a team that can be aggressive and we will be. Offensively I want to push the ball up and down the court...I think that's something that will get the fan base excited if we can play a fast-based style."
This past season's Bearcats roster featured eight sophomores who will get a year of eligibility back.
"The good thing about us is we do have a young core. Those guys are going to have a tremendous offseason and be able to get better and better. Of course, you're always looking for ways to get better and I think we can," he said. "Scholarships and things like that, we still have to work through that but if we have the opportunity to add some good student-athletes on the team to help us become a better team we're definitely going to look to do that, but we still have a few weeks away where we have to kind of make some decisions."
Sanders said he hasn't given thought just yet about how he'll measure success next season, but he is striving for one thing.
"We have some really, really good players in our program but again we all need to get better, and not just the players right, but the coaches. We have to continuously keep seeking out information. I think there's room for improvement, and I haven't thought of wins and losses or anything like that but for me, it's that daily grind of getting better each day."