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Pistons coaching search: John Loyer takes over as interim head coach

After Mo Cheeks was fired 50 games into his first season with the Detroit Pistons, career assistant John Loyer takes the reins as interim head coach. Will he be considered for the permanent job, or will the Pistons seek a more experienced coach in the offseason? Stay tuned.

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Videos: Interim coach John Loyer meets the press

John Loyer spoke to the media Monday after being named the Pistons' interim head coach. The video above is courtesy of MLive.com, and Loyer's comments are transcribed below:

"I've been actually through this situation before, seen it done properly, seen it done not very good. And I told our guys it's got to be a gradual process. Playing hard supercedes anything we could possibly change so we got to start there. But there's things we've got to tweak on both sides of the ball, and we'll gradually do that."

"I've never really sat down and formulated a plan for my coaching career. I enjoy coaching, whether it's [as] a head coach or an assistant coach. I do enjoy our guys, I've enjoyed them the last three years, having coached the majority of them.

"I'm ready for the challenge. I'm excited about it. Like I told the guys today, this is where I want to be."

More video from Dave Pemberton:

You follow him, right? If not, go do that: @drpemberton.

"We should be a dominant rebounding team. We're playing guys with size, we have very good athleticism. We need to dominate the boards. You look at our wins, we're pretty dominant. You look at games when it's either even or we're not ahead, we're struggling. So we've got to dominate the glass.

"I think we've got very good length, so we should be a much better shot-blocking team, should be a very good team at protecting the rim, [that's] something we can imrpove on.

"We have not shot the ball well. When you're 30th in three-point shooting and 30th in free-throw percentage, those two stats you've got to improve on. And that will be a challenge for us every day."

On being prepared for the job:

"Sure, when you slide one seat down, you're making all the substitutions, you're diagramming the ATOs (after-timeout plays), you're doing things, but I felt as an assistnt coach, the guys that I've worked for always tried to help me prepare for this day. I've done it a few times -- in more of a pinch-hitting role -- so I'm prepared for it."

On whether the Pistons can win:

"I think this group can win. This is who we have. As a coach, that's not even in our day-to-day framework or thought process. We coach the team they give us. We think it's a good group. I think it's a group that can be very successful."

On the players figuring out a coach:

"There's always going to be a change.

"I think people under-sell players. Players figure things out. They know, whether you're a head coach or an assistant coach, one, whether you know your stuff. Two, whether you're in it for the right things. Three, can make them better? And four, are you a good leader?

"And as a head coach or an assistant coach, guys figure that out. I'll take my chances with what they've figured out over the last few years."

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A look at John Loyer

As John Loyer takes the reins in the wake of Maurice Cheeks’ firing, let’s take a look at the long-time assistant coach’s facinating history.

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John Loyer to coach Pistons for rest of season

John Loyer has been named interim coach after the firing of Maurice Cheeks. Reports indicate Loyer will coach rest of season and team won't explore hiring a longer-term replacement.

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