Q: You only had about 5 offers out of High School, now you just averaged 18 and 10 last season, how did you go from not having many offers to what you are now?
A: “Mainly just work, working on the things I knew I needed to get better at. My Red-shirt Freshman year I had a good role off the bench behind Rob Marberry, and that year I learned a lot from him and learned a lot about College Basketball. And over the offseason, I put in a lot of work.”
Q: You had Garrison Matthews on your team as a Freshman, who’s now in the NBA, what did you learn from him?
A: “I learned a lot from Gary, we talk from time to time about things like how he transitioned from college to the NBA, and he was telling me about how there’s no secret to success in College Basketball, you just have to put work in. He’s definitely a great friend and a great teammate.”
Q: In 2018-19 You guys were a Bubble Team and didn’t get in, but you guys went to the Final of the NIT though. Did you feel like you guys were going to be in the tournament on Selection Sunday?
A: “We were definitely disappointed, after losing to Liberty we weren’t sure if we were going to be in, but we were preparing to be in the NIT. When we found out we were disappointed but we wanted to go all out in the NIT for the Seniors.”
Q: What kind of experience was being in the NIT Championship?
A: “It was a great experience, getting to play in front of a bunch of people at MSG on National TV on a big stage, the whole NIT was a good experience, playing High-Major schools and making it all the way to the end was great.”
Q: Casey Alexander left for Belmont after the season, how was the transition for you to a new coaching staff?
A: “I think I transitioned well, I learned a lot from Coach Casey, but there was a point where everybody didn’t know what they were going to do yet as far as staying or leaving. When I met Coach Acuff I felt like I trusted him right away and it was a good connection, he did a good job getting us all in and bought in. The start of Last Season we started pretty rough, in his First Year coaching he could’ve gotten discouraged, but he didn’t and we got better and I learned a lot from him.”
Q: You had 43 against FGCU in the A-SUN Tournament, How did that happen? Did you know you had that in you?
A: “Yeah, I definitely knew I could do it. During the year there were days in practice where I felt like I couldn’t miss. Some teams in Conference decided to Double me, FGCU didn’t so it was the same stuff we practiced on, and we knew since it was a win or go home they were coming to play. I really didn’t want to lose especially in the First Round at home, so I left it all on the court and didn’t realize I had that much until after the game.”
Q: You had 23 and 19 Rebounds the next game, what switch flipped for you in the A-Sun tournament?
A: “I really wanted to win, I knew how it felt to get to the Championship and lose, so I wanted to leave it all on the court and win.”
Q: You guys lost to Liberty in the A-SUN Championship game again, are you almost relieved you didn’t win since there was no tournament?
A: “I wanted to win, but I would’ve been more disappointed if we won and we didn’t get to play in the NCAA Tournament, so it worked out in a way. If we won that game and everything that happened with the Coronavirus happened we would’ve been disappointed because that’s something everyone wants to experience in College Basketball.”
Q: What can you guys accomplish as a team in 2020-21?
A: “I think we’re going to be pretty good, I think we can win the conference we got some young guys, we’ve got some experience, a great Coaching Staff and I think we are going to win the Conference, and some Power-5 non-conference games.”
Q: What do you expect from yourself this season?
A: “Hopefully what I did this past season and then some, I want to stay on the court longer so I’m working on conditioning stuff to be on the court as long as I can.”