Q & A: Andrew Del Piero

LSU senior center Andrew Del Piero is shedding his label as just the Tuba Player this season. Now he's actually starting and contributing for Johnny Jones. He talks with TSD about his development and updates several members of the team.

Here's my Q&A with LSU senior center Andrew Del Piero in which he talks about his development, the addition of John Odo to practice for the Tigers and how the team is handling the absences of Johnny O'Bryant and Anthony Hickey for different reasons.

- On transfer C John Odo ...
"He's a really athletic guy, so he gets up and blocks shots and gets rebounds. We're all really glad to have him here. He'll play a big role in helping the big guys to improve."

"He's a quick guy. He can really get up. We were jumping up at the rim to get a rebound one time, and I'm pretty sure his belly button was at my head and I was just like ‘Whoa.' It's something I don't get a whole lot of. And he's got the rest of the year to improve before he starts getting into his eligibility. I see a lot of potential."

- On Odo giving the team a taste of SEC play ...
"Yeah, he is (giving me a taste of what SEC play will be like). When we get into the more athletic big guys, we'll be seeing a lot of what we see in John."

- On Odo's spoken English (he is originally from Nigeria) ...
"He's actually pretty good. He can get by. It's passable definitely."

- On the game becoming more natural to him ...
"Last year I remember going into games and stuff and not being able to think straight. I was nervous. Everyone's watching me and I don't want to mess up or let my team down, that kind of stuff. It's really second nature to me now, so going into games I'm really just thinking about what we worked on in practice, what I need to be doing and what the coaches are telling us to do. It's helped a lot to play this year. Now I can tune out the crowds and stuff mostly. It helps to slow the game down a lot."

- On Johnny O'Bryant and the severity of his leg tweak ...
"It's a day-to-day thing. I think we're all just being really cautious. We definitely don't want him to come in early and risk hurting himself again because obviously he plays a big role on the team. No one thinks it's anything serious, at least from what he's been telling us. He'll be fine and he'll be back in soon."

- On the team's mentality toward Anthony Hickey ...
"He's always been a great teammate. He's just had some trouble making the right decisions lately. We all have his back. We all love Hickey. He's going to be just fine."
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