More than basketball for Jones and Perry

Jesse Perry is preparing to play UCLA on Thursday and there is plenty on his mind. Read on to see his thoughts on Josh Smith, friend Lazeric Jones, and more.

In terms of size, UCLA's front line will be one of the biggest challenges for Jesse Perry and Arizona this season. However, Perry believes that Arizona's style of play will make life difficult for the Bruins and their game plan.

"I think for us it is just being a quicker team and not letting UCLA really set up their defense," Perry said. "Usually UCLA walks the ball up and sets plays and things like that. Things we have been doing more lately is trying to make them run."

Perry will give up plenty of height and weight to UCLA center Josh Smith, but says that he is not intimidated in the slightest.

"Josh Smith is going to guard me and try to get up and down the floor basically," Perry said. "It is what it is. It is a challenge and it is fun. Basketball is a competitive game and I am definitely a guy that likes to compete."

Although UCLA has plenty of talent, Perry believes the pace of the game will be an advantage, especially as far as his matchup with Smith is concerned.

"I definitely think they are talented," he said. "I think it is to our advantage. With how big he is, he can't run to me, so I think it is to our advantage when we play UCLA. "

Perry played with UCLA point guard Lazeric Jones in junior college and the two have developed a friendship that extended off the court. Although he will be Perry's opponent on Saturday, Perry is happy to see Jones improve as a player.

"He developed his game to be a much better player, shooter, dribbler, and point guard, period," Perry said. "At first he was playing the two in junior college and then came over to the point guard position and I think this year he is doing a great job for his team."

Perry says that the two have a strong relationship because they have found that they have a lot in common.

"It is close, like brothers," Perry said. "We're almost from the same place, Chicago and St. Louis are not too far apart. Also almost the same background, tough neighborhood, tough kid growing up.

"That is how it pretty much was. Two years in junior college created a brotherhood, so we still talk every day from here on out."

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