"Knee feels good. It's been sore these last few days just because we started practice and all, but it still feels good. I'm out there going at 100 percent so I'm not really complaining.?
Do you feel that you will be a leader on the team and what do you need to do so?
"Just set an example. I think Coach expects all upperclassmen to be leaders so just set the example and go out there and give 100 percent every day in practice and just try to do all the little things I can do to help the team."
Are you excited to get back out there?
"Yeah. I'm really excited just to play, just to be more around the guys, go on road trips. I'm just real excited. It feels good just to be here and do all the stuff. Last year was tough just sitting there watching all the games and it's real frustrating. Not only watching the games but just not being around the team as much is really frustrating."
Are the high expectations put on the team a motivator or do they cause a lot of stress?
"Usually we don't really think about it too much. If anything it'd be more of a motivator but there's always such high expectations here that it just comes with being here and being part of the program. It's not like we're a school and all of a sudden we're getting high expectations. We get it every day so it's not that much of a change as it was from last year or the year before.?
What have you done to mentor the incoming freshmen?
"Just tell them to work hard. Tell them what Coach O expects in practice, hard work and defense. Little stuff. Just try to be around them as much as I possibly can and be there for them."
How is their adjustment?
"So far so good. Everyone plays real hard. Practice is real competitive but it's all team chemistry and team bonding. Everyone tries to make each other feel better."
So there is good chemistry this year?
"Yeah. Great chemistry. Practice is rough but everyone is there for a purpose and everyone knows they're there to make each other better."
Who would you say has made a big improvement from last season?
"Well Salim Stoudamire has in terms of his attitude, real positive, more of a positive attitude this year than last year. Kirk Walters [made a] big improvement from last year, and Chris Rodgers [made a] big improvement from last year too."
What are the strengths of this team?
"Definitely its depth. Definitely its speed and its team chemistry. I think our depth's really important. We're bigger than we were last year and I don't know, I think we're all looking forward to having a good year."
What are your goals personally?
"Personally my first goal is to start. Second goal is to average a double-double and do all the stuff I can do to help us better and help us win."
How did you work out the knee to get it stronger this summer?
"It's a lot of rehab stuff they have me going through in the weight room. I was here most of the summer getting range of motion stuff down, make sure I stretched every day. Doing a bunch of little stuff to make my knee feel good. So I was trying to do that stuff most of the summer and I think it paid off.?
MORE ON ISAIAH FOX:
Bio: Fox returns after missing most of last season with a serious knee injury. Has slimmed down quite a bit and benefited from better conditioning. Fox has always been very good around the basket, but to take his game to the next level he needs to be a more consistent finisher. He scored 15 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in the 2003 season opener against NAU and big things looked to be on the horizon. His season was lost when he injured the knee early in the game against Florida. He was granted a medical redshirt and will now have two years of eligibility remaining.
Type of player: Fox is a big-bodied post player with a knack for scoring down low. He has very nice size but doesn't always use it. He has a soft touch on his shot but does not have a lot of range. He is a decent rebounder, but needs to be better to keep his minutes. He also needs to be more of a banger.