"I?m pretty excited, very motivated, this is going to be a great year for our team getting a fresh start, and it's just good things to come for our team."
What improvements have you made over the summer?
"I definitely got stronger mentally and physically. I was in the weight room all year preparing myself for the winter and the course of the year and I?m just ready in all aspects of my game, better conditioning. Each year you just try to improve on different parts of your game. That?s what I try to do. I try to isolate different parts of my game this summer and really focus."
Did you stay here for the summer?
"Yeah I stayed here most of the summer, I played in a summer league which was very beneficial. I took some classes so my focus was just on the upcoming year."
Could you comment on the team as a whole?
"We've got a great bunch of guys on this team this year. International flavor, we have guys from all over the world, and it just brings different backgrounds, a new culture and it's a different chemistry to our team. It's worked out good for us."
So what have you done to help the incoming freshmen?
"I've just been there for them if they needed to talk to someone, or in the weight room if they needed some additional help with different things I just try to lend a little bit of advice, a little bit of experience that I?ve had playing here for two years now this being my third year. They?re a great group of guys. The incoming freshmen are very talented and it?s going to be a good year for them as well."
Are the high expectations put on the team a stressor, motivator, or both?
"I don't see it as a stressor I think it?s more of an expectation for this university and this basketball program ever since I can think back. So I don't look at it as a stressor it's definitely motivational character for our team."
What are the goals for the team this year?
"We definitely just want to do a better job on the road. We're always strong at home, we did a good job last year at home. So we want to take care of road victories. We need to definitely do a better job on the road where the crowd is hostile, we need to come together. Last year I think we crumbled at times on the road.?
With all of the talent and depth, how tough has practice been?
"The intensity of practice is at a new level. It is definitely higher than last year and that's just going to benefit our team."
So you like the added pressure put on by the coaches?
"Absolutely. I thrive under pressure, that?s what you do as a player, as an athlete, you want to be challenged and you want to take yourself to your limits."
CHRIS RODGERS BIO Bio: Three years into his Wildcat career Rodgers is still trying to find his role within the program. Rodgers came out of high school with a load of hype, but has yet to completely embrace the Arizona system. He has shown flashes of brilliance, including some great defensive performances, but has yet to establish himself as a guy who has to be on the floor. He came out of Wilson High School with all sorts of accolades, including an appearance at the Jordan Classic.
Type of player: The most versatile of all the Wildcat perimeter players, Rodgers can play either guard spot or small forward. A terrific defender who can also light it up, Rodgers needs to play more within the framework of the offense to be truly effective. All too often he likes to freelance and that leads to turnovers. Rodgers is a good shooter and can handle the ball, but needs to learn when to pick up his dribble and make a pass. Rodgers is also a terrific student.