Laval took the time to answer a number of questions, ranging from his official visit to Tucson to the football version of Laval.
I see your high school team is 16-2 and undefeated in conference play. How are things going with your season?
Laval Lucas-Perry: "We just beat Flushing and play two more games before the tournament starts. Getting ready to get it started towards a state championship. There is a lot of excitement around town and within the school and community."
I understand you also play tennis and football, with you being a pretty exciting football player. Give us a little summary of the football version of Laval.
LLP: "We won a state title last year and lost in the regionals this year. Football brings toughness to my game on the court. Playing safety helps since I get to hit people and do a lot of things, which brings toughness to my basketball game."
You had your first official visit to Tucson last weekend. What were your thoughts? How was the atmosphere? The Campus? What basketball activities did you do?
LLP: "The visit went great. Coach Olson opened his wonderful house to the whole team. Jamelle (Horne), who is a great friend of mine, and I went and ate breakfast at his house. They showed us the weight room, along with the other facilities. The fans and community showed a lot of love towards the program. Even though they lost to UCLA, it was a great game. The entire team is a group of guys on and off the court."
Besides basketball, what are you looking forward to the most about attending Arizona?
LLP: "I enrolled as a business student and am looking forward to meeting a lot of good people in the business community. Just meeting new people and experiencing new things is what I am looking forward to the most."
Have you gotten to know your fellow incoming freshman recruits much? Have you seen any of them play? Who are you looking forward to playing with the most?
LLP: "Yes, I have gotten a chance to meet and see all the other recruits play. I feel like Jamelle and I are going to be a good combo. Jerryd (Bayless) and I are going to be depended on to shoot, score, and defend. Zane (Johnson) is a great shooter and has great leaping abilities while Alex (Jacobson) is seven feet, which is going to help with blocking shots and defending."
Have the coaches talked to you in regards to your role for next year?
LLP: "Yeah, they have. They are going to expect me to play a hard nosed type guard. At the three position, they're going to expect me to defend. At the two position, they're going to expect me to score the basketball ball. And at the one position, they're expecting me to come in and distribute the ball and make the other players better. I feel like we've got the best coach in college basketball. He loves his players and recruits."
What are your thoughts on the current season for the Cats?
LLP: "You win some and you lose some. That's how the game of basketball goes. You can't win them all. The Pac-10 tournament is coming up and I think we've got a chance to win it. With the rest of the season, sometimes the ball doesn't go your way, and you have to live with that."
College basketball has become a one or two year process. Where do you see yourself in two years?
LLP: "I see myself competing with the other guys out there, trying to lead this program back to a national title. This incoming class has it all and I feel like we're one of the best. This class has every asset you can ask for, which I think is going to make us successful. I'm just going to come in and defend, shoot, and play a good all-around game."
What does being a finalist for Michigan's Mr. Basketball mean?
LLP: "First off, it's an honor. I take a lot of pride in being put in this group of players. It's a great accomplishment, but the main goal is to win that state title. Not many people can say they won a state title, and that's what I'm looking forward to the most. When I asked if he'd rather have a state title than the award for Mr. Basketball, he responded, oh yeah."
And lastly, what can the Cats and their fans expect from LLP?
LLP: "You can expect a national title run and eventually a national title. I'm just going to come in, play hard, distribute the ball, score the ball, and do whatever it takes to win."