Young previews Clemson hoops

CLEMSON - Andre Young started only three games as a sophomore, but played big-time minutes under former Clemson coach Oliver Purnell.

After averaging 9.2 points last season, the junior from Albany, Ga. will be counted on as a contributor under first-year head coach Brad Brownell.

Young spoke with the media on Tuesday during the Clemson men's basketball media day:

What are your thoughts now, a couple of days before practice starts?
Young: I'm just real excited to get started. We've been working real hard in the offseason. We just want to see where we're at. We want to come out here and learn the new system, come out here and try to win games and start playing.

"The coaches have really been stressing our skills. We've been building our skill sets, and we've been getting better in the offseason."

For the younger guys, is this an offense that's really going to help them?
Young: I think so. It really has a lot to do with confidence. That first year is always tough. Those guys coming up, I think they've been building up their confidence over the season. The coaches have really been stressing our skills. We've been building our skill sets, and we've been getting better in the offseason. I think we'll come out here, and our hard work's going to pay off.

How different is it going to be for you and Demontez [Stitt]?
Young: I don't think it's going to be much different. We're just going to be playing hard, and we'll go from there.

What are Brownell's strengths as a head coach?
Young: I think he's really passionate about what he does. He really cares about his players, about his coaching staff. He's a guy who really works hard. I really don't think there are going to be many people that are going to outwork him, and who are going to outwork us as a team.

Is it a strange feeling coming back this year with a new head coach and staff?
Young: A little bit. It's definitely different. It can be exciting. I think it'll be beneficial, in the long run. We just want to be excited to learn the new system, come out here, and play hard.

How do you anticipate [the system] looking different in a game with Brad now coaching?
Young: I'm not sure. We're still trying to figure each other out. We haven't done a lot of team stuff yet. We've been really working on our individual skills. He's a guy who has a lot of energy. He expects big things out of us. We just have to come out here and just produce.


"We have high expectations of ourselves. We're fully capable. We've been working real hard in the offseason. We don't want to set our goals low, and be satisfied or complacent by just making small goals." (Roy Philpott)
Is one of the themes for you guys stepping up, and filling in for the loss of Trevor Booker?
Young: Definitely. We're definitely going to miss Trevor in the long run. He was a huge player for us last year, for the past four years, really. I played with him for two years. It was great playing with him. It's pretty much like that every year. Impact players leave, and other players are going to have to step up. That's what we're going to have to do. Other guys are going to have to step up, and fill in that role, whether it's guys getting more rebounds, guys getting more assists, or guys scoring more. We just have to keep working hard. I think that will take care of itself.

Do you guys still have the same high expectations for yourself?
Young: Definitely. We have high expectations of ourselves. We're fully capable. We've been working real hard in the offseason. We don't want to set our goals low, and be satisfied or complacent by just making small goals. We're still setting high standards, come out here, keep working hard, and strive towards them.

Has [Brownell] talked to you one-on-one about how he sees your role on this team?
Young: He has. He's looking at me to be more vocal. Considering I'm a point guard, I'm going to have to be one of the leaders, on and off the court. That's one of the things I'm trying to focus on, really trying to come in to. It's taking time, but I think I'm getting a lot better at that.

What do you think the process is going to be like over the next month or so, learning the offense?
Young: It's definitely going to be a learning process. I think it's important that we try and take it. We're not going to learn it right away. It's going to be frustrating, at times. I think it's real important we try and stick to it. I think, in the long run, it will help bring us closer together as a team.


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