Rodney Hood: Offensively we are going to make a lot of plays, and the plan is for others to be making them as well off the attention we draw. Offensively Jabari is probably going to be playing the four position, but well, we actually won't have positions like normal. He'll probably be matched up on by the other team's four man so he's going to create a lot of mismatches and then we're going to create a lot of switches and he's going to create a lot of plays and so will I off those switches.
You just finished up your first practice as an eligible player. What are your reactions to that?
Honestly, I'm a little tired right now because we are practicing a little differently this year than we did last year because we are going to be playing differently this year. It was competitive, intense and I'm really looking forward to tomorrow's practice.
You've been named a team captain this year--from a leadership perspective, what kind of stamp are you trying to put on this team?
I lead by example and by saying what needs to be said because guys like our seniors with Tyler and Josh and Andre, those are the real vocal guys, I set the tone on the court with my game.
A lot has been made of you and Jabari playing off each other, what kind of things will you be doing that will be a focus?
We're going to be doing a lot of movement so that teams can't just sit in against us. We are going to be screeners for each other too kinda like what Doug McDermott does, just constant movement so that we do get isolated on the wing, it's one on one and the defense is uncomfortable and we can still drive.
Film work is a big part of any team's and player's development-what kind of stuff were you guys looking at in the off-season?
Me personally, I watched a lot of the '99 team because they were kinda similar to us but we aren't as good as they were for sure. But we feel we are similar because they had a lot of guys who could play multiple positions. We also watched a lot of the US National Team and how those guys could play multiple positions. Like LeBron could play the point, Carmelo could play the wing, and Kevin Durant could play the four, and they just moved guys around and they were able to just be basketball players.
Did Coach K share with you guys what he learned from coaching the US National Team and what he might try to apply with this team?
Yeah, the main thing was maturity. We watched those guys who are superstars and they weren't weak, they had strong faces and played hard, so with us, we only have two guys, Rasheed and Quinn who played heavy minutes, so we have to mature quick which hopefully will come soon. It was a lot of fun to watch the USA a team.
Defensively you guys will play some teams with some big, physical front lines...how do you deal with that style of play?
I think we will be fine, we are going to use a lot of different defenses. I think some of the times we'll have to trap in case we play guys that are consistent scorers. We are also going to make him run too, get into his legs, make him guard and run with us too. Jabari loves to come from the weak side and block shots and I do as well, just move as one on defense and try to stop them from having the ball easy.
Coach K talked about guys taking personal responsibility for their games, can you shed some light on what that meant for you this offseason?
Mainly it meant working hard on my ball-handling, and my defensive intensity. I also try to help guys along, try to help them study because the better they are, the easier it will be on me.