Justin Anderson: It's a little different in AAU. I come from a school that's very structured and organized so it's hard to make that transition sometimes, but this year I felt a lot more comfortable going right into the circuit.
In our first two games, I had to step up my game a little bit more. I needed to put some more points on the board for my team because we've got a lot of young guys who are coming up together from 16's who haven't played in the spotlight. It feels good to know that because we have a team with a talented guys like Dorian and others, that you can have a bad game and guys will pick up the slack. I didn't play all that well on the offensive end today, but we got the win, and that's all that matters to me.
Are the difference mainly because of the difference in the roster from last year to this year?
Yeah, this year we're more of a dribble drive kind of team, whereas last year we had some really big-time shooters like Andre Dawkins and others. We know we have to get into the paint and to the free throw line.
How are the workouts going with Coach Stein now that high school season is over?
I'm in the gym every single week with Coach Stein. I try to keep that commitment, and it's a daily routine. Getting the gym, and working out each day I've just learned that it never hurts to get in the gym and work on my game. I just keep getting better each time.
Are the workouts more offensive or defensive in nature?
We do a mixture of both in every workout, whether it's jabbing with the 5 pound medicine ball, or putting ropes on your feet to help with sliding my feet right, it's just all different kind of stuff that he has us doing, and it' s helping me get better each time I workout.
Josh knows how I feel about the college stuff right now. I haven't been too involved in it as of yet because I still have two more years of it before I even get to college. He'll throw in "a come to Duke" here and there, but he's not getting too heavy into it because he knows that I'm not getting too heavy into it.
How is your family helping you with your evaluation of colleges ?
Well, I mean, they know that the decision is going to be on me, but they are definitely there if I have any questions or need help. Like my brother, he's watching a lot of college basketball and being a former player, he's watching coaches to see how they interact with their players, just to see how systems work so he can talk with me about how I might fit in. They just help me out with a lot of the little things.
Since you're in the initial evaluation stages, what are your early thoughts on Duke?
You won't believe me when I tell you this, but Duke has always been my favorite video game team. Everytime I play an NCAA video game, I always play with a Duke team because they always had that shooter and that wing guy. I would always play with J.J. Redick and I'd play with Nolan Smith in the recent games. Nolan's got a nice smooth shot on it and I just love beating everybody with Duke on it. As I grew up, I always had a Duke player that I've liked. I loved Dahntay Jones growing up. tThat's my man right there, I would throw backdoor lobs to him. Duke's just always been that exciting team to me.
Dahntay's an interesting comparison for you, because he plays a defensive stopper role in the pros, but in college he was more of an all around guy.
You know, I try to do it on both ends of the floor, not many people want to play defense, but I take a lot of pride in that.
You mentioned your perceptions earlier with Duke. What about their style of play?
Duke's got a great coaching staff, and I feel like a lot of people feel like they are too organized, but too organized just won them a national championship? If that's what it takes to win a national championship, that's what I want to be a part of then.
I want to win a championship when I go to college, that's going to be one thing I'm going to looking at for sure when it comes to my schools. I want to go to a school that gets up and down the court a little bit, and Duke did do that a little bit in the championship game. Duke and Maryland, Texas and Oklahoma, those are some of my main schools.
You've got Team USA coming up soon, what's the mindset heading into that?
I'm really excited about that. It's another thing that I'm going to have to work really hard for, and that's just something that I'm tremendously honored by to be able to compete to be a part of. To me, even though I'm in the gym working out for it, it's not about me and the skill work I do on my own, it's all for the betterment of the team. Whatever I can do to contribute to the Team USA team, I'm willing to do that.
Not a lot of people are willing to play defense, so that's a big point on what I'm working on while I'm in the gym, just being that great defensive player, that's the easiest way to lock up your spot.