Shumpert Taking Care of the Ball

We stopped Iman Shumpert in the middle of trying to make twenty-five free throws in a row before practice Monday, to talk about the Mercer game, his injury, areas of improvement, and the upcoming game with Siena on Wednesday.

Iman Shumpert - Profile

How does your leg feel?

"It's getting better. It's day by day."

You had a good floor game against Mercer. How did you feel about your performance?

"It was a good performance. I don't need to do much scoring. Everybody was running their lanes and I was able to find people. I felt like we were pretty calm on offense."

Do you feel your shot may be affected by your leg?

"No, not at all; I think it may take some of my jumping ability away. It may take away some of my explosion but that will all come back."

How did you hurt it?

"I hurt it in preseason and then I hurt it sliding on (Zach) Peacock's sweat in Puerto Rico. He plays hard and sweats a lot. When he fell, I tried to pick him up and slipped."

What do you see with Siena coming in this Wednesday?

"They're a team that's coming in hungry for a win. We're going to treat it like every other game and come out and play hard. We'll do the things we're supposed to and everything will take care of itself."

Coach has talked about wanting improved passing. How is the team progressing with that?

"I think it's going good. Gani (Lawal) and Derrick (Lawal) have been doing a great job of kicking it out from the post. They're trying to work on that. As far as us penetrating and kicking out, that's just us trying to get more comfortable with each other. We're sliding around the perimeter to make ourselves available for better passes instead of us having to throw crazy passes. We're just trying to make everybody's job easy."

Is it difficult to get the bounce pass into the post?

"Everybody is going to show Gani and Derrick special attention. We just have to take better care of the ball. We knew this was coming. We knew it last season when we tried to get it into Gani. It's coming and we're preparing for it."

Are you able to turn your offense on and off?

"If other guys are hitting their shots and I have Gani and Favors doing their thing down there, it might not be my job that game to score. It might be my job to keep everybody settled down and make sure everybody doesn't get out of control. I'm just willing to do whatever is needed to get the win."

What stats are important to you?

"I'm starting to look at the turnovers. Last year I was more of a chance taker. This year I'm trying to be a lot more efficient with my assist-to-turnover ratio."

I know in the preseason you mentioned taking Mfon Udofia under your wing. How is he dealing with the ups and downs of the college game?

"One thing you don't have to do with Mfon is to tell him to play hard. He's going to play hard all the time. With his passes and the chances he takes I'm just trying to keep him under my wing and not do the dumb stuff I did last year. I'm trying to keep him away from the little shovel passes and trying to thread the needle all the time. I'm trying to teach him the time to score so he knows when he can try stuff and when he can't try stuff. Overall he's doing a great job of handling it. He's not afraid to make mistakes because he'll go hard on the defensive end. That's always going to keep him confident when he's with the ball"

Is he one of those streaky type players?

"He'll be streaky on offense. He's got to become a better shooter. He'll never be streaky as far a bringing energy and getting loose balls. He'll never be streaky with that because he'll always be playing hard."

Are you satisfied where you are as a team thus far?

"You're never satisfied but I don't really know how far we can go. It's actually quite scary to see that we're still having a lot of problems but we're good. It's definitely something to smile about and something to feel good about. The talent is definitely there."

Still trying to get everybody on the same page?

"Yeah, getting everybody on the same page and learning their roles on the team. Once we get a concrete identity, I think we'll be ready."

The freshmen are fitting in well with the players that returned from last year?

"Yeah, we're all tight off the court. We have a good locker room." Top Stories