Brian Oliver: "I'm A Shooter"

Freshman shooting guard Brian Oliver has proven to be lethal from three point range this season, helping #21 Georgia Tech to a 16-5 record. Brian spoke with GoJackets.com about his preparations for the upcoming game at #10 Duke.

Brian Oliver - Profile

What are your thoughts on playing your first game against Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium?

"It's going to be an amazing experience. I've played AAU tournaments there but with everyone there and the tradition they have and how loud they get it will be a great experience for me."

Are you glad your first ACC road game is out of the way before you go there?

"Definitely, I'm glad my first road game wasn't there. That would have been terrible.

How did beating them at home help you with this game?

"I think our confidence level definitely rose. Now we know we can go in there and play well and play our game. We can get the same result as we did here."

Coach (Paul Hewitt) said he likes your energy level. Is that what you'll need come game time?

"With them you can't start slow. If they get on a run, that could be it for you. You have to match their energy and stay high the whole time."

You had a stretch where the ball wouldn't fall but the last few games you've been hot. What has been the difference?

"I got some advice from a few people because I knew there was something going on with the mechanics in my shot. My uncle watched the Clemson game from Texas and he said Brian you're not following through on all your shots. Iman Shumpert told me the same thing and I said hmmm, maybe that is what's going on. During the warm-ups before the Florida State game I decided to see how that works and follow through all the time and it worked."

When you come out of the game after missing three or four how challenging is it to keep firing?

"Not at all (laughter), I'm a shooter. I'm just going to take the next shot. I'm always thinking the next shots going in regardless of how many I missed."

How much shooting practice does a shooter go through?

"It's a lot. You want to keep your confidence up. You always want to feel good about your shot. You might even be in bed for thirty minutes with a basketball and work on your form. It gives you that reassurance that your shot is still there."

Do the freshmen use the fact that they are freshmen as a crutch?

"I don't think we ever use it as a crutch. We're in college now. We have to grow up fast. There's no time to have freshmen mistakes. That's when you lose games. I don't think it should have ever been used as a crutch."

Are having the extra days to prepare for Duke this week an advantage?

"I think it is because when we played them the first time we only had one or two days to prepare for them. We played well. Having longer to prepare we get more of a feel for them. Coach has it set up to get us prepared mentally and physically."

Now that you've played about twenty games do you feel you know where your shots are in this offense?

"Yeah I do. In the beginning of the season I was still trying to feel out where they were going to come from. I think after the Florida State game some people felt I should be shooting all the time but in the Wake Forest game, I just took them as they came."

I guess the secondary break is a place where you can get some good shots?

"I'm definitely open when that happens. A lot of teams still focus on Gani Lawal and Derrick Favors because they know they're such a force down low. I don't know how they do it but sometimes they just end up leaving me open. Once I'm open, I figure I can shoot it."

The first time against Duke you played well defensively but didn't shoot well and came out with the win. Will that be a confidence factor in this game?

"It will be a factor. Our shooting will always go up and down. Shooting happens like that. We have to focus on getting the ball down low to Gani and Fav and see what they can do first."

Have you been working on your mid-range game?

"It's open for me. The pump fake and then one or two dribbles and then just pull up. That could be a deadly move for me because they always want to over-play me in the corner."


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