Q: Do you feel like your role this season on the court will be the same?
A: "We're a very talented team and I don't know necessarily that me taking more shots makes me a better player. Efficiency is key, and if I can take less shots and make more of them, then that's what I want to do. Realistically, taking more shots is probably not going to be the best thing for me. That's not really my game, shooting in volume, I don't think."
Q: What in particular have you been working on with your game during the offseason?
A: "I'm not trying to redefine my game. I know what I do well and what I don't do well. I'm just trying to improve on the things that I do well and make sure the things that I don't do well are no longer part of my game."
Q: How is this whole experience different for you now as a senior?
A: "It's very similar. I always thought that I was one of the leaders on this team. This is what you get to see, and it's very different than what actually happens. Maybe this year I have to be a little more vocal and little more patient than previous years because before it would be like, 'I'm getting on you because you're doing it wrong.' Now it's like, 'Getting on you because I'm trying to teach you how things work.' The freshmen are very responsive and they're also ... I don't know, it's gonna be tough. But it's something I'm looking forward to."
Q: What's that patience part been like for you? Did you used to make a point to get after people and feeling like you had to be bad cop for everybody?
A: "Believe it or not, I'm a very patient person. I know you guys probably don't think that. I'm probably going to tell a guy how to do something rather than yell at them. We had guys last year that were also patient. Victor, not so much, but Cody was very patient."
Q: How much of what we've seen from you in the past has been real? We wouldn't have expected you to be patient. You weren't afraid to get in guys' faces.
A: "Well that's not necessarily being patient. When it comes down to it about me, I just wanna win games. If I feel like I have to do something to win a game, that's what I'll do. There's nothing I won't do to win a game. That's how it is always. I put this on myself, but a lot of the times I think I'm a little misunderstood. People think I'm probably a worse person than I actually am, but it's just because I want to win a basketball game. You guys probably think what I do on the court is what I'm similar to do off the court, which is not necessarily the case."
Q: Did you feel like you had to be more of a hard a** last year? Did you feel like that was a vacuum that needed to be filled a little bit?
A: "Yeah. There's certain things that need to be done. Not everyone can be a nice guy because they just get pushed around. It's just another thing you have to do to win a game. I don't think necessarily that really is my personality off the court, but whatever I need to do. Coach and I would have talks, he'd tell me what I need to do and I'd do it."
Q: Was there ever a point where coach told you to tone it down a little bit, or did you decide that on your own?
A: "There was one instance in the Purdue game that people blew up out of proportion. They said that I flexed or whatever. But if you guys don't remember, Victor flexed literally every dunk last year. But for some reason nobody seems to think anything of it. I get excited during games. Everybody gets excited during games. I don't do anything out of disrespect toward anybody. I don't honestly remember anything besides after the Iowa game, the crowd was chanting certain things. That's just what they're gonna do. I didn't do anything the whole entire game. I just played my game, played hard. If crowds hate guys that play hard, so be it."
Q: If you were to say, 'This is the difference between what I'm viewed as and what I actually am,' what would you say? What is the different between what you think the perception is of you and what reality is?
A: "Well, it's completely different than what you think. It's hard to play basketball here at IU and having everybody looking at you. Everything you do is being scrutinized, and it's tough. It seems like it just compounded for me ever since mid-sophomore year, just kept compounding and compounding and compounding. I just got like this persona. Everyone would just laugh because they know that's not me. Teammates would just make jokes because they know that's not the way I am. It's funny."
Q: When you say it's different from what we think, what do you think we think?
A: "The media in general thinks that I'm some kind of hard a**, I want to fight everyone, I cuss all the time, I'm crazy and all this stuff. It's not true at all, actually. I'm probably the most laid back guy on this team. Guaranteed. Guaranteed.
"If the team is sluggish, what are you going to do to get it pumped up? You gotta get it going a little bit. And if that's what I gotta do to get everyone going, that's what I gotta do. At the end of the game, everyone wants to say, 'Oh, Sheehey's this, Sheehey's that, he's crazy.'"
Do you ever get caught up in that role on the court?
A: "Whatever coach tells me to do, I do it. If he tells me not to do a certain thing, I don't do it. What comes with it, comes with it. I think I'm a little bit misunderstood, but that's just the way it is. I'm OK with it."
Q: Did you ever run into that before, high school or anything else?
A: "Absolutely not. If you guys watch game tape of me in high school, you'd be like, 'Is this the same person?' I wasn't needed to be that guy. I was the best player on my high school team. I was pretty much the same way on the court as I was off the court, laid back, relaxed because I knew that I could do whatever I wanted. It was high school.
"Here I have to find my niche to play, and my niche to play here was to bring energy and to play defense. It's not easy being the guy that has to play defense all the time. And to do that, I had to fire myself up. And that's the way I did it."