Garrett Enjoying His Summer in Ames

Cyclone point guard Diante Garrett enjoyed his freshman year at Iowa State and he also learned a lot along the way.

"My freshman year was really a learning experience. It was really about game situations," said Garrett. "I learned from scouting reports, learned to deal with clutch situations, and realized I had to keep working to get better defensively."

Garrett feels that his experience really helped him as the season progressed. "I was always talking to my dad, brother, and the entire coaching staff. They really gave me a confidence boost," he said. "At the beginning of the year I was a lot more tentative but by the end I was being a lot smarter when going into the lane against 6-11 guys who could block my shots."

While Diante was outstanding driving to the basket late in the season in numerous games, he realized that he needs to improve his outside shot in order to become a more complete player. "I'm in the gym all the time and I have been shooting 700 shots a day," said Garrett. "Some teams didn't respect my jump shot last year. I want them to have to respect it this year."

As a sophomore, Diante is also being looked at more as a leader. "Coach Mac (McDermott) and the staff have been looking at Craig (Brackins) and I to be leaders," he said. "So we're making sure all the new guys are doing okay with everything. We're all in the weight room together and we like to eat and play pick-up together. It's really helping to build chemistry."

Garrett is really excited about his new teammates and one of them has really surprised him this summer. "Justin (Hamilton) is like a whole new player. When he first came on his visit he was like 225 (pounds)," he said. "Now he's up to like 255 and it has really changed him as a player."

With the newcomers and veterans building a solid chemistry this summer, Diante feels this time will be very beneficial for the upcoming season. "I think this summer will really help us out a lot for next year," said Garrett. "I think if everyone continues to work on their game, we should definitely make it to the NCAA Tournament this year."

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