Right Angle

Indiana prep star J.R. Angle turned down scholarship offers from UCLA, Kansas and Tennessee in choosing to play basketball at Iowa. One of the newest Hawkeyes spoke with HN.com about that decision, his freshman initiation and dealing with jealousy in high school: "It made me grow up a lot faster than most of the kids my age," the 6-7 swingman said. "I'm sure that whatever I face in college won't be as bad as that."

Do you feel like you're playing catch-up being the last newcomer to get to Iowa City?

A little bit just in the weight training. I popped in there the other day. These other guys, they've been going at it for a couple of weeks. My body is really telling me that I'm in for a change. It will take about a week to get used to it.

Have you gotten a chance to play some pick-up games with your Iowa teammates?

Yeah. The first couple of times that I played with them it was a little adjustment for me because of all of the banging around. I'm not fully used to it yet, but I'm getting there. By the end of the month, I'll be on the same page as they are.

Is it mostly speed and strength where you've got to catch up?

The speed and the strength is definitely it. It's a real big difference from playing high school ball.

How did the Indiana-Kentucky all-star games go for you?

Good. We won one and lost one. It was a great experience. We played at Conseco Fieldhouse. We had 10,000 people there. It was great to play there.

Had you played there before?

No, that was my first time. It won't be my last time playing there because of the Big Ten Tournaments.

What other schools offered you scholarships and why did you choose to become a Hawkeye?

I had (offers from) UCLA, Kansas, Tennessee, and Iowa. The coaches just made it an easy decision to come here. The coaching staff is great. I love the town of Iowa City. It really made it feel like a home. It reminds me of the little town where I lived. The people here are great. I really like the players. My sophomore year, I got to play with Brunner and Horner in an AAU Tournament up here. Playing with those guys really made me think that this was the place for me.

How much did Coach Alford's status in Indiana factor into your decision?

That was huge. He's the king in Indiana. You say Coach Alford's name and everybody is like, "Oh, he's a great guy." You can't get any better than Coach Alford.

What do you see your role being this season?

Probably just doing a little bit of the dirty work and getting others involved. I'm not going to be going out there and casting up 20 shots like I did in high school. I'm fine with that. Whatever coach wants me to do I'll do.

You were needed to be a scorer in high school. Do you feel confident in the other aspects of your game?

Yeah. That's the thing you need to work on every day. You can't just work on shooting. You have to work on all the other little things, too. My defense can get better; my post defense. There's just some things like that that can be worked on in the offseason.

How tall are you?


What do you weigh?


What's a reasonable weight for you to play at this season?

This season I want to be 210. That's the minimum.

Where would you like to get to as a senior?

230, 235

Are you still growing?

I think that I still am growing. I probably still have another inch or inch and a half in me.

What is your side of the story where one of your prep teammates passed you the ball on the bench? And how did you handle that?

It was just one of those freak things where a few negative people got to this individual. I don't know if he really meant to do it or not. But it's something that's going to make me stronger down the road. It made me grow up a lot faster than most of the kids my age. I'm sure that whatever I face in college won't be as bad as that.

What did you learn from that situation?

How to be the bigger person. There were a lot of times where I wanted to retaliate and say something back. I took the high road. Every person that I talked to in the community and outside of it were on the same page as me.

How hard was it for your dad who was your head coach?

It was tougher on him than me because it was his last year of coaching and my senior year. But he came out of it well. He let it go out of his mind, and I have to. That day is gone. We're just looking toward the future.

How often is he going to get up here to see you play?

He's going to teach this last year. But he said that he's going to try to make all of them. He's a man of his word. He'll probably be in the stands.

What part of your game are you working on?

Defense and probably a little bit more ball handling and just making sure that I keep my jump shot where it is.

Do you see yourself being able to play the 2, 3 and possible the 4?

I've been playing the 2 and 3 a lot during the summer time. I'm comfortable playing all of those positions. Whatever the coach needs me to do I'll do.

How have the veterans been treating you?

I'm one of the few on the team that has a car. I'm the taxi service it seems like. They call me and say, "I've got to get a ride here or I've got to get a ride there." I guess those are the little things you've got to do as a freshman.

Do you think at all about going back to Indiana as an Iowa player?

I have a lot of friends going to IU and Purdue. They promised me that they were going to have a sea of yellow when I come back. It will be fun. I'm sure I'll get a couple of hecklers, but that's common.

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