Did you intend to play every second tonight?
Well, we needed a win tonight. Brunner is leading that team, and they're playing really well right now. We had a couple of guys get in foul trouble, so I had to stay out there almost the entire game.
I've got to get in shape. This is one way to do it.
What kind of shape are you in?
I'm in pretty good shape right now. Our whole team is. We just have a different demeanor about us this year. We're fighting get better.
What fostered that?
There's a lot of urgency on the seniors' part right now. I'm getting up there in seniority, too. A lot of guys have really put it on their shoulders to really turn this thing around.
We've had some bad luck here and there, but we've managed to keep winning seasons. Going to that tournament was huge. It opened everybody's eyes a little bit.
We played against every Final Four team, and I thought that we played with all of them. So, next year we're all back and we're all ready.
What parts of your game are you working on?
I've really been working on my ball handling skills, bring the ball up the court and trying to take it to the basket. My three-point shot has always been there.
I'm working in the little things, too; passing and just trying to play within myself.
Do you have any team goals or personal goals that you've set for youself so far?
Our team goal is to win the Big Ten Championship; win that outright. From there, I'd love to go to the Final Four. We might as well set our goals lofty because Brunner, Horner, Erek Hansen, Doug Thomas, this is their last year.
How do you fit into a leadership role on this team?
I've got a year under my belt now. When I came in last year, my biggest thing was to let those other guys that have played a couple of years do their thing. And I tried to do some of the dirty work. I didn't think it was my role to come in right away and be a huge factor. When P left, I felt that my role had to change a little bit. I just stepped in where the team needed me. If next year I come in and need to do a little something else on defense, I'll do whatever the team asks. I just want to win.
What has to happen this year to not let their be a collapse in Big Ten play?
Just coming out every night and being ready. So much has happened in just the last two years since I've been here. You've got guys leaving the team. You've got a lot of factors right before the Big Ten season hits. That's a crucial time when you need to be continuing what you're doing and in the routine. That hasn't been the case for us, but I hope this year everything stays right there because we have a special team.
What's going to bring the fans back to pack Carver?
I hope we just go out there and play as hard as we can. I have no control over that and neither do the coaches or players. Iowa, we have great fans. We know that. We just have to go out and play basketball. Hopefully the crowd is there.
What do you think of the non-conference schedule?
We've got a tough schedule. We need that, especially at the end of the season when you look at RPI and strength of schedule.
What do you expect in Ames next year?
It will be pretty hostile. They've got a great team.
Does it feel like a lifetime ago that you were there?
Yeah. And a lot of people still want to talk about it. But really, no one is there that I really played against. The fans might go a little more. But I don't know any of the players personally. So, it's not a big deal to me.
Have you lost weight?
I've stayed the same. I'm not trying to drop any right now. I've got to keep a little bit of weight to bang with Bru a little bit.
The NBA Draft was last night. Is that something you've started considering yet? If you have an incredible season is that something that you might consider?
I really try not to look at the individual stuff. My biggest thing right now is getting this team to winning a Big Ten Championship and going to that tournament. As a team, if you perform well, good things will happen. Look at all the teams that sent a lot of players. They all had a successful season. That's all we need to concentrate on. Everything else will take care of itself. Guys like Jeff and Bru, they will have big years. Hopefully we'll see them in the draft next year.