Jake Kelly: I need to cut down on mistakes. Coach tells me I need to be a perfectionist and get better at everything.
Q: What are the key areas for you?
Kelly: Strength, using my shoulder driving the lane, drawing contact and getting to the line.
Q: Have you put on much weight during your time in Iowa?
Kelly: I was 190, and that dropped a bit since my mom…that whole thing. I should be 200 by the season, because I have put it on pretty easy.
Q: How are you holding up, considering your loss (mother)?
Kelly: I am doing well. We are playing a lot of ball, my teammates have been there for me and keeping my mind off of things. The fans help a ton. Everyone has my back, people send me cards and messages all of the time, Hawkeye fans, and I don't even know them and that means a lot to me
Q: Did you ever think about not playing this summer?
Kelly: No, I wanted to get back as soon as possible.
Q: Has basketball been like therapy for you?
Kelly: Yeah, it always has been. Anytime you can just focus on one thing and work on your body and skills to improve; that is good.
Q: How has Todd Lickliter been during this?
Kelly: He has been great, he is an extremely nice person. He has been there for me, and he is always there.
Q: Are you doing other things this summer?
Kelly: I am taking six hours of classes and lifting a lot of weights.
Q: You would like to be 200 pounds, what are you now?
Kelly: I bet I am down to 184.
Q: What do you eat, whatever you want?
Kelly: Oh yeah. Our trainer texts me to eat bacon and butter.. It doesn't matter.
Q: What do you expect from the team next year, 6 new guys, all of the unknowns…
Kelly: I think we are going to be good. I think we have the right pieces. They seem like smart players that know the game, its fun playing in open gym. They know how to play.
Q: Does that seem to be the common Lickliter theme?
Kelly: Yeah, people call them system guys, but they are smart players. I have played with athletic players and no so smart players, and smart players. I like playing with smart players.
Q: What are you?
Kelly: I think I am both. (laughs)
Q: After season, did you guys talk about the importance of the summer?
Kelly: Summer is huge. Getting in shape is huge. Playing together, getting to know each other, all of these new guys. We don't have much time.
Q: You have an aunt and uncle in town, right?
Kelly: They have lived here 40 years. That has been a huge help, and was a big part of my decision to come here. I can go there for food and laundry, it's been fun.
Q: When Tony (Freeman) made his decision to leave, did that hit you hard?
Kelly: You know, I kind of saw it coming a little bit. But when he personally told me before he made his decision public, I was shocked. It might have been for the best for both worlds. Me and him were very close, I had nothing against him even if some people think that. We were good friends.
Q: He took a lot of grief for playing out of control. Do you think that was fair?
Kelly: Umm…I think he felt like he had to do everything by himself, which he didn't. Maybe he would have changed next year, but I think it worked out best for both. He will be very good at Southern Illinois.