This week Kansas recruit Micah Downs has been in New York City preparing for the Michael Jordan Classic. It's been an exciting week for the 6-foot-8, 192-pound forward from Juanita High School in Bothell, Washington. He has been competing among the best players in the 2005 class and also had the opportunity to meet Michael Jordan (at a dinner this past Thursday night).
Downs took some time out of his busy week for an interview. Here is the question and answer session:
Mike Sullivan: How has it been getting comfortable with your new teammates?
Micah Downs: It's been a lot of fun. There are a lot of great players here but these are all good players. There's been no jealosy. It's been an amazing week.
MS: There's been some talk about your experience at the McDonald's game. How was that?
MD: Well, I think the media really overdid the situation. I didn't get as much playing time as some of the other players in the game. I thought it was going to be equal weighted for all the players. But I wasn't complaining. I just thought I would play a little more. It was overblown by the media. I wasn't complaining.
MS: Besides the game, how was the week?
MD: It was a great week. The dinner was great. It was a great experience.
MS: With the age limit rule perhaps being installed in the next NBA contract with the NBA Players Association, have there been any thoughts about jumping to the League?
MD: No. When and if there's an opportunity and God willing, I would think about it. But right now I am only thinking about Kansas.
MS: Do you speak much to head coach Bill Self?
MD: Yes I do. I spoke to him this week. He asks me how things are going. He told me he was happy the way I played in the McDonalds game. He tells me to enjoy myself and have a good time and to kick some butt this week.
MS: What has coach Self said to you to prepare yourself to play at Kansas?
MD: He wants me to get stronger and lift weights.
MS: Where does he see you fitting in during your freshman year?
MD: He wants me to come in right away and try to compete for playing time. He wants me to earn the time and I plan on working for it.
MS: You had a lot of schools interested in your skills. Why did you chose Kansas?
MD: There were several reasons. They had four players graduating from the program. The arena is a special place to play. The fans are great supporters of the team. It's a great school. I really liked Coach Self and Coach Dooley. Both of them recruited me really hard and made me feel comfortable.
MS: If there is one area you feel you improved in over the past year, what would you say it was?
MD: It was probably my defense. I've improved that area this year. I have also improved my ball handling and my ability to bring the ball up against pressure when I am handling the ball.