Q&A with Terrence Jennings

Louisville freshman center Terrence Jennings has been playing well since Big East play began last week. Jennings turned in his best performance of the season in Louisville's OT win over Notre Dame on Monday and spoke with InsideTheVille.com about the reasons for his recent success.

Early in the season freshman Terrence Jennings was the No. 3 center on the University of Louisville basketball team behind fellow freshmen Samardo Samuels and George Goode.

He didn't see action in the Cardinals' first two regular season games before playing three minutes in the loss to Western Kentucky on Nov. 30.

He saw occasional action in UofL's next six games, but didn't see action in the Cards' win over UAB and loss to UNLV in late December.

He played six minutes in the Jan. 4 win over Kentucky, a game that UofL coach Rick Pitino pointed to as a turning point for Jennings after Monday night's win over Notre Dame.

Jennings played some key minutes in wins at South Florida and Villanova before possibly celebrating his coming-out party in the victory over the Fighting Irish. The 6-foot-10 Jennings provided valuable minutes off the bench, playing a season-high 19 minutes in Louisville's 87-73 overtime win. He scored two points, but more importantly grabbed six rebounds and blocked three shots. He also provided some tough defense on reigning Big East Conference Player of the Year, Luke Harangody.

InsideTheVille.com caught up with Jennings after the Notre Dame game.

Q: What's been the key for you the last couple games?

A: "Doing what I came here to do, what I was recruited here to do, blocking shots, rebounding, running, sprinting the lane. That's basically what's increased my playing time, just focusing in and locking in and hearing what Coach P is telling me on a day-to-day basis."

Q: What's changed for you since you've been here?

A: "I've definitely improved, most of it is a confidence level and getting to know the system. Now that I can figure out how the system works, I can let my talents show."

Jennings played a huge role in UofL's
win over Notre Dame.

Q: What about your knack for blocking shots tonight?

A: "It's all about timing. I try to go out there, I'm athletic, I try to use that to the best of my ability, especially tonight. As far as Harangody, I knew I could get off the floor quicker than he could so I tried to use that to the best of my ability."

Q: Do you think you guys wore Notre Dame down?

A: "We practice hard, so I know our conditioning is up to par. Coach P told us they'd eventually run out of gas. We just had to keep bringing it. And that's what happened, we just kept coming out them until we overcame them."

Q: When did things start clicking for you?

A: "When I knew that I had to step up. I didn't like sitting on the bench. I knew whatever time I did get, whether it be two minutes, or three minutes, whatever, I had to be productive. So that's what I did, I just valued my time whenever I got on the floor, and coach P, he got that trust in me. So basically that's what it is, I just do my job, do what he likes me to do, rebound and block shots."

Q: Coach said the UK game was a turning point for you, why?

A: "The day after that game that's when I really started turning it up, practicing harder, and I think by me practicing harder that got be able to be more productive on the court, more successful."

Q: Earl Clark was in a similar situation when he was a freshman, he came in highly-recruited but didn't play a lot right away, has he talked to you about that?

A: "Yeah. He just told me that he didn't start playing really until January, so I just knew I had to pay my dues, my time would come. And it's here now, so I'm just trying to help my team get a Big East Championship."

Q: What about Pittsburgh coming up Saturday night?

A: "It's going to be tough, but we're going to get to the gym, we're going to work hard and we'll be alright, just get everybody on the same page.

"It doesn't matter who (we play), I'm going to just try to bring it every night. That's my main focus, just helping my team get a victory and be productive as much as possible."

Q: What about this tough stretch of games for you guys?

A: "That's what it's all about, it's college basketball, you've got to be ready to play any given night you've got to be ready to bring it. This is fun, this is the fun part right now, so we've got to keep working and focusing in."

Q: Was this game a sign of things to come for you?

A: "I"m getting better every day, so this ain't the last. I'm going to keep doing more and more, I'm going to keep working hard."

Cardinal Authority Top Stories