Jennings still adjusting to new role

Terrence Jennings returned Sunday against Radford after serving a one-game suspension. After the game, Jennings, who scored 11 points in his return, spoke with InsideTheVille.com about his adjustment to his new role at power forward next to Samardo Samuels.

Terrence Jennings returned to the basketball court for the University of Louisville on Sunday after his one-game suspension for violation of team rules.

The 6-foot-10 sophomore center from Sacramento, Calif. scored 11 points in 17 minutes in the Cards' 79-53 win over Radford. He checked into the game early in the first half and played briefly with fellow sophomore center Samardo Samuels along the UofL front line.

Through his first 11 games Jennings is averaging 6.3 points and 3.8 rebounds while shooting 64.4 percent (29 of 45) from the field and 64.7 percent (11 for 17) from the free throw line.

InsideTheVille.com caught up with the player known as "TJ" in the locker room afterward as the Cards ready to open Big East Conference play Wednesday night against South Florida.

Q: Can you talk about why you missed the game against Louisiana-Lafayette?

A: "I just missed curfew and me and Coach P talked it out and everything is good now."

Q: How about playing the power forward next to Samardo?

A: "I'm just trying to work hard. Obviously I feel that me and Samardo out there are probably our most dominant squad right there. So I've just got to come out and play hard, got to crash the boards. I'm still learning the 4 (power forward) spot on defense, it's a little difficult, but I think I'll get it as the season progresses."

Q: What are some things you need to work on to get more comfortable?

A: "It's just all about rotating. As the season progresses I'll get better at it I've just got to focus in and just work on my rotations, watching the ball and also rebounding outside that position."


Q: You seemed slightly uncomfortable when you guys were out there together the first time, is it going to be an adjustment?

A: "Offensively we're good. For me, Mardo does a good job, but for me I just have to pick out the spots I'm supposed to be. And just rotating with the defense and then still trying to get inside position to get rebounds. And like I said as the season progresses I'll get better at that and we'll be good with that."

Q: What did you guys do today to try and slow down Radford center Art Parakhouski (who came in averaging 22.7 points and 14 rebounds per game)?

A: "We just tried to put a body on him, try to out-run him, use our athleticism against him. He's very big, very strong, very good player but we had a scheme, our trap-down scheme worked really well tonight and we stuck with that and I think was a major factor tonight."

Q: What do you think the team did well tonight?

A: "I think we played real good on transition defense and we worked pretty good at stop the three tonight. And we did a good job of defending the basket and stopping the big man down low from scoring a lot, and we did a good job rebounding. Everybody is playing good from the freshmen, all the way up to Edgar (Sosa) and Jerry (Smith). Everybody is contributing, so if we continue to do that we'll be a great team."

Q: How about the team's offensive rebounding (half of the Cards‘ 46 rebounds were on the offensive end)?

A: "We did good on the glass, Samardo, Swop, even the guards, Preston. We're starting to believe in each other right now, so we know we can come together as a team and we'll be very successful."

Q: How do you feel about the team heading into the Big East schedule?

A: "We've just got to get back in the gym, keep practicing, take it one game at a time. We're not overlooking anybody this year, we've just got to work on our schemes and figure out what we have to do to get better as a team."

Q: Are you excited about getting into the Big East?

A: "I'm very excited, the Big East is 1-10 everybody is good. We've just got to come out and play hard and just recognize what we want to do as a team and just come hard and be ready to play every night."

Q: Do you think there is a favorite in the league, Syracuse is off to a great start?

A: "Syracuse is really good, but I think anybody can take it. I know we're getting better every day, so we're definitely a contender. Seton Hall is really good. We have respect for every team in the Big East this year, we know it's going to be a war night-in, night-out, so we've just got to come ready to play every night."

Q: How do you guard against looking ahead of the South Florida game to the Kentucky game Saturday?

A: "We're not overlooking anybody. We want to win, we want to each game, but I'm definitely looking forward to the UK game. But right now we've got to take South Florida, then we'll worry about them when it comes time."

Q: Who's a better rebounded for his size, Samardo or Kyle Kuric?

A: "Kuric, he since last year he's always stayed on the glass. Everybody sleeps on him on the glass, but he's always coming down with the ball. I don't know how he gets in there, but he's very athletic, nobody thinks he can get up there but he does...He takes a lot of pressure off me."

Q: How do you feel about your offense right now?

A: "I think my offense is coming around a lot, but I take pride in my defense, I like to play defense. As my defense gets better my offense will that's why I want to keep rebounding."

Q: It seems like you and Peyton Siva have a good chemistry on the court do you think that's true?

A: "I love Siva, he's always giving me the rock, him and Sosa. But Siva he's always looking for me and that's always a good thing. They are two great guards, they see the floor very well and they're always looking down low for the big men, not always looking for their shots, and they're very unselfish."

Q: You and Siva seem to connect on at least one alley-oop a game, why is that?

A: "It's all stuff we're doing in practice. It's all about eye contact and him trusting me and me trusting him. Him trusting me that I'm going to go get it and me trusting him that he's going to throw it at the right time in the right spot."


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