First the Tioga product had surgery in early April to repair cartilage damage in his knee. Since he's graduated high school and made the move to Baton Rouge, beginning life in the classroom as a college student and continuing his hard work in physical therapy.
Below, in my Q&A with Epps, he details his transition, where he sees himself fitting in on the court and when he's expected to return.
Ben Love: What’s the process been like of getting to campus and getting used to everything?
Aaron Epps: It’s been great. The team has really, really helped me through everything so far. It’s been a huge jump for me, but I’m getting there.
BL: Who are you rooming with?
AE: Elbert Robinson
BL: Jalyn [Patterson] told me there were supposed to be three of y’all but that Elbert takes up two beds. Is that true?
AE: Elbert does take up two beds, yeah. (Laughing) They’re pushed up next to one another.
BL: Talk to me about getting back from that knee surgery you had.
AE: Therapy’s coming great. I should be cleared soon, but I’m gonna keep working hard and pushing myself no matter what.
BL: Has the coaching staff encouraged you to really push the limits or do they want you to come back more slowly?
AE: Slowly, but actually the doctor just told me recently that I’m ahead of schedule. That’s really good news. I’d say at this point I’ll be ready a couple of weeks from now.
BL: I know you’re not able to practice or play yet, but when you watch these guys run in open court are you starting to see where you fit in?
AE: I do. I’d say as a forward I can play both inside and outside, helping our team rebound and block a lot of shots.
BL: Do you think you bring different things to the table than some of LSU’s other fours, whether it’s Jarell [Martin] or Jordan [Mickey]?
AE: Kinda. Because of my outside shooting, I’d say that helps make me a little different.
BL: Has it been any different than you thought it would be, getting down here and everything?
AE: Actually no, not at all. I was coming in hoping for open arms and that’s exactly what I’ve gotten.
BL: What’s the best bit of advice you got, and from whom, before you came down?
AE: From my mom, and that’s to always keep God first and in everything I do make sure he’s first.