Q&A with Dwayne Collins

Dwayne Collins made a huge impact on the Hurricanes basketball team last season. The big man from Miami, FL scored a career-high 26 points against the mighty Duke Blue Devils helping the Canes beat the traditional ACC powerhouse. The 6'9" Collins is a force in the paint and expects to do big things this season. Read on to see what he has to say about the upcoming season.

What do you think of the team being picked to finish fourth in the conference?
"It's very good going from last to fourth. Last year, we were picked last in the ACC. Being fourth in the ACC is good but we've got to keep moving forward. We don't want to settle with where we're at."

What are your expectations going into this season?
"I feel like I should be more consistent. I have a lot of expectations. I just want to play my game and we'll see what happens when the season starts."

Last year's big men rotation had a lot of experience. How will you guys replace the production that Anthony King and Raymond Hicks brought to the team?
"We have to do a better job. We lost Anthony King and Raymond Hicks but we have Cyrus McGowan and Julian Gamble and they're going to help us out tremendously."

What was it like to go to the NCAA Tournament last year and how can you get back there again?
"We had a taste of the NCAA Tournament. Now we want to go back and do better than we did last year. It's addicting. You just can't wait to go back again."

How were off-season workouts with Jack McClinton?
"We've been working out a lot at nights. After workouts we'll work out again at night. We're just trying to improve."

What do you think about this year's out-of-conference schedule?
"We play Kentucky and we're in the same tournament with UConn. Those are really big teams. It's a great opportunity for us to show what we can do."

Why do you think this year's out-of-conference schedule is so challenging?
"I don't know if Coach Haith wanted to prove to people that last year wasn't because of an easy schedule but this year's schedule is way tougher. We just have to show people that we can play."

What do you need to improve on the most?
"Be consistent with everything I do. I can't days off like I can't practice great one day and not have a great day the next day. I just go hard everyday in practice. I don't care how tired I am, how sore my body is or what's hurting, I'm going hard."

Do you think you can step up and be this team's dominant inside scorer?
"I expect to. I feel like all of us have to play well for us to go to the next level. You can't put it all on Jack, James and the rest of the guards. It's got to be a team effort. I'm going to step up and Jimmy's going to step up. Cyrus is going to show everybody what he can do and so it Julian Gamble."

Do you think you can play at the same level that you played in last year's Duke game?
"I believe we could do really big things if I play like that every night. That's what my goal is. I'm going to go hard every night and give all I've got. I don't want to walk off the court thinking ‘I should have done this.' I'm going to do it."

Coach Haith has said that sometimes he needs to motivate you and make you more aggressive. Do you think he is able to get your aggressive side out of you?
"He gets it out of me but this year he won't have to get it out of me. I expect to have it at all times."

Coach has also mentioned that you're in excellent shape. Do you think you are setting yourself up for a big season?
"I feel like I should have a big season. I feel like I'm in the best shape I've ever been in at the start of the season."

How do you think Cyrus, Julian and Reggie will fit into the big man rotation?
"They fit in perfect with the rotation. All of us are rebounders. That's going to be a big part of our success this season. All of us can score too. It's a nice rotation and it's going to be nice to see."

What do you expect from the team this season?
"This year I expect us to do big things. We're going to do what we did last year but I believe we're way more athletic. We're going to push the ball more. We're going to just go."

How do you think your game complements with Jimmy Graham's?
"We work well together. I believe last year a lot of our big wins came when me and Jimmy played together. We have chemistry. We play the same but Jimmy is way more aggressive than me. Jimmy's a beast. He's an animal. We work well together."


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