Q&A with Jimmy Graham

Jimmy Graham is hard to miss when he's on a basketball court and it's not just because of his red hair. At six-foot-eight and 256 lbs, the senior big man is a presence in the paint for the Canes both offensively and defensively. Graham uses his energy, athleticism, and explosion to help the Hurricanes succeed on the court. Read on to see what Graham has to say about this season.

Heading into your final season at Miami, what do you expect from yourself this year?
"People say I'm a crazy player and that I'm everywhere and I'm the energy guy. I expect to bring that intensity every night. You should see me in practice now. I've brought that intensity to a new level. This is our last run for a lot of us so we're just going to bring it every night."

Last year you were the energy guy off the bench but Coach Haith mentioned that you will open this season in the starting line up. How do you like that change?
"I've started every year at the beginning of the year. I started ten games my sophomore year and ten games my freshman year. I've just got to stay out of foul trouble early. That's the reason why I got benched later in the season because I got into foul trouble. Coach said he can't have me sitting for fifteen minutes in the first half. I can still be an intense player and stay out of foul trouble. I've just got to work on doing that."

Dwayne Collins described you as a beast in the paint. How do you think you two complement each other on the court?
"Dwayne's a great scorer. A lot of teams look to take him out of the game because he's so offensively talented. I believe a lot of people sink to him and he still looks for me. On the defensive end, in the off-season, Dwayne's worked a lot on blocking shots. With his length being 7'4" and him being 6'9", he's really been looking to block a lot more shots. I just think we both bring that beast mentality to every game. I'm excited for what we have the potential to do this year."

The team lost a leader in the paint in Anthony King. Many say Cyrus McGowan can step into King's role on the team. What do you think of Cyrus' abilities?
"Cyrus is a great talent. He's a 6'9" kid that can shoot the 3. He's able to stretch the D out a lot. He's a great defender and a great aggressive rebounder which is something that King has always been. King was always a great rebounder for us. I believe Cyrus can do just as good because of his aggressiveness and willingness to focus on rebounding."

How satisfying is it for you to see where this program is at right now? When you committed here four years ago, could you see this program getting to this point?
"I did. I've always wanted the best for this team. All of us have poured our hearts into trying to bring this program to where the ACC accepts us. I remember when we came here, a lot of people doubted us. It's good to have proven yourself."

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