Basketball Media Day: Player Comments

Thursday was Men's Basketball Media Day! We got to speak with Head Coach Tommy Amaker, the assistant coaches, and all the players as well. Here are excerpts from one-one-one interviews with the 2003 basketball squad. (Link to additional player comments included).

John Andrews

On his height, weight, and position:

“I’m 6-5, 206 lbs. and I’m playing on the wing.”

On going from playing down low in high school to on the perimeter in college:

“It’s a big move going from the inside to the outside. I didn’t get the opportunity to handle the ball at Orchard Lake but it hasn’t been too much of an adjustment. I knew I’d move out to the wing so I had been working on my ball handling.”

On if his jumper is one of the things he’ll have to improve to play on the wing:

“That’s the one thing I don’t see myself having a problem with. I’m very confident in my outside shot.”

Sherrod Harrell

On whether his improvement has been a result of working on his shot or increased confidence:

“It’s a mixture of both. I have more confidence in myself. Plus, my teammates are showing more confidence in me and are telling me to shoot the ball. I put in a lot of work of the spring and summer shooting the ball.”

On if Coach Amaker spent a lot of time working with him on his point guard skills last year:

“Absolutely! My first time running the point was last year. I played the four in high school. Daniel and me would stay with Coach Amaker and work on ball handling, shooting, and knowing the plays backwards and forwards. “

On team chemistry:

“This team is very tight from the top down. We all just came to together. It showed in our trip to Toronto where we played very well as a team. And it has showed in practices and pickup.”

Amadou Ba

On if he has really focused on being physical in the post:

“Yes I have. That’s the whole thing being a big man in the big ten. You have to be physical.”

Dani Wohl

On why he wasn’t playing at the open gyms:

“I just came back a week and a half ago from an ACL surgery I had this summer. I’m not 100% yet, but I’m getting there.”

On his game:

“I would say I’m deceptive. Most people would just come on the court and see a little white guy, but they wouldn’t necessarily see all of the quickness I have. I think another thing I bring to the table is I pass the well and I see the court. I’m not really looking for my shot. I’m looking for my teammates looking to get into the offense.”

“I would have to say that I’m the fastest player with the ball in my hands over the length of the court. That’s my opinion. Obviously we have some players that will disagree.”

Chris Hunter

On a few of the newcomers to the post:

“Brent is very athletic and is going to bring a lot of energy and a lot of over the rim type of stuff. Courtney is a great skill player and brings a lot of the same things that I do with the outside shooting and shot blocking and just being a versatile big man. Amadou is a team player and he can score down low when he gets it.”

On his injury from last season:

“I’m suffering no ill effects from my rotator cuff. I worked on building my strength and getting my weight up. I’m up to about 220lbs.”

On if he hopes to show better range on the court this year:

“I definitely hope to bring better range to the court this year. I’ve seen where people were backing off me and staying in the lane and I never want to see that happen again. I was working on getting my shot better and even stepping behind the three point line in case I get that opportunity.”

On playing time in the post:

“I think it’s wide open. I’m just going out there and try to play hard. I’m not a jealous guy so if these guys come in and play good minutes, as long as we win basketball games I’m not really concerned.”

Courtney Sims

On his game and whom he would compare himself to:

“I’m just versatile. I can score inside or outside and I block shots. I guess you could compare me to Jermaine Oneal.”

On if he has the green light from beyond the arc:

“Coach Amaker told me if I’m open I can shoot it. I’m not going to shoot it every time I’m out there, but if they leave me wide open I’m going to take it.”

On his fellow freshmen:

“Dion is a great shooter. He plays a lot like Chauncey Billups…at least that’s who he says he is (chuckling). Brent is probably the best athlete I’ve ever seen!!”

Brent Petway

On what position he’ll be playing and if he has picked up any weight:

“I’m going to play the 4 most of this year and then they’ll move me to the wing a little bit later. My ball handling skills are coming up. I came up here in the summer at 190 and I’m up to 210. I eat all of the time and I’ve been lifting a lot as too.”

On if he’ll run any track:

“I’d like to. My coach says if I keep my grades up then he’ll let me run. I’d run 1oo meters and 110 meter hurdles and the high jump.”

On his game and who he would compare himself to:

“I’d compare myself to Richard Jefferson. My midrange jumper is pretty good and I can really get off of the ground, but my three point jumper needs some work.”

Graham Brown:

On sharing minutes in the post:

“Last year Chris and I played the majority of the minutes down low. Toward the end of the year we were sore and worn out because it was a long season. With all of these guys, we can make it through with flying colors. This year we’re going to have so many guys coming in that bring so many different things to the table that it’s going to be a great opportunity for the team.”

Dion Harris

On how he has taken his game to another level:

“I really got serious with lifting weights and being physical and playing hard with high intensity all of the time.”

On his position:

“So far I’ve been mainly on the wing. I don’t have any preference as long as I’m on the court playing.”

On Brent Petway:

“Brent is an athlete. He can do everything. He bring s a new dimension to this team.”

On why he came here even with the impending sanctions:

“Daniel Horton came here. He was one of the top players in the nation and he still came here. That was one of the things made me feel better about coming.”

Bernard Robinson:

On what he worked on this summer:

“I’ve worked on being more versatile. Coach Amaker said that he wants me to be more versatile. He wants me to get more people involved along with scoring more and playing better defense.”

Lester Abram:

On what he has worked on over the summer:

“I worked on ball handling quite a bit. I think it’s much better than it was last year. I’ve also worked on little offensive moves to help me get my shot off better. I’ll probably take more shots and score more than I did last year as well. Since Lavell is gone, someone has to pick up where he left off. I think one of those people has to be me.”

On why he Bernard always face each other in pick-up games:

“They always put us on different teams purposely because they think it would be unfair for us to be on the same team! (laughing) The way we play, we always try to win…so we just clash because no one wants to lose.”

Daniel Horton

On what he worked on over the summer:

“I tried to work on my body physically. I had surgery on my nose. I had a deviated septum. I got my nose broken five years ago and never got it fixed. It was causing problems with my respiratory system and my breathing. I was able to lift weights a lot harder this summer than I was before.”

On if he’ll be playing any off-guard:

“I’ll be playing strictly the one. That’s what I was recruited here to play. Coach Amaker told me the ball was going to be in my hands for four years and he meant it. I actually asked him that during the summer time and he said, ‘no, you’re my point guard.’”

On why he came here even though sanctions were levied, and why he didn’t leave when new sanctions came down:

“What made me come here was my belief in Coach Amaker and what he’s trying to do. What made me stay was my teammates. After what we went through together last year, it would have shown poor character on my part to abandon them when we faced adversity.”

For additional player comments, click here .


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