A Q&A With Brian Bryant

Gene's Page talks one-on-one with Mississippi State basketball newcomer Brian Bryant.

Brian Bryant (6-3, 161) is a junior college transfer who will be playing his first season with Mississippi State this coming season. He talked one-on-one with Gene's Page about how the first few months have been like.

How you had to work out like you are having to work out at Mississippi State under Richard Akins?
"I've never done this kind of working out. His warm up is like our entire day of conditioning. Down at Florida juco we used to lift some weights. We did like one set of 10 bench inclines, squats, dumbbell curls and military. Here we do three sets of everything."

When did you first get to Mississippi State?
"I got here the second (summer) semester."

Did you start working out then?
"Yes, we were working out as a team."

How difficult was it those first few weeks?
"I was real sore. When we did come in the gym, the ball felt heavier than normal. I had to get used to lifting weights and then going to play basketball. I had to put up more shots so I could get used to lifting weights and shooting the ball."

Have you pretty much adjusted to the running and lifting now?
"Yeah, I've adjusted to it. I can tell I have gotten used to it because during the early part when we first started it I was like work out, then we played and I went home did my work and went to sleep. I don't do that now."

When time do you have to be at MSU for your early morning workouts?
"By 5:45 am."

How difficult was that to adjust to?
"It's not difficult at all. I was used to getting up early from the time I was a little kid and had to go to my grandma's house to catch the bus."

How much do you weigh now and how much do you want to eventually get up to?
"I weigh 161. I was 155, 156 when I first came in. I'm still trying to put on more weight. I want to get up to 175."

What position will you play on this team, the one or the two?
"I really don't know."

Are you comfortable with both?
"Yeah, I am."

When I saw you play in junior college you played the one.
"In high school I was a two (guard) but when I got to junior college my first year my coach moved me to the one. And I got used to playing the one."

I know you can score, but I hear from other players that you are also a good rebounder. Are you an unusually good rebounder for your size?
"For my size, yeah. I don't know what it is, but I just know where the ball is going to bounce."

You can play point guard, which is kind of the leadership position on a team. Are you comfortable being in a leadership role?
"Yeah, I'm comfortable. I've been like one of the top guys on my team. And the coaches put a lot on me even though I was a new guy coming in. They always wanted me to be a leader because they felt I had the potential to be a leader."

What has been the biggest adjustment for you since you have gotten to Mississippi State?
"Lifting the weights. Now that you are at a new level, you have to get stronger. You have to take care of your body now. I wasn't used to that."

What are your strengths as a basketball player?
"One of my strengths is helping other people get their shots. I don't consider myself a scorer. I feel like I am a pass-first, shoot-second player. And my rebounding is another strength of mine."

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.

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