Class of 2012 Devonta Pollard

Kemper County High School (Dekalb, MS) senior basketball player Devonta Pollard, who is rated a 5-star recruit and the 21st best player according to, talked one-on-one with Saturday, December 17th, 2011.

You had a great game today against Madison Central High School (34 points, 11 rebounds and 7 block shots) in the Joe Horne Christmas Classic. What are your thoughts about how you played today?
Devonta Pollard - "I was on punishment. (But before the game) they came over to me and told me that my mother said if we win this game then all my punishment that she put on me would be taken off. That was motivation for me (laugh). But also, once I looked at Madison Central before the game I knew that we had to win this game."

You did everything today, not just scoring but blocking and rebounding. Is what I saw today how good your overall game can be?
"Yes sir. During the game before the fourth quarter, (Kemper County HS) assistant coach, Coach Carter, who went with me to the last tournament of last year which was in North Carolina, told me that I needed to go back to playing like I did there."

Something else I noticed about your game is how well you were able to dribble the ball down the court and score. Is that something that you have been working on?
"Yes sir, that was something that I worked on after the AAU season begin. I was comfortable handling the ball before but I wasn't as comfortable as I am now."

Is part of playing so well due to knowing college coaches are really focusing on your now because it is your senior eason?
"No sir, I don't even pay that any attention. I still notice them, but as far as trying to play hard for them, if you try to play hard for them, then, for me, I try to do too much. I just try to be comfortable and be myself."

Madison Central High School had a really tall guy going against you a lot during the game. How much did playing a guy like that factor into how well you played?
"It wasn't that big of a factor because during AAU that is all that I saw. And I always played up in AAU. When I was 14, I played with the 15 and 16. And when I was 15, I played up with the 17-year-old. that gives me an advantage."

Switching over to recruiting, where have you unofficially visited so far this year?
"I'm not really trying to go anywhere on an unofficial visit. If (colleges) are not constantly contacting me, then in my eyes, they want me but they aren't going to wait on me. And I feel like if you want me you will wait on me to make my decision.

What college games have you attended this season?
"I have been to a Mississippi State game (against West Virginia) and I also went to the Alabama-Georgetown game."

What are you trying to do when you go to a college game?
"I am looking at the way they play and how they play, how they play in transition, how they get up and down the court."

What teams are you most interested in at this point in your recruitment?
"Alabama, Georgetown, Mississippi State, Texas, Mizzou, and Ole Miss is still there."

Why do you like those six schools?
"Basically, because the way they play is a good fit for me. It's a good fit for me because of the way they get up and down the court, how hard they play on defense, how they move around without the ball. And how their offense is set up. Things like that."

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the website, the source for Mississippi State sports on sports network. You can contact him by emailing

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