GPTV: 1-on-1 With Junior PG I.J. Ready

GPTV: Mississippi State junior point guard I.J. Ready talks one-on-one with Gene's Page.

What have you seen from this team so far this summer? There are several new freshmen and the veterans returning.
"There are a lot of upper class players returning. Then we have the Malik (Newman) Q (Quinndary Weatherspoon) and Aric (Holman), who, of course, are our freshmen. All three freshmen have been tremendous this summer. Just the month and a half that they have been here they have showed me a lot. They have showed me what kind of people they are and how much work they have put in. And their talent level, too.

"The seniors, Gavin (Ware), Travis (Daniels), Chicken (Craig Sword) and Fred (Thomas, and me being a junior, we are just leading them and showing them the way. We know the talent level that they have. And their talent level is through the roof, not only Malik but Q and Aric are exceptional talent too. Aric is a 6-foot-9, 6-foot-10 four man who can light it up and he is a great passer. You don't find that from too many 6-foot-10 people. Q, he is athletic and can shoot it. I didn't know Q could shoot it (like that). You can't leave him (alone) because he is a knockdown shooter. I'm excited to see how they are going to be."

Then, you have Malik Newman.
"Yeah, Malik is Malik, the number one guard in his class."

You say Malik is Malik. I have seen him from the media perspective. Fans have seen him from the fan perspective. You have seen him from the perspective of another basketball player and you are really excited about him. What excites you about him?
"It is just his potential and enthusiasm. We bring so much fun and enthusiasm to the game, competing with each other every day. It is fun every day. There is never a day that it is dull on the court because if I don't bring my A game it could be bad for me and if he doesn't bring his A game it could be bad for him. It is just us being together and going at each other every day, it is ridiculous."

Before we started this interview you mentioned the bond this team already has. Describe that bond.
"We are always together. I think this team probably spends 16 hours together every day, even after we get done playing. We Facetime, even at 10 or 11 o'clock at night. Even on weekends we are always together unless some people go home. And we are always in the gym together. It feels like there is love everywhere. It is a real brotherhood. Everybody is the same toward each other. It is a different team than it has been."

It sounds like you are having one of the most fun summers that you have had here based on what you believe lies ahead this fall and spring.
"The summer is a bit of a difference. It is not the same thing that was going on. The coach is different. And the talent level and the feel that everybody has, thhere is no better feeling than to be with your teammates every day and compete. If we can compete with each other like we do right now, then we can compete with anybody across the nation and pretty much give them a run for their money. We expect to get to the national championship (game) and play for a national championship."

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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