When you arrived there, how much did you weigh?
Probably 185, maybe 180.
And when you left there, how much did you weigh?
Was it a big difference?
Yeah, I got a lot stronger at Charlotte, and I came here and got a lot stronger here, too.
How much has that helped you?
It's helped me a lot confidence wise and just being able to use my strength to get to the basket, to effect the game. Offensively and defensively I think it helps a lot.
How did the sitting out year help with your stat?
I think it helped a lot. I worked out day and night on it and tried to get my release a little higher. I think that all the hours in the gym shooting paid off. It's showing this year with the way I'm shooting the ball. I think that if I'm shot ready and don't think about it and shoot the way I've been shooting my whole life, then I'm good to go.
Terry was taking credit for your shooting success.
Let me tell you, in the gym all the time we work on shooting. He's a great shooter and I pick up things from everybody. I've picked up things from Maverick and picked up things from Terry, just always learning, trying to get better. Something that makes their shot more consistent, I put it into my game and try to help me.
How would you describe your shot before? Just flat? Too flat?
Yeah, it was just a little flat. I always thought I had a good release but my release point was just a little too low and a little to flat. Now I'm getting it up. I'm shooting one-hand shots and that's helped me a lot. My dad used to make me shoot one-handed shots when I was younger and I got a ...
I got away from that. I went through a little slump. Early in practice, I went through a little shooting slump. I would talk to dad on the phone. He told me to get back to my one handed shots. Ever since then, it's been like I'm a kid again shooting in the backyard.
About how many shots per day do you think you took last year when you didn't have games to play?
It just depends. I just shoot until I felt good. Sometimes that was two hundred shots. Sometimes that was five hundred. Sometimes it was more. I'd shoot until I felt like I'd made enough shots to be satisfied.
Some people would take "fixing their shot" personally. Like what? You need to fix my shot? How did you take it when they said to you let's try to tweak this or let's try to ...
Everything that everyone told me about my shot, all the coaches, they all had great insight into my shot. All those things are the same things that my coaches in high school and my dad, are the same things that they've been telling me my whole life.
That's what I'm getting at. You didn't take it as an insult.
No. It wasn't anything personal. I knew all that stuff before. It was just a matter of taking that year and really breaking it down to it's simplest form and being able to redo it. Not even redo it, just... things that I do well.
Are we jinxing the mess out of you talking about your shot right now and how improved ...
No. I don't think so because I'm relaxed right now.
You're feeling good?
Yeah. I've been placing my shots, so I don't think you can jinx it.
Can you beat Terry in one of these shooting contests yet?
We don't shoot out.
We don't have contests.
Maybe he doesn't want to demoralize you or you don't want to demoralize him?
I think I can shoot with anybody.
Even Mark? Coach G?
Coach G? Oh yeah. He's a great shooter, too.
No, he is. He is.
At practice he is?
Yeah. Put him over here.
Can you hit the five three's... two years ago? I saw you hit three three's three times in the first time games at Charlotte. Then you never hit three three's again I think. Then, you bombed five in the Virgin Islands.
I would just attribute that to confidence and a lot of those my teammates set me up with great hook. I attribute that to them, too. I wouldn't be able to make five three's without Dennis and Markell and Terry breaking down defense and making me look good. I just try to be shot ready, make shots when everybody's in ...
Did you know that was your career high for three's? Did you know that five was ...
I did know that.
I didn't. Not until after.
Communications major, future journalist. Didn't know your own career high for three's?
No. I wasn't really charting it myself personally. I just play and try to win.
He's tweeting about you today. He's got some love for you. You know Craig, right?
[Laughing] Yeah, I know Craig.
Do you relish the idea that there's a whole lot of schools that wish they had you out of high school right now?
Out of high school? Personally I felt like I was...
Out of high school, I felt like I was good enough to play but it's just waiting on the confidence to catch up, just taking those steps on the court to prove that I was ready for this level. Strength wise, getting in the weight room, that helped a lot. I just try to play and be the best that I can be. Whatever situation's best for me, I go with that.
At the time, Charlotte was the best situation for me. Now, State is the best situation for me. We're just going to try to win wherever I'm at.
Did you think any of that was ... If you're in an open gym and I see you shooting and you have this line drive shot, and a kid can't play, do you think any of that was related to your offers out of high school?
You were skinnier and smaller?
Yeah. I was smaller. I shot. My career high out of high school was like nine. Shooting wasn't a problem in high school.
And nobody could do the math on your dad was a really good athlete? The fruit doesn't fall far from the tree. That didn't happen?
That's not my job to do.