You have two games left before the ACC starts. What are some of the things you have to play better at to get ready for the ACC?
Just knowing the rotations we need to have on defense and just everybody understanding the offense, knowing where to go. Those are the two main things that I feel like we need to get better at.
A couple things like that. We mess up in practice every day, but as long as we control those two things and understand that it's going to take all of us to win; it's not going to one or two guys. So as long as everybody stays ready, because the coach is gonna use a lot of guys, so we just gotta stay ready and then be ready to play.
From front row seat last year, what do you think is the difference between non-conference and when you get into the brunt of the ACC game, to win the game outright?
Just competition level. That's the main thing, you know? The ACC's the best conference in the country, especially this year. It was tough last year, but now this year you look from top to bottom and you got ... Every team has made some kind of improvement, enacted some kind of improvement within their players and within the organization. A lot of change has been made, so it's a big year for the ACC.
When you left West Virginia, how important was it for you to land at an ACC school?
It wasn't that important, I wasn't really-
Best conference in the country, you said.
Yeah, it is, but I wasn't really, you know what I'm saying, it wasn't one of the things that I focused on leaving. I focused on the school with the right fit, how to play my game better and that's pretty much it.
I guess what do you think it will finally be like to step foot in the ACC game after this long wait?
I'm looking forward to it, you know, just like I was looking forward to the first game of the season. Just take one step at a time, one game at a time, and keep working hard.
How enjoyable has it been playing on a team that's really become itself. You guys have a bunch of assists...
It's definitely ... It's been unbelievable. I played on a lot of teams and this is one of the teams where I feel like everybody can get some shot, get in and earn their time. We've got a lot of guys and a lot of great players on this team, so as long as we keep competing every day in practice we should be fine.
The last week you played a game vs. Appalachian and they were man-to-man the whole game, and you came back and played in the zone the entire game. Gotta look back over the non-conference... that's really prepared you guys, because you've seen it now.
Yeah, especially ACC plays, you got teams like Louisville who plays a little matchup zone. You got Syracuse... plays two-three zone. Our non-conference games have been great tools. We've learned a lot. We've gotten better as a team, I feel like. I'm really looking forward to the ACC play.
You've defended against teams that could shoot really well from multiple spots and now you guys are doing it. It's not only you, Dennis is shooting the ball well, Torin shot the ball well. Omer can shoot. How much pressure does that put on the defense when you got that many guys who can shoot a three?
It makes it tough for defense, because coach said the last couple games we've had six or seven guys in double figures. Whenever a team is throwing at that kind of rate it's tough to stop, but as long as we keep getting better, players keep staying sharp, the sky is the limit. I got a lot of faith in this team and I think we should go far.
This team has got a lot of depth. You're running eight, nine, ten deep. How is it, competition wise, at practice?
Oh it's fun. We come to practice everyday ready to complete, ready to tear each other's hairs off, because we know that's the only way we'll get better as a team. Practice is where we get it in. That's where guys earn their minutes and earn that spot. We look forward to that. I know I look forward to that everyday, just coming in and getting better. Even though we don't really go as long as some other schools we go hard though. We go hard and make each other better. That's the main thing that translates from practice to the game.
You had two games with full allotment of players. What do you feel about where this team is at?
I feel like we're just reaching our peak. We just keep getting better each game. We still got somethings that we need to work on as a team and individually, but, overall, I feel like we've gotten a lot better. Including the Tennessee State game, every game we've made progress in everybody's game. We just get better, listen to what coach, what he's got to say, make the necessary adjustments we have to make and just keep getting better.
How to you avoid the temptation of checking out mentally in this next week, because everybody's going to take Christmas break right now?
Oh, I treat every game the same mentally. Always coming in mentally ready to play. I was taught that at a young age so I just want to keep that going.