I believe in my teammates and my coaches believe in me. I just want to do my best.
These are probably questions you've already been asked, but to rebound after sitting for the last couple of games and be able to help the team, what did that mean to you?
I mean, my job in here is to do everything in my power, everything I can do to win. Me having four or three fouls on me, doesn't mean anything to me. As long as I can compete, as long as I don't foul out... I did foul out in that game, but as long as I have more fouls, I believe that I could keep going and play hard until whatever happens, happens.
We're just trying to win and nothing else.
When you got a chance to play the other night, did you feel like you needed to prove yourself, because you were being given that opportunity?
No, no, no. I wanted just to play.
I don't take ... I don't really think I need to prove myself to anybody. I don't need approval. Just go there and compete at a high level like I always do in practice and every day, so it was nothing. Prove to the media or to the scout or anybody else.
It was just a game. We lost a couple games at home, we lost a lot of games, so that game, we needed it more than anything, so we went in with the mindset of winning and then we came out and we win, so that was it.
It was nothing above and beyond anything else.
Do you look forward to a game like this, that with the size that they have, this feels like one of those "Big Boy" games...
They get pushed around. You know what I'm saying. Physical game...
Sometime its tough, when you play against the opponent, they got everybody, and they got guards and all. Sometime it's tough because you gotta go all, guards and one-on-one. I mean I can do it, but sometime it's got enough of the entire game. That matchup is kinda good for me, and Omer and Malik as well, so I think that will be a good one.
We just got to go there and compete at a high level.
One thing Louisville does, is they do a lot of switching. Is it important for you guys to try to take advantage of that?
Yeah, yeah. We just gotta play smart. We've been playing hard... practicing hard, but Coach keeps saying we gotta practice hard and practice smart at the same time and not just run... run over the screen, that we just gotta practice smart too.
They're gonna switch and then you gotta take advantage of it.
Is there any conversations with coaches where you basically said "What do I have to do to get into the game? What I need to work on?" Anything like that, where they explained to you what they wanted from you?
You mean Coach Gottfried?
Any of the coaches. Were they basically let you know, "This is what you need to work on, this is what you need to do in order to play."
I mean, I didn't really talk to anybody. They already, I think they already know what I can do. They trust what I can do when I'm in the game.
They just want me to keep doing what I do best. They know I have to rebound the ball... I gotta do it all the time and not do it just temporary, I gotta do it for every game. They know, and they just want me to be consistent and I expect myself to be consistent every day.
Did you feel more ferocious, because you felt like you were unleashed against Duke?
You looked like it. Your energy level was sky high.
I mean, I be playing like that, since my first game, since I was declared eligible to play basketball. My first game, I played the same way. I always play...
You were unleashed against St. Francis, Brooklyn.
Yeah, I mean that's something ... I keep saying though, that's something I don't think nobody can teach me. That's something that come from the heart. I want to play that way so nothing going to change. It'll probably never change.
You know any other Louisville players? You ever cross paths with them?
Uh, Donovan (Mitchell)... he was in my class in 2015 so we ... I don't know him personally, but, if he knows me, he would recognize me as a person. We went to all the camps, Lebron and all that.
They recruit you at all?
Louisville. Did they ever look at you?
I don't know, I can't remember. I got a short memory.
How much fun is playing in the ACC? You're going through your first full round, has this been a lot of fun for you?
Yes, sometimes, you play and you don't know how to have ... You just play it hard but you don't know how to have fun with it. ACC is, compared to league and conference you got to play hard and have fun at the same time. It's been fun for me, because I wanna compete at a high level, so it's fun for me, to play against those teams.