Q&A with Brice Johnson

COLUMBIA, S.C. --- Brice Johnson is a man of few words, and he'd like to keep it that way. While the future Tar Heel from Cordova (S.C.) Edisto would rather dodge the spotlight, he had the full attention of his opponents during the Chick-fil-A Classic, where he averaged 16 points, 9 rebounds and 6.5 blocks. Johnson spoke with InsideCarolina.com at the event.

Is it tough getting banged around when you have two-three guys on you all the time?

I'm used to it now. I've got to get (the ball to) my teammates to hit open shots.

Do you find it's been different for you now that you are a well-known name? Do other teams treat you differently, scout you maybe?

Nah, they just do the same thing to me they always do. I'm the tallest person and they know I can score, so they try to put two and three on me at a time.

How has your game evolved to better adapt to that type of defense?

It's alright. You just have to get better every day.

What have you gotten better at during the last year?

I'm starting to shoot a little bit more than I did last year. I could shoot more, but I just don't.

Because it's not really in the offense?

It's not really what I do. I'd rather post up and do a move. I've got to learn how to step out and shoot more.

Shot-blocking is obviously something you are very good at. Is that something you've always had a good instinct with, or is that the type of thing you work on?

Ever since I was smaller I just always blocked every shot (I could). I know how to time it well. I've been doing it for awhile so it's just natural to me now.

Everyone found out about you, nationally, once you had a big finish to the summer. Was that a confidence boost for you?

It really doesn't affect me. You've just got to go out there and play.

When you signed your letter of intent, when you committed to North Carolina, you did it without much fanfare. Is that a reflection of your personality, and how so?

Yeah, I'm not that flashy of a person. I mean, it's good to have all that, but at the end of the day you still have to go back to your normal life after that one day. I just wanted to keep it simple.

Do you feel like people treat you differently now that you are a North Carolina signee?

Nah, a bunch of people just ask me, ‘Can I get some tickets to the game?' That's all.

Already, this year?

Guys are like, ‘Get me some tickets so I can come watch you play.' I'm like, ‘All right, that's fine.'

How are you preparing yourself for what you are going to see at the college level?

I'm just trying to take it one step at a time, trying to learn as I go, take it as I can, do what I can, play to the best of my ability.

Where do you feel like you have the most room for improvement?

On defense because I'm kind of lazy on defense. I could work on it a little more, but I'll work on it as time goes on.

When we saw you posting up tonight you were mostly away from the basket. Do you usually play closer to the basket, or is what we saw an accurate reflection of your game?

I can play both, but I was trying to face up and go by [my man], but it didn't today because they had two or three people on me. I just kicked it back out.

Now that you are committed to Carolina do you speak to those coaches regularly?

Yeah, they talk to me all the time. They talk when they can because they have practice and stuff.

Do they tell you stuff to work on before you get there, or do they leave that up to your coaches?

They said I need to work on some things, but they said when I get there they will improve on it.

Have you attended a Carolina game yet?

Nah, I haven't. I've been busy. I'm busy doing this all the time.

Do you have any plans to do that this season?

Yeah, one of these days. I've got to find a day to do it. Since we are doing all these tournaments it's hard to find a chance to go.

When you committed to Carolina, it surprised some people because there were some indications that you didn't have a very good visit there and that you weren't going to go there. Can you explain what happened?

It was a good visit. I just didn't tell anybody what I did. We had tons of fun. I just didn't tell anybody. I told them something basic.

Is that a reflection of you that you don't tell everyone what's going on?

I like to keep it quiet, instead of all flashy.

Are you just a private person?

I'd tell you some things we did. I'd rather be quiet about it and let you figure it out eventually.

Is that because you are different with your close friends, maybe, than people you don't know that well—like us?

Yeah. I'll tell them everything but sometimes media mixes things up. They are good and all, but I just don't tell them. I'd rather keep it to myself.

You seem the type of person who is not going to seek out the spotlight. At Carolina everybody is in the spotlight. Is that something you have thought about?

You just have to step up. I've got to change eventually, so you've just got to grow up as you go.

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