USA: 20 Q's with Marcus Ginyard

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Carolina commitment Marcus Ginyard is off to a solid start at the USA Basketball Youth Festival, playing his game and helping his team win. Earlier this week we collected questions from <i>Inside Carolina</i>'s readers and presented the best 20 questions to him on Friday afternoon ...

1) Was there a particular moment when you decided to become a Tar Heel, and do you remember that moment?

It was so long ago …. Yeah, yeah there was. The day my older brother went to Carolina camp. He was 10 and I was like 6. I was mad I couldn't go. We drove him all the way there and I just wanted to stay down there.

2) Who's your favorite Tar Heel of all time not named Michael Jordan?

There are just so many to choose from. I enjoy watching the highlights of all of the North Carolina players.

3) Having been recruited by some very successful coaches … what did Roy Williams do that told you ‘He's the coach I want to play for'?

When I was on a visit there, and a couple of the other coaches had seen me play, but he hadn't seen me play yet. Coach said, ‘I've heard so much about you, but I can't guarantee you anything right now because I haven't seen you play before.' He said he wasn't going to guarantee me anything until he saw me play. I knew right there he was the type of guy who wasn't going to lie to you about anything. I just felt more comfortable with him than any of the other coaches.

4) What number do you plan on wearing at UNC?

Everyone keeps asking me, but I don't know. The No. 10 is retired. It's just something small to worry about.

5) Since fans like to use nicknames, are there any nicknames that you have or prefer to be called?

Nicknames [laughing] … When I played with the D.C. Blue Devils, they called me Littlefoot because they said I looked like Littlefoot from the Land Before Time. Boo Williams team calls me Marblehead because they said I have a small head. It varies from time to time but I don't have a preference, I don't care.

6) Which position would you actually prefer to play when you get to UNC?

I just want to be out on the perimeter, looking out over the floor -- which I think I will be. I'm sure the coaches will make a good decision where to put me and I'll be comfortable with that position.

7) Since there will be a few other guards on the roster, do you anticipate playing minute at the 3 spot?

I believe so. And I think I'm a versatile enough player to do that and that's one of the things they like about me. I have no problem doing that and I enjoy swinging between positions on the perimeters.

8) What do you think is your strongest attribute and what area needs the most improvement for the college level?

Just confidence all around is what I need to work on. Confidence with the ball – I'm getting better with the ball – and confidence in my shot. Other people know that I can make them when I'm concentrating and focusing, and I know I can make them. I've just got to get in the habit of knowing I'm going to make it, rather than shooting it and worrying about my form and such. Just knowing I'm going to make it.

The biggest strength is my defense. And then a lot of times my offense comes off of my defense. I don't normally get too many points in the halfcourt set, but just playing intense on defense can lead to a lot of opportunities on offense.

9) Was your interest in Duke real or was it more of a ploy to get an offer from UNC?

No, not at all [laughing]. I was just keeping my options open and to me that was a possible thing. We checked it out and I was very interested in Duke. That same weekend after I left Duke, I went to Carolina and that flipped the whole game around.

10) What is your No. 1 goal for your time at UNC?

ACC Defensive Player of the Year.

11) At this time, do you have a feel for the degree of passion Carolina fans have when it comes to Carolina basketball?

Yeah, Carolina fans are everywhere. Recently a friend of mine was babysitting a two-year-old and that family wanted to call me and just say hi to me because they knew I was going to Carolina. You'd be surprised how many Carolina fans there are out there …

12) Do you really know how much UNC fans hate Duke?

Yes. I do. I really do. You just hear it all the time. A lot of people have a hard time … even here – you have people going to Duke and going to Carolina and everyone looks at you funny when you're joking around together and people ask ‘What are they talking for?'

13) Who is the best player you've ever played against?

I'd have to say Brian Chase. He went to Virginia Tech. Lot of people probably wouldn't know what type of player he is, but he's from around my hometown and I played him a lot in the gym and I'd say he's my toughest matchup.

14) If you had to pick one player (college or pro) whose style best matches your own, who would that be?

Ooh, I don't know. I'd have to look harder at that one. I'll think about that and get back to you.

15) Who from the Class of 2005 would you most like to play with?

Richard Hendrix. Richard Hendrix.

16) With Carolina's remaining targets, what are you doing to help bring them to the Hill?

Yelling in [Hendrix's] ear every time I see him – every time. Him and C.J. Miles. And I know C.J. is thinking about Kansas, too and we've got Mario [Chalmers] over here talking in his ear [turns to Chalmers a few seats away so he can hear] but I'm working on it.

17) Did you watch the NBA Finals? And if so, what did you take away from the Pistons' title win, led by a former Tar Heel in Larry Brown?

I saw the first two games. I was just happy for them to win and the intensity of the team and the coaching – and Rasheed Wallace. You could just tell where their style came from.

18) How much of playing superior defense is effort and commitment and how much is natural talent?

It's all effort really – all effort. Maybe a little bit of athleticism, but other than that it's just effort and playing smart.

19) Do you read the college sports internet sites and message boards?

Nope. Not at all.

20) What do you see yourself doing after your basketball days are over?

Something with money [laughs]. I want to major in business, so maybe owning my own business.

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