Raymond Felton Journal

Throughout the high school season, and until they arrive in Chapel Hill, North Carolina's three hoops recruits will update <i>Inside Carolina</i> with an exclusive look into the months leading up to the beginning of their Tar Heel careers. First up: Raymond Felton.

Inside Carolina: How has the start of the season gone so far?

Raymond Felton: Everything's going good so far. We're 4-1 and we should have won the game we lost against Socastee. Our shot just wasn't falling, we didn't play too well and we deserved the loss. My shot wasn't falling, either. I was basically triple-teamed all game and when I dished the ball of to my teammates, they weren't hitting, either.

IC: How did the head-to-head matchup with Shavlik (Randolph) go?

Felton: It was a great game. We came out with it -- it was a tight game and it went right down to the wire.

IC: What facet of your game are you trying to improve before you get to Chapel Hill?

Felton: No particular thing. I want to work on everything -- my strength, shot, ballhandling, passing, defense, footwork and fundamentals. I need to work on everything. I just go hard at everything.

IC: Are you prepared for the pressure you will face as a savior of sorts when you arrive on campus next fall?

Felton: In a way, the pressure is good – and in a way, it's bad. But I think I can handle it. If I start, great –- but if I don't, I want to be a part of the team and help bring the team back to what it was. I want to earn my playing time. It's not all about starting. I want to work for mine.

IC: How difficult has it been to watch UNC get off to such a poor start this season?

Felton: It makes you upset a little bit to see your future team and your teammates getting beat. You just want to get out there and help them. But they'll get everything together and will be all right towards the end of the season.

IC: What, in your opinion, are they lacking the most?

Felton: Someone to make plays. I'm not doubting any of my teammates, but they don't have anyone to get to the basket or someone to get guys open shots.

IC: How is your senior season going overall?

Felton: I'm enjoying my final year in high school. All the pressure is off and there's nothing to worry about. Now I can just concentrate on my schoolwork and lead the team to another state championship.

IC: Who are your favorite players to watch in college basketball? (this was a tough one for Felton, always the diplomat, to answer)

Felton: I love to watch guards play. Lynn Greer from Temple. I like to watch Jason Williams play even though he's a rival. I can learn things from him.

IC: Do you feel that you guys are all set with the three recruits in the senior class or do you guys need another center?

Felton: Yes, sir. I think we need another big man. We've got a good power forward and shooting guard. We're losing Kris Lang and a lot of seniors this year – Jason Capel and I think, Bersticker.

IC: Who's the best player you've ever gone up against? (once again, an answer was like pulling teeth)

Felton: A lot of players – a lot of guys – like Sean Dockery, Anthony Roberson, Sebastian Telfair, Elijah Ingram, Allan Ray. There's no one guy I enjoy playing against the most. They all make me play to my potential.

IC: You were up in Fork Union, Va. this past weekend at the Fork Union Invitational -- what did you think of Rashad McCants' game?

Felton: I hadn't seen him in a while and was messing with him before the game. He played a great game –- he dunked, hit a lot of 3's, did what he had to do for his team to win. He's just a great player. He's not the biggest kid, but he's so strong. He's intense and plays hard every game. He just wants to win and hates to lose. I can't wait to play with Rashad.

IC: How eager are you to get to college?

Felton: I'm not rushing to get to college, but I'm ready to go. I'm going to enjoy the rest of my senior year –- the prom and hanging out with my friends. I'm going to stay a kid while I still can. Once you get to college, you have to be independent and be a grown man. I want to be there, but I don't want to rush it.

IC: How glad were you to get rid of all the South Carolina rumors when you signed your letter-of-intent last month?

Felton: It was a lot of pressure leading up to it, but deep down in my heart I was still UNC. It didn't matter. It got to me sometimes, but I always knew in my mind I wanted to go to North Carolina. Sometimes the people telling me and calling me to go here or there bothered me, though. I was just saying to myself, "Who are they to tell me where I need to go?"

IC: Do you have any set plan on when you want to play in the NBA and leave college?

Felton: I'll go when it's best for me -- when I think I'm ready and when people close to me think I'm ready -- like Coach Doherty, my parents and the NBA scouts. I'm not going to go just to go. There's no set time.


For more on Felton, check out IC's Raymond Felton Profile.

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