Rashad McCants Q&A

Rashad McCants and his New Hampton Prep team were at the Smith Center on Saturday for an afternoon matchup with the UNC JV team. McCants' 32 points and clutch free throw shooting down the stretch gave the Huskies a 75-71 win before hundreds of Tar Heel fans in attendance.

McCants' unofficial stat line: 32 points, 11-17 shooting (4-8 3pt), 6-9 FT, 7 rebounds, 3 ast, 4 t/o, 2 block, 2 steals.

Rashad McCants

How did it feel to come here and play?

"It was a great feeling. It's good to be back in North Carolina. I had a long break up there, so it was good to be back here. It's good weather."

There was a nice turn-out to see you play. That must have felt good.

"It did – just to know that people want to see me play and people want to see my skills and see the team was a good feeling."

Did you imagine what it would be like out there in front of 21,000?

"During some dead balls, I did think about it a couple of times, but during a game like that, you don't have a lot of time to think about it. I was thinking about winning."

What are your thoughts on watching the UNC team struggle this year?

"Struggle is a part of success. They are struggling, right now, but later on we're going to pick it up, and everybody will be on the bandwagon. I feel the team is playing hard, but things just aren't going their way."

Are you feeling any of the pressure that will be on you, Raymond, Sean, and the other guys?

"There is no pressure. It's just basketball. If you want to be a good basketball player, you have to know how to handle the pressure and play your heart out."

You seem to like to make a good pass as much as anything. Is that true?

"Definitely. Going back to Jason Kidd, I heard him say that passing the ball is like being a part of that basket, and I feel the same way. Once I give that assist, I feel like I scored the basket myself."

Is it true that you've already mentioned to Matt that you want to come in and be a leader, right off the bat? That's a big statement for an incoming freshman.

"I really don't like to be the follower too much because I have a lot to say sometimes. When I hold it in, it's dangerous for a team. I like to be one to speak up and let others know what is going wrong, what is going right, direct people when they are down – or when they are up – things like that."

You will be a freshman. Normally, upperclassmen fill that role. How do you see that playing out?

"I feel like my IQ for the game, to see things going on at the college level – I've been following college basketball – and playing prep school at this level, I feel is just as good as playing in the ACC. I'll just have to learn from my mistakes, if I make them, as that leader."

What area have you improved the most in prep school?

"Defense, my jumper, and my handle. During the summer, I didn't really have a left hand or a consistent jumper. Some people still say that, but I feel that I've been practicing day to day on all those aspects and feel like I got better."

You're wearing Vince's number (a Carolina jersey #15 after the game), what will you wear at Carolina?


You were highly recruited and could have gone just about anywhere. What was it about this place?

"The spirit – the spirit of North Carolina. All the greats come out of here, and they had good things to say about it. I just want to be a part of it. It's a great program."

What thoughts does it evoke for you to see the jerseys hanging in the rafters?

"That's what I told the players when they first got here. I said that the first thing you'll do is look up. You'll stay up a while. That feeling is unbelievable, since [I'll] be a part of that school next year. I just want to be a part of those banners."

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