Deon Thompson Q&A (w/audio)

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. --- North Carolina freshman Deon Thompson showed some impressive flashes in his first year at UNC. Now, with Brandan Wright's departure, Thompson will be called upon to contribute every night. The Torrance, Calif. spoke about these developments on Thursday following Wright's press conference ...

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This is a big door opening for you ...

"Yeah, this is a big opportunity for myself. I'm just going to go hard all summer, work on my game and get myself ready for next season."

You had some good games your freshman season. Do you feel prepared for a bigger role?

"I feel real prepared. I just have to work on my body more and my conditioning more to be ready to play those heavier minutes."

When did you start to think that Brandan was leaving?

"I've kind of known for a while since we talk in the dorm room. My reaction was sad, but it's an opportunity for myself so I've been working hard lately, getting my body weight down."

Did you think it was a tough decision for him?

"I think it was because he likes hanging out with us so much."

How much do you weigh now?

"I know I've lost 10 more pounds and I'm at about 240. I'm going to keep working, eating right and things like that"

Is there a target weight you're trying to reach?

"I just want to be able to run the floor and jump and do things I wasn't able to do last year. So there's no specific weight I want to be at."

What was the heaviest you were at during last season?

"Probably at about 255. I came here at about 265, 270."

Does Wright's decision accelerate your mindset at all?

"My mindset was always to go hard. I have an opportunity in July to play with the USA team so I'm just preparing myself mentally and physically and everything."

How good is this team without Wright?

"I think we're still one of the deepest teams in America - I don't know if anyone is deeper than us. Even though we lost Brandan and he was a big asset for this team, I think we'll still be ok."

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