Hit the weights and stay in the gym. That's all I could do. I can do a lot more things with my added strength. I could always shoot, dribble and pass, so I should be all right.
What different can we expect from Jawad this season?
Mix it up a little bit more between post and perimeter play. [I'll play] more of the 4, but it really doesn't matter because of our motion offense.
How will the team deal with the lack of size?
We'll use that to our advantage – we're quicker than most teams.
What is your role on this team?
I think my role can change on any given night. Maybe I am the guy who scores the points, or I get the rebounds, or I get the assists. It doesn't matter. This team is so versatile that we can do a lot of different things.
What is your role on defense? Do you challenge more on the perimenter, or do you go inside?
Whatever it takes. I can go out on the perimeter or I can go down low. It can change from night to night.
A few months ago, you said that the atmosphere around the program had changed the way you said it should. How does that stand, right now?
Everything is great right now. I expect it to stay like this. We are having fun, working hard with each other. When you work hard, you have fun. You make things fun, and I think we have done a great job making things fun this preseason. It was challenging, but we made it through. We're a family - we all get along really well. We might have had problems, but families have problems. Now we just got to go play.
Relationship with Doherty -
It was just some things that needed to be aired out. What's past is past. Time for us to move on. We've got some things we want to accomplish this year. Nothing's changed with him as far as style, it's just communication – we're communicating with each other better.
Lessons learned from tough season -
Don't let it happen again. As simple as that. Last season showed that we had strong character to come back to something we could have ran from. We could have ran, but we didn't. You never know, we could go 8-20 again, but we'll keep coming back. We've got no quitters here.
What is the biggest change in personality of this team from last year?
I think this team has more of a fire inside. Those young guys learned it from us. We know what it's like to go 8-20. We don't want them to experience it, and I don't think they want to experience it, so they have no choice but to work hard.
You were thrown in the fire early last year and asked to produce. The young guys are in a similar situation. How can you teach them patience, from your experience?
They have to let the game come to them. If they rush it, they will struggle. They have to realize that as a freshman – I don't care who you are – there will be bumps in the road. You have to take them and keep going.
At some point, the freshmen will encounter a challenge and fail. How do you help them get over the hump?
You just have to go out and play. Things happen, and you have to take it in stride. If they whine about it, it will only get worse
What can you teach the guys who are coming in with expectations? You were a McDonald's All-American like they were.
You have to be humble, first of all. You have to realize that you still have to work hard. Nobody cares who you are in this league. The guy on the bench from Wake Forest doesn't care who you are. You have to go out and play.
The freshmen -
They're competitive. They do a lot of things – and whatever it takes to win. They're going to be a great addition to this team, as well as the other three.
Sean May's a great player. He's one of the most skilled big men I've ever seen. He's versatile, he can shoot the three, mix it up inside and has a real nice touch around the basket. Look at him – he's a grown man.
Raymond's a winner. He distributes the ball, good shooter, gets to the basket.
Rashad's strong, athletic, does what it takes to win, doesn't back down from anything – he's a real strong competitor.
On what it's like for Rashad McCants (sitting beside him) to have to silently watch media day –
I hated it – he probably hates it. It's part of life – you've got to sit there and listen to me give boring quotes.
On lowered expectations -
You can't dismiss us – no way. If you do, you'll be in for a long night.