Q&A with Le'Bryan Nash

Freshman forward Le'Bryan Nash is coming off a clutch performance where he hit a game winner and then blocked a last second attempt as Oklahoma State beat Iowa State. Now Nash and the Cowboys head to face No. 10 Kansas in Lawrence on Saturday. Nash answers some questions about the matchup, his recruitment and his freshman year.

You all have a big game with Kansas on Saturday. That was a school you were looking at pretty hard, correct?

"I was; they were in my top three choices. They finished No. 2, it came down to Oklahoma State or Kansas. They're a great school and I really liked it because of Bill Self and what a great coach he is. The atmosphere, too, they have a sellout crowd every night so that made me like that school a lot."

Did you visit KU?

"I did, I took an official visit up there for Midnight Madness and it was great; it was a good visit."

What did you think of the atmosphere?

"Oh, 16,000 people you can't hear nothing. The floor is kinda jumpy and you can get vertigo looking up from that floor. The atmosphere is like Madison Square Garden the college version. It was a great atmosphere."

How excited are you to go up there on Saturday?

"Playing wise I'm excited, not really fan wise. They're going to be booing me because they knew I really liked it at that school and they really wanted me to come there but I picked the best school for me in Oklahoma State. I truly believe in Travis Ford. I know I'm going to get booed a lot. I guess I'll be like LeBron up there."

If there is a good time to go up there is it right now? You all seem to be playing your best ball of the year.

"I think so. We have a good feel for what's ahead of us schedule wise; we've got Kansas and the a rematch with Missouri. It's going to be a tough road but we just need to stick together. We can get both of these wins if we stick together, we've seen lately what we're capable of."

Now to venture away from the Kansas game, 24 games into your career, how much have you grown as a player?

"I think I really improved once we got to Big 12 play. I'm glad we played the schedule we played because if we had played cupcakes I'd probably be doing the same things I was doing in nonconference by throwing up shots and not being consistent. I've seen my percentages go up since nonconference and I think I'm around 50 percent now, so that's been great. I'm just getting used to the game, getting used to college basketball and taking it game by game, play by play."

It's pretty well documented that coach Ford has ridden you pretty hard, which you said Byron Eaton warned you about, how much has that helped you?

"It's helped me a lot. It shows that coach Ford truly believes in me and what I'm capable of doing and what my ability can be scoring the ball and playing defense. He trusts me with the ball in my hands as a freshman. I take it well because he truly believes in me and that's why I'm so glad I came to this school. It's coming around right now in Big 12 play and hopefully we will win a lot more games."

What aspect of your game do you think you've improved the most?

"Shot selection. I'm taking better shots. I'm not taking tough shots no more and not trying to score 30 points; just taking it shot by shot and play by play, getting the right shots, elevating and making them."

What's the mood like around this team now as opposed to earlier on when you all were losing games and also players?

"It's better, we're a smaller team so we are getting closer and closer. Back in nonconference it was three people in that group and three people in that group but we were always good off the court. We were all friends but on the court we didn't know each other's game and now I think we do (have that chemistry on the court) because we're smaller and have to depend on each other. We're doing it now with a seven-man rotation so we have to depend on each other and we have a good feel for what spots we're going to be in."

All things considered, do you think those struggles will benefit this team moving forward and heading into next year?

"I think it will. The only person we're losing is Keiton Page so I think everyone knows what they're roles are going to be and we know what we can do to improve. It's just about getting better. This season is not over with and we can still get wins so we're not looking at next year yet but we know next year we can have a great team. We're bringing in great recruits and the whole team is going to be back except for Keiton so I like our chances next year."


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