Q&A with Rutgers C Shaq Doorson

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Big man Shaquille Doorson was a late addition for Rutgers and coach Eddie Jordan heading into the season. Doorson, who arrived in September, caught up with Scarlet Report at the water cooler this week to discuss his adjustments in season and preparations for No. 4 Wisconsin.

Scarlet Report -- We haven’t spoken much since the preseason. How much more comfortable are you now?

Shaquille Doorson – “I’m way more comfortable. Everything just goes through automatically now. I would say I’m very comfortable now.”

SR -- What are the biggest differences for you now compared to when you first got here in September?

SD -- “I would say I’ve caught up with the speed of the game. Everything I was talking about as a challenge in the beginning, I’ve caught up to it. It’s way better for me now. I’m more comfortable.”

SR -- How much as Greg Lewis helped you?

SD -- “He’s great. Greg is basically our best defender and inside player. For me, it’s perfect to see what he’s doing and try to implement them into my own game.”

SR -- What specifically have you implemented from watching him?

SD -- “He’s taught me a lot with my help defense. He’s taught me how to help my teammates, where to go to help defend, how to recover after you lose your position in the post.

SR -- What’s it like playing in the Big Ten?

SD -- “It’s tough. I like it, but it’s tough. I think we’ve done well, mostly. We played well for a while with Nebraska, but then basically we imploded. We lost ourselves. If we just keep our level up instead of going down sometimes, we’ll be able to win a lot more games.”

SR -- Are you used to matching up with guys that are as big as you are?

SD -- “Yes, I am. Last year when I played in the Canaries in the CBA, I was often playing guys with my height. I’m happy when I’m playing against a guy bigger than me. I like the competition.”

SR -- Your minutes are trending upwards. Where do you think you’ve improved as the season’s gone forward?

SD -- “My defense is getting better. Coach [Eddie] Jordan always stresses defense, and playing smart, so I would say I’m doing better there. I had a little dip against Nebraska, so I have to be better and bouncing back when we play Wisconsin.”

SR -- Wisconsin is the No. 4 team in the country. Is there anything specifically exciting about that for you?

SD -- “Yeah, I’m excited to compete against someone like that. We want to beat them. We could, and I get excited by that. It’s a lot of excitement for us because everyone is watching. There’s lots of exposure.”

SR -- There will be tons of scouts and probably 7,000 fans out there Sunday. Is that the kind of thing you hoped for when you committed?

SD -- “I like that, definitely. But it’s more about the people here that I’m with. I have some great teammates, and I’m very comfortable at Rutgers.”

SR -- How much do you work with Mike O’Koren. How much can you learn from a guy like that about playing in the post?

SD -- “We’re together every day. We do a lot of drills together after practices. We work on a lot of post drills. I don’t think there are a lot of coaches out there who know as much as coach O’Koren.”

SR -- You, Greg and Ibrahima Diallo are all going to be in the post next year. What does that kind of depth do for you?

SD -- “It’s going to be perfect. I like the way we all work together in practice. Sometimes I’ll get grouped with Ibrahima in practice on the same team, and we feed off each other and make a lot of plays. We might get two big guys on the court together one of these days. We’ll have to see.”

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