Q: What were the conversations like with (Texas Tech head coach) Tubby Smith when you told him you wanted to move closer to home?
JT: “He was a little disappointed, as you would expect, but he understood for the most part. He knew where I was coming from.”
Q: Did he try to change your mind at all?
JT: “Of course, of course he tried to talk me into staying. I already had my mind made up.”
Q: How’s the summer been so far?
JT: “It’s been good. I took some classes in June. School is kind of hard, but I did pretty well. Workouts are going smooth. I have been in college for three years, so it’s nothing brand new to me.”
Q: What’s the focus of the summer?
JT: “Right now, it’s individual improvement. I’m working on pick and rolls and going through a few sets. Two man stuff. It’s not too much.”
Q: How is this summer different than the previous ones?
JT: “I feel like a veteran. I first got to Lubbock when I was 18 and college just blew my mind. Everything about it. Now, it’s just like a day in the park.”
Q: Are there any similarities between Larry Brown and Tubby Smith?
JT: “I’m pretty sure that Tubby coached under him. They do a lot of the same things. They just have different calls for it. It’s very similar. I’m learning and picking it up fast.”
Q: How would you describe the strengths of your game?
JT: “Of course, I’m undersized. I always like to say that I play big. People say it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog. It’s kind of like that. I know I’m undersized, but I have been playing in the paint my whole life so it’s noting new to me.”
Q: Can you play inside and outside? Which do you like more?
JT: “Of course, when it’s asked for. I like going down there and banging. It gets my motor going. I like when people fear me. Sometimes I can go down there, look in someone’s eyes, and tell that they are afraid of me. I kind of like that.”
Q: You had a friend named Byron Smith play with Mudiay in high school. What did he tell you about that?
JT: “Mudiay and his brother Jean-Michael are the same. They are very religious and don’t joke around much. They are both really serious and all about the game. I haven’t met him yet. I went to their graduation and I live with his brother, so if he is like his brother than I know what type of person he is. Playing with a great point guard takes your game to another level.”
Q: How does Markus Kennedy compare to some of the big guys you have played against?
JT: “He is definitely up there. He is one of the best I have played with. It’s good to compete against him everyday.”