Larry Brown Q&A Part 1
Keith Frazier Q&A
Q: What has been the biggest difference for you now that you’re a sophomore and have been in this program for a year?
A: "I feel like I’ve grown. I’ve grown a lot. I’ve grown mentally. I just see things differently and I take things more seriously."
Q: In high school you were the guy, then you come here and you’re part of a rotation. How did you handle that transition?
A: "Coach Brown talked last year about making sacrifices, so I had to make some sacrifices. I didn’t mind doing that for the team and I just tried to do whatever he told me to do. It was hard but if you’re winning it’s all good. It would’ve been tough if we were losing, but since we were winning everybody was happy."
Q: Coming into these summer practices were you focused on improving one aspect of your game more than the rest?
A: "Yes, I wanted to get stronger mentally. I didn’t come in and work hard everyday. I had some off-the-court issues. I wouldn’t do certain things. I’m better off the court and I come in and work hard everyday. I’ve been coming in everyday this summer and that’s what I’m going to continue to do."
Q: Coach Brown said since you missed these summer workouts last summer, and now you’re doing them this summer, you could have the biggest jump out of anyone on the team. Are you poised to make a big jump?
A: "That’s my goal. I want to make a big jump. I want to make the biggest jump out of anybody. I feel like everybody’s going to make a big jump because everybody has been coming in and working hard."
Q: Everyone expected the new guys coming in this summer were going to be Justin Martin, Jordan Tolbert and Emmanuel Mudiay. With Emmanuel not coming now, has the team’s mentality changed at all?
A: "It wasn’t as big of a problem because he wasn’t here. He wasn’t with us. Pretty much everyone that was here last year is here now except we added Justin (Martin) and Jordan (Tolbert), so it wasn’t as big of a deal as people made it seem because everybody here already has that bond. We’ve still got that camaraderie so we’ll be good."
Q: You’ve practiced and played pick-up with the new guys, give me a scouting report on Justin Martin. What does he add to this team?
A: "I think he’s going to add a little leadership and he’s going to add a little flavor to the team. He’s got a little personality so we’ll see how that goes. On the court, he pretty much can do everything. He can pass. He can shoot. He’s more athletic than people think so he’s going to add a little flavor to the court too. He’s going to be a nice piece I think. And JT (Jordan Tolbert), he’s real aggressive. He doesn’t say too much, but on the court he’s a dog. He’s got a little skill on the perimeter, he can shoot it, but on the inside he’ll posterize you."
Q: Coach Brown has talked about how Nick (Russell) had to guard the best perimeter scorer last year, who’s that lockdown defender this year?
A: "No question it’s Sterling (Brown). No question. I mean I’m going to try and play a role in that too but no question it’s Sterling. Maybe Crandall (Head) gets in there too, he can definitely be a lockdown guy so we’ll see. But in my opinion it’s going to be Sterling. He’s locking everything down."
Q: What’s the dynamic like with Shawn Williams now being on the coaching staff. Do you call him coach?
A: (Laughter) "We call him coach. It’s kind of weird, you know, because we were just playing with him last year, but he has done a good job. He’s getting everybody on the court and pushing us so that’s fine too."
Q: After last season, all of SMU fans have big expectations for this coming season, but what are your expectations?
A: "We’re still a little upset about getting put in the NIT so my teammates are hungry. We want to get to the NCAA Tournament and we want to do big things in the NCAA Tournament so hopefully everyone keeps their hunger throughout the year, which I think we will, and we come out with a championship in the NCAA Tournament. I mean we want it. We want it bad. You can tell that everybody’s coming here and working hard every morning. I think we’ll get there. I really believe we’ll get there. I can’t wait, man. I’m ready for the season to kickoff."