Dan Grunfeld Update - Part II

In this second edition, Dan talks about what he's doing this spring and summer, how he is trying to improve his game, and how he will adjust to the level of play at Stanford and in the Pac-10. Read on for the latest on Stanford's next great scoring wing.

The Bootleg: You talked about taking greater advantage of your height to post up players this year.  How will you approach your inside game differently when you see 7-foot centers every other game, and get guarded by 6-7 wings?
Dan Grunfeld: Obviously posting up 6-7 guys with 7 footers helping is different than what we see in the high school game.  I think that posting up often depends on match-ups, but even with guys that are your size or bigger you can post up if you establish good position and are determined down low.  I'm sure it will be hard at first, considering I will be younger, but I've always had a knack for being scrappy down low and coming up with stuff on the blocks.  I also considering offensive rebounding a part of the low post game, and in my opinion heart, brains and determination control that more than anything.  So even though match-ups change for me, I think that by working hard good things will happen.

The Bootleg: You also talked about improving your ball-handling and playing a point role at times.  How are you working in this off-season to further improve your handle?
Dan Grunfeld: I think that ball handling is like shooting, the more you do it the better you'll be at it.  I will do the same thing this summer that I have been doing, as far as working on handling the ball by doing certain drills, and just by dribbling in game situations.  I'm always around the gym shooting and dribbling, and I think that repetition is important.  I also try to play the point as much as I can during pickup games and stuff like that.  It's a good time to work on certain things like that.

The Bootleg: As you mentioned, Wisconsin high school basketball often features a slower and more deliberate style of offense.  But as you've seen on TV this year, teams like USC, Oregon and Arizona can really push the ball up and down the court in a flash.  How do you frankly think you'll react to that pace of play in your freshman year?
Dan Grunfeld: Even though the high school games here in Milwaukee, and Wisconsin in general, oftentimes feature a slowed down pace, it is not something that one becomes accustomed to.  During AAU, open gyms, and places like Vegas and ABCD camp, the games are as up and down as they come - that is actually the way I like to play.  It just so happens that the college coaches here in Wisconsin have typically played a slow down style that has been adopted by a majority of the high school coaches.  I am looking forward to getting into a more up-tempo environment for the actual season, but really, I am used to playing up and down just from all the AAU and the other basketball outside the regular season.

The Bootleg: Again, if you can be introspective and critical for a moment, what areas do you think will be the most challenging for you in adjusting to the high level of basketball played in the Pac-10?
Dan Grunfeld: I think that coming in as a freshman, the players will obviously be a lot stronger and faster than players at the high school and AAU levels.  Basically, in every area, the players will be bigger, faster, and better.  That will be an adjustment, but I think it helps for incoming freshmen like me to try to play with college guys the summer before school.  There are colleges near me like Marquette and UW-Milwaukee where the players play, and I think playing in situations like that can make the adjustment a little easier.  Nonetheless it will be challenge, but everyone has to deal with it at some point.  I also think that I have a good frame and good size, so although I wont be bigger and stronger than everyone, I will be able to hold up well physically.

The Bootleg: Are you in touch at all with any of the coaches and/or players on the team?
Dan Grunfeld: I talk to the coaches periodically; they call now and then and I always enjoy hearing from them. The player that I talk to from the team is Joe Kirchofer.  He took me around when I was out on my visit, and we email sometimes.  He is always really nice about it.  I also know Chris, Matt, Justin, and Kyle from my visit, but I haven't spoken to those guys, although we all got along very well.  That is one of the many things that attracted me to Stanford: it was obvious that all the guys were cool, good guys.  That's important.

The Bootleg: What guidance are they giving you for workouts and areas of focus this spring and summer before you come to Stanford?
Dan Grunfeld: To be honest, I haven't really discussed summer stuff with the coaches all that much.  I think now that their season is over it will be easier for them to focus on the summer.  Thankfully I'm always around basketball, and I've actually asked some of the Bucks players what they did before their freshman years, just to get a specific feel for what some people do.  Basically, guys just play and work hard on the weights.  You still want to have fun and enjoy the summer, but everyone who is serious about ball does all they can to improve.

The Bootleg: What are you doing this spring and summer to specifically work on strength, conditioning and quickness?
Dan Grunfeld: I do not have a strength and conditioning program for this spring and summer yet, but I have talked to some people and hopefully I can get that rolling soon.  I've always really enjoyed lifting, but this summer I need to focus on things more specifically, like they do in college.  I'm going to talk to the Bucks' strength and conditioning coach about specific things and hopefully he can help me out.

The Bootleg: Care to take a guess where you will be most effective scoring in the Pac-10 at Stanford this next season - inside, mid-range, 3-point range?
Dan Grunfeld: Over the years I've seemed to score my points from a variety of areas. I think that shooting is one of my strong areas, and that I will be an effective shooter, but I also think that I can score form other places, whether it be floaters or mid-rangers or inside shots.  I think that players with brains know how to get themselves in scoring situations.  I don't think my most effective area will be inside on the blocks, but I feel that at times I can make things happen down there.

The Bootleg: What percentage do you think you will be able to hit at Stanford next year from three?  How about the free throw line?
Dan Grunfeld: As far as percentages go, next year and years to come, I expect to shoot better than I have so far in my basketball career.  As a junior, I played with a very good low post player who was a freshman at Bradley University in Illinois this year.  Because of that I was able to get some open threes and I shot 42% from three.  People still keyed on me but I got more open looks last year.  This year everyone was gunning for me on the perimeter and even though I shot a good amount of threes, I didn't get many good open looks.  I can hardly remember getting a wide open three pointer.  I still shot in the mid to high 30's this year, but I am a better shooter than that


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