Arron Afflalo, the 6-5 freshman wing, was beaming in his UCLA jersey Thursday at Media Day.
You grew up a UCLA fan, so how does it feel to have that jersey on?
"The day is finally here. It's been 18, or really 19 (today's Afflalo's birthday), long years. This is my dream. I'm so happy, and very appreciative. It's just a great feeling. So many great players have come through this school and this program. I'm just so proud to fall in line."
How are workouts going?
"It's going great. Everything is competitive, hard. We're all focused. We know what we have to do this year. I think we have a good chance. All the pieces are here."
Are you hoping to start on this team?
"I'm going to try my best. Ultimately it's coach's decision. It'd be a very fortunate situation for me, if it happened."
And you're willing to play at either wing position?
"A wing is a wing. I'm definitely a two guard. But as long as I'm on the floor, it doesn't matter what position I'm at."
Are you planning on beating USC and your buddy, Gabe Pruitt, this year?
"Definitely. That's a definite thing."
Have you talked to Gabe much?
"I talk to him every now and then. Lately, I haven't talked to him too often. I have school, basketball, and my tutor. I'm sure he has the same thing going on. Bug every not and then I give him a call or he calls me."
What's the chemistry like on the team so far?
"It's great. There's no freshman-senior type tension. We are all out to win, to get a championship, and that's about it."
How much do you weigh now?
"About 215. 6-5, about 215 or 217."
How has (strength and conditioning coach) Doc Kreis been treating you?
"Doc's tough but I like him. He stays on us. He only wants the best for us."
So, he's pretty tough on you, though?
"Yeah, definitely. He's a classic weight guy. He needs to motivate you, yell at you, do whatever he needs to do to get you to do what you need to do. It's all to get you to work hard."
Cedric Bozeman, the point guard/wing, is entering his senior year at UCLA.
You've gotten bigger...
"A little bit. I weigh about 207 now."
Does it feel good physically?
"I'm feeling really good."
How's the jump shot?
"The jump shot is coming along pretty well."
How has it been playng with these little punk freshmen?
"I wouldn't call them punks. They compete really hard. They're very good. They're only going to make our team that much better. We welcome them with open arms as part of the team, as part of the family."
Do you think this team will have more options on the perimeter?
"The freshmen can definitely come in and help with the perimeter. Everyone has improved their games this summer. Everyone has worked on things. Just having them makes our team that much deeper."
You're pretty versatile, especially defensively. With Jordan Farmar on the team would you like you two to be on the court at the same time?
"Yeah, that'd be great. It'd give me a chance to guard swingmen, like twos and threes, and kind of rest and let Jordan bring the ball up. It can only help our team."
Will the competition in practice have an impact?
"Oh, it's going to great. It's going to make our team work that much harder. Knowing someone is right on your tail. There's no letting up."
Would you prefer to play point, or play wing with Jordan passing you the ball?
"I don't know. I get that question all the time. I really don't know. I just want to be out there, and be able to help the team any way possible."