Q & A With Larry Drew

Larry Drew, the 5-11 junior point guard from Woodland Hills (Calif.) Taft, who will undoubtedly be considered among the best at his position in the class of 2008 after this summer, sat down with us and talked about his game and his recruitment...

Larry Drew, the 5-11 junior point guard from Woodland Hills (Calif.) Taft, sat down with us for an interview between games at the Adidas Super 64 Tournament in Las Vegas.

How's the summer going?

"Overall I think I've done really good. From last summer to where I am now, I think I've made a huge improvement in my game. It's all about getting better, and that's something I think I've done."

What part of your game do you think has improved?

"Definitely my defense, my intensity. I used to go out in a game lackadaisical sometimes, and not caring as much as I should have about what was going on. Actually, it wasn't as much about not caring, but I think I have more intensity now. And it's mainly due to all of the other players in the '08 class and '09 class. It really motivates me to see all these kids out here, it motivates me to getter better and play harder."

You saw a lot of competition at the Adidas camp, too. So, it's competition that gets you going?

"It really fires me up. I'm going to always keep it in mind, all the kids I saw at the Adidas camp this summer. I'm going to go out and work on my game year-round, because I know they're out there working on their game, too."

Have you gotten bigger? It looks like you gradually have grown, right?

"I'm slowly but surely growing. I haven't had a huge growth spurt, yet. But I still have time."

Your dad (former NBA player Larry Drew, Sr.) was about 6-0, right?

"I'm really just about an inch shorter than he is. With his shoes off he's probably about 6-1."

How tall was he when he was your age?

(He calls to his father, standing about 20 feet away) "Hey, dad, how tall were you when you were my age?"

Larry Drew, Sr: "He's taller than I was at the same age. And when I got out of high school I was right at about six feet."

So, you might end up taller than dad.

"Definitely."

It's early, but you're getting a lot of early attention in recruiting. What are some of the schools you're considering that are recruiting you?

"Right now any school that's interested in me I'm looking at them. Honestly, I don't have a leader, or a top five or even a top ten. I don't have any of those. A lot of schools have been showing me interest, and if they're going to show me interest I'm going to be interested back in them."

Is there a general list of schools showing you interest that you know you'd consider?

"Yeah. Like from the Pac-10, Washington, Arizona, and Arizona State. UCLA I think has been showing the most interest so far, you know, because they're local. All the way to Florida, Miami, Georgia Tech…and North Carolina has been showing me a lot more interest lately. Connecticut. A lot of those types of schools."

Who's offered you a scholarship?

"I think Stanford has offered me a scholarship so far. I think that's it so far."

There was a rumor that North Carolina offered you recently. Is that true?

"No, they didn't offer me. A phone call and a couple of letters I don't think is a scholarship offer."

How was the UCLA camp?

"It was great. It showed me the players that UCLA is recruiting in the area. I got to go up against Jerime Anderson and Jrue Holiday. It was fun going up against them. I think I did a good job."

Do you get along with those guys?

"Oh, they're my friends. Campbell Hall is right down the way from Taft. Even though it's maybe not that known, but we kind of have a rivalry starting between us and Campbell Hall. And now with Jrue playing with the other Pump N Run team, I get to see him a lot more often. We're really good friends. The same with Jerime."

How was it with Coach Howland at the UCLA camp?

"He was very one-on-one the whole camp. It really gave me an opportunity to see how he coaches. He reminds me a lot of my high school coach right now, Derrick Taylor. I think Derrick is a great coach. I think Coach Howland is a great coach. I like the way he runs practice. He likes everything run well and hard. I like the way UCLA will try to run the floor but then have a good half-court offense. So, UCLA is definitely a good school."

Is there a bit of a personal rivalry with those guards, Jerime and Jrue?

"Oh, yeah. We're friends, but there definitely is some competitiveness. Like I said with the Campbell Hall thing, every time we play Campbell Hall I have a really, really big game, it seems. I don't know why. Maybe it's the talking between me and Jrue on the sidelines. We talk trash and everything and it's fun. When our team, Pump N Run, play Double Pump, that's a rivalry, too."

What will be the major factors on deciding on a school?

"It has to be a combination of an education and my ball, whether I'm going to go in and sit my first year, or I'm going to play. Just the bet fit for me, I think."

So, early playing time is important?

"Yeah, I think early playing time is important. My freshman year I want to get out there and play, get my feet wet. And then maybe the following year I have more experience."

It's not necessarily that you want to start your freshman year, then?

"No. It's not that necessary."

Is staying close to home a factor? "No. Los Angeles is my home and I love L.A. It doesn't really matter, though. Right now the location doesn't matter."

Your mom went to Washington. So, is she trying to steer you to the Huskies?

"Ever since I was little she's been telling me to go to Washington. And I'd say, ‘I don't want to go to Washington. I don't want to go to Washington.' But now things have definitely changed. I was just eight or nine years old then. Washington is definitely in the game."

What does your dad want to see in the program you choose?

"My dad and I, we have the same ideas. We look for the same things. Whether or not the team runs the floor, how much control the point guard has on the team, the offensive sets, the pick-and-rolls. I love to come off pick-and-rolls. So, whether there are a lot of pick-and-rolls in their offense, and stuff like that."

Do you look at things like how successful the coach is at developing guards for the NBA?

"It's in the background. I look at that, too. Like with UCLA and with Taft, there's Jordan Farmar. But I don't think I'm really going to base too much on that. It's not that I don't have respect for the coaches, to check out to see who they coached in the past. But it's really just about me going in there and playing my game to my potential. Whether a coach has or hasn't put anyone in the NBA, I don't really think that's a huge factor for me, but it's something I'll take a look at, yeah."

What kind of GPA do you have?

"I have a 3.0. The first semester last year I had a 3.2, and then the second semester I had a 3.0."

How big a factor is going to a program where you'd compete for a national championship?

"That's pretty big. I want to go to a successful program that's been to the NCAA tournament consistently. One of the big-time schools."

What kind of time frame do you have for making a decision? Do you think you might wait until next November?

"There's really no time frame at all. Just when I feel ready. I don't think it's going to be anytime soon. Sometime between next summer and the start of my senior year. Something like that."


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