Andrew Bynum Press Conference Transcript

<B>METUCHEN, N.J.</B> -- In front of a small group of family, friends and media, Andrew Bynum announced his intention to attend UConn next fall.

At roughly 6:45 p.m. Wednesday night, Bynum stepped to the podium and addressed the group gathered in the gymnasium of St. Joseph's H.S.

Here is a transcript of the press conference that culminated in Bynum's selection of the Husky basketball program:

    Andrew Bynum: First I want to start off by thanking everybody, particularly my family -- my mother, she's right there, my brother Cory, my AAU assistant coach Rob, and just want to also say thanks to Coach Taylor, Coach Smith for helping me out along the way. I met a lot of great people along the journey, making all of the official visits, like Coach Roy Williams, Coach Hewitt, Coach Felton as well as Coach Calhoun. They're all great people. I met a couple of players like Josh Boone and Rudy Gay, who attend Connecticut; Jarrett Jack and Luke Senscher of Georgia Tech; my personal friends Louis Williams and Mike Mercer, who will attend the University of Georgia, and Rashad McCants and Sean May, who attend North Carolina. They were individuals as well. But Boone and Gay stood out to me. I was able to identify with them the best. So after it's all said and done, I chose to attend the University of Connecticut, national champs (puts on navy blue UConn National Champs cap). Right now, I am open to questions.

    Media: What schools did you visit?
    AB: I visited UConn, Georgia Tech, Georgia and North Carolina.

    M: Was UConn the last visit?
    AB: Yes, UConn was the last one. It was this past weekend.

    M: What were some of the reasons you chose UConn?
    AB: It's close to home, so if my family and friends want to go to any games, they can come to any games they want. Also, I think that I have a chance to win a national championship either my freshman or sophomore year. Especially my freshman year, because I think we will have one of the best front courts in the nation with me, Rudy Gay and Josh Boone. Coach Calhoun is a great guy. He jumped on me early, and was always there in the recruiting process. I went to where I felt my heart was leading me, so I chose UConn.

    M: Did UConn see you as a four?
    AB: No, they saw me as a five.

    M: Were the other schools recruiting you as a five?
    AB: Yes, every school was recruiting me as a five.

    M: Did Coach Calhoun talk about playing time?
    AB: Yes, it depends on me of course. No college coach can guarantee you playing time. But Coach Calhoun said that 20 to 25 minutes, and if I play very well, it could be more.

    M: How does it feel to have the decision behind you?
    AB: It feels real good. I shut it down so I don't have to worry about it during the season. Now my next objective is to deliver St. Joe's to a state championship.

    M: Did the in-home visits or the official visits help you to arrive at your decision?
    AB: It was the official visits.

    M: Was there a clear runner-up to UConn?
    AB: North Carolina and Georgia Tech were tied. Both of those programs are outstanding, but UConn just had a little bit more to offer.

    M: Was Rutgers involved at all in the recruiting?
    AB: At first, because I wasn't actually being recruited by like high major schools. Plus Rutgers is real close to home, and I don't think anyone would be able to match the love I would get if I were to attend Rutgers. But when high major schools began to recruit me, then I kind of look at the high majors.

    M: What is your hometown?
    AB: My hometown right now is in Plainsboro, New Jersey.

    M: How old are you?
    AB: 17 (Bynum turned 17 on the date of his press conference, Oct. 27).

    M: So many players out of high school are now looking at the NBA. Is it possible that you would consider such a jump after your senior year at St. Joe's?
    AB: I would have to say that if that opportunity came, then I would definitely have to take a close look at that. But as of right now, I am definitely college bound.

    M: Because of your size, there's almost an unfair expectation for you to dominate every time you step out on the court. But because of the speed of the game at the AAU level, it's often tough to show what you can do all the time. Is that a challenge for you this season, to be a dominant and consistent player each night out?
    AB: Yes. I am trying to be a more consistent and dominant force. That's one reason that I think Dwight Howard got picked number one, because he showed that he was able to dominate every single game throughout the whole season. I really want to try and do that this year.

    M: More than anything else, what right now is considered your biggest strength?
    AB: My biggest strength as a basketball player is my low post game.

    M: Getting ready for big time Big East basketball, what would you say is the one thing you need to work on?
    AB: Stamina and lateral movement.

    M: What are some of the expectations for you next year at UConn?
    AB: Actually, Coach Calhoun's expectation is to win another national championship. As for expectations for myself, it's to actually earn playing time and be a very important part of the team. Carry the load, so to speak. I just don't want to be a shooting shirt guy, coming off the bench or anything like that.

    M: Is there a chance that either Boone or Gay could go pro after this year? Is that something that the UConn staff discussed with you?
    AB: After this year, it depends, I can't really say. But definitely after two years. The staff said that I would need to learn to work and run up and down the court more. Playing with consistency, being up to run up and down the court nine out of 12 times instead of taking trips off. Being a force during the whole game instead of just picking your spots.

    M: What assistant coaches recruited you from UConn?
    AB: Coach Moore and Coach Blaney.

    M: What is your height and weight?
    AB: Seven-feet, 298 pounds.

    M: How much of a factor was the summer that you had in the stepping up of your recruiting value?
    AB: It was huge, because I wouldn't be ranked 14th in the country. (Scout.com)

    M: Fourteenth among all players?
    AB: Yes.

    M: What team did you play with?
    AB: I played with the New Jersey All-Stars.


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