George Drake focused and determined

VandyMania spoke with Commodore redshirt freshman George Drake recently. Drake is a 6-4 guard from Calera, Ala.

Don Yates: So how's things been going George?
George Drake: Oh pretty good. It's been going real good. It's been real good as far as the team winning.

DY: You've been getting some quality minutes in there too.
GD: Yes, I've been getting some quality minutes and it's really fun. Whenever I get in I just go in there and play hard and do what I can to help the team out.

DY: I think you've been making some big plays when you have gotten in there. Making some steals and things like that.
GD: Yeah. Mostly I come in focused and play hard and try to bring some energy iff the bench.

DY: So you were glad to get back on the court after sitting on the side lines the whole year, weren't you?
GD: Yes, I was real anxious to get back out there it's everything I've been waiting for.

DY: So are you having fun? So how is college life. I know you're in the second year now but are you enjoying the big difference from high school?
GD: Yes, it's a big difference. Now I'm a sophomore in the classroom and mainly things have kind of slowed down as far as academics is concerned and the whole transformation or whatever is easier for me now so that's really good.

DY: So what are the coaches telling you guys as far as the rest of the season looking ahead, So what are they telling the team.
GD: Well right now the coaches are telling us to always be focused on the next game. The next game is the most important game. We're not really We're just trying to take one game at a time and practicing hard for just the next game.

DY: How did it feel to beat your home state school? They were ranked tenth when they came in and you guys beat them over 20 points. What does that mean to you?
GD: Like you said they were ranked a top ten team or whatever and that game was really big for us. I believe it gave us more confidence and we're been playing good ball ever since. It's good.

DY: So what are some of the things the coaches are telling you to try to improve on to make you a better player next year when you're going to be getting more in the limelight?
GD: Just knowledge of the game, experience, just soak in everything that I can and try to focus on just the knowledge of the game and the basis for playing the game. So it's mostly just knowledge and experience which will come over time or whatever. So as far as skills all our skills will get better and to keep working hard.

DY: Shifting the focus a little bit to Shan Foster and Derrick Byars, they're both leaders on the team right now. What do you see of these two together. Are they like two peas in a pod, buddies or talking smack to each other at practice all the time.
GD: I'd call them two peas in a pod. They are both great team players and they compliment each other really well. When you've got players like that they just compliment each other. It's fun to see and fun to watch. They're great leaders, both of them.

DY: So they never talk a little smack to each other during practice?
GD: No, no. They are out there focused.

DY: So looking ahead to next year, it's a long time away but off the top of your head Derrick Byers is going to be gone and probably playing the NBA. Who do you see stepping in his footsteps?
GD: Only time will tell. Right now I'm not really even focused on next year. I'm still focused on this season. So time will tell. We will surely miss Derrick Byers, he's a great player and hopefully he will be playing in the NBA and we wish him the best but right now we're focusing on this season.


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