Q&A - Brandon Roy

EUGENE, Ore. - Dawgman.com caught up with former Washington All-American Brandon Roy, who is making a name for himself in the Rose City as the unquestioned leader of the Portland TrailBlazers. He was on hand Thursday as an honorary captain for the UW-Oregon game, won by UW 86-72, where he was lauded one last time before McArthur Court gives way to Matthew Knight Arena as host of UO basketball.

It's been a while since he's been to Eugene - "It has been a while. I had a lot of memories here, especially playing at the U-Dub for four years. We came here each season and I think I split; I think we were 2-2. I won the last one, so that's the one I remember the most. Just a lot of memories…from the moment we pulled up, it was like, 'That's where the bus came', and there were a bunch of student chanting bad things about the Huskies…but it's just made for a great rivalry. It's good to be back here, back in this room, and back on a college campus."

On what to expect during the game - "If I wasn't wearing purple, it would probably be a good reception. But since I'm wearing purple, I don't know. They are all Blazer fans, so hopefully they aren't too hard on me tonight."

On playing for a pro team in Duck territory - "That's different. That's something I've gotten used to. My rookie season I was thinking I got drafted to Duck Territory and Beavers, so I wonder how they are going to respond to a Husky? But I go out there and play extremely hard for the Blazers, and I think the fans have gained a lot of appreciation for that. They put the Husky days behind them, just not on days like this."

On playing at Oregon - "It was tough. Everyone would ask me where the toughest place to play in the Pac-10, and I would always say Eugene. Just because of the fans and something about this arena…they were just right on top of you. The team used to play faster and used to be able to shoot better. It's just a great atmosphere, even for visiting teams. I think you liked coming here and trying to play well, because it was such a great stage to perform on."

On the more memorable comments from the UO student section - "I think the funniest one was Gary Coleman. They used to call Nate Robinson 'Gary Coleman'. I remember they used to chant 'NBA Reject' when I was shooting free throws. Things change (laughs). But I have a lot of memories. They would chant things from the shootaround. We would come in for pre-game warmups, and I'm thinking we would get a chance to shoot a little before the fans came in, but nope. The minute a player stepped on the floor they would let the fans in, and they would start heckling. But there were some really fun moments. I enjoyed every minute of it. Sometimes I would even smile at some of the things that they would think of. Even though it was bad I would kind of laugh, because some of it was pretty creative."

On talking with former players about getting honored - "I haven't had a chance to talk with anyone yet. I text'd Jordan Kent, and he said he would be here tonight, so I'm going to find time at half-time to talk to him. They had a lot of great players. I played against Luke Ridnour and they kicked my butt here my freshman year. They beat us by 30-plus points. And Aaron Brooks too…there's a lot of guys, they have a lot of players in the NBA that I still see from time to time. My teammates, they were wondering why I was getting honored at an Oregon game. It's cool for me to be back here. I played with a lot of talented players, and Oregon had a lot of guys too, so it made the games a lot more fun to be a part of."

On giving advice to college players as someone that played four years - "The biggest thing is don't rush or feel pressure to make the jump to the NBA. I was able to play four years and I didn't have pressure from my family or friends to have to go to the NBA. At the time when I was coming up, people thought four-year guys couldn't be successful in the NBA, but my thing is to try and continue to work and improve on each season. And I've had success. So the biggest thing is to not feel rushed and enjoy this time. You have a whole lifetime to be an adult, so enjoy college and the experience."

On being honored - "I was excited about it, but the first thing I was wondering if it was going to be against the Huskies. And they said yes, so it was great for me. I got a chance to go to the locker room and see coach (Lorenzo) Romar. And the NBA schedule is so busy I don't get to them see them as much as I would like. But I was definitely honored. I was like, 'Wow. They are honoring people from schools and I'm one of the players they chose', and that was great - especially playing for the Blazers and being back here."

On possibly wearing Blazers gear for the occasion - "I thought about it. I thought about wearing a Blazers jersey, but I'm a Husky. I'm a Husky alum, and that's what this rivalry is about. For 40 years, I'll always wear purple, and I expect the same from the Ducks. So that's why I'm going to wear purple."

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