How has the summer been going for you so far?
“The first two or three days here – the freshmen… We were drained. Going to class, going to lunch, having study hall, then lifting… We were drained the first three days. We just wanted to get in a nap. But we’ve adjusted. We learned to get our rest in. We learned to stay in the gym. I think that’s a big thing with this freshman class – we’re in the gym a lot more than I think most people expected.”
You’ve Tweeted about the difficulties of not having a car with you. Are you getting your car soon?
“I need a car up here real soon. I know for sure I need one in August. I don’t mind walking, but when it’s hot and humid outside and I have to go all the way across campus… I need my car up here. So, that’s in the works.”
Did you know how humid it gets here in the summer?
“When I came to do my visit, it was cold. I wasn’t thinking about humidity. When I got here, I was just like, ‘whoa, man!’ It really hit me.”
The game is on the line. Your team is down two. Who do you want to have the ball in their hands? (Note: He couldn’t pick himself).
“Wes Clark. He’s a guy that’s been here for this team. Even though last year they were in a little drought, but every game he played, he played his heart out. Even the Arkansas game, or even when he got hurt. He just kept playing. He’s a tough guy, and he’s never going to give up on you.”
What does having a guy like Cullen Van Leer do for you?
“It opens up the entire floor. I know after a few weeks playing pickup with Cullen (Van Leer), I like putting him on the side of me in the pick-and-roll so he can ride. So, either way, we’re going to get a layup for me, a dump off for the big guy, or we’re going to hit Cullen. And when he gets going, there’s no stopping him.”
What is the point guard competition like between you, Tramaine Isabell, Wes Clark and Martavian Payne?
“We’re going to battle every practice. It’s a long summer, it’s a long fall until the season starts. But, to me, it doesn’t really matter whether I start or not. I would like to start. But if I have to come off the bench to create some spark for the team, I don’t mind. I did that my sophomore year (at Oak Hill Academy) and I loved playing that role. I feel like it brings a great impact on this team. But we’re going to compete every practice, we’re going to get after each other at practice, we’re going to make each other better and we’re going to pick each other up at the end of the day.”
What has been the biggest adjustment for you?
“I think the pace of practice – when I was at Oak Hill we went hard at practice – but you have to go that much harder here in practice. And then, the pace of the game in pickup. The things that I could do in high school, I can’t do certain things now. I might need an extra dribble here or there. But, just the game in general, I have to adjust to. And I’ve adjusted well so far.”
How would you describe your relationship with Coach Fulford?
“That’s my guy. That’s how I’m going to put it. I like having him as a coach. When I mess up, he pulls me to the side. He says, ‘hey, we have to do this better’, or ‘next time down the floor, see this’, or ‘hey, lets go a little harder there.’ So, we work with each other. I’m not negative with him. When he tells me something, I listen to him. I know, at the end of the day, he knows what he’s talking about. He’s going to get me better. And we’re in the same boat here. We just want to win.”
Did you know Coach Fulford when he was at Huntington Prep?
“When he was at Huntington Prep, we never played each other. But we always talked trash to each other when we saw one another. And I told him this year, I said – ‘when we play Huntington Prep this year, we’re going to beat them.’ And we ended up beating Huntington Prep this year. But we had a good relationship when he was at Huntington Prep and that has carried over.”
Who has surprised you the most over the first few weeks of summer?
“Cullen (Van Leer). When I got here, they told me we had Cullen Van Leer coming in. He’s a shooter – he can really shoot it. But you hear that about all types of shooters. And then in the first day of pickup, it’s just cash, cash. It’s just going in. And I was just like, ‘I see why you’re here.’ It’s great to have him aboard on this team.”