What specifically did you work on over the summer to improve your game? How much progress do you feel you have made?
“For the most part, I have worked on the mental aspect. In crunch time game situations, the ref may make a call that I don’t agree with, and last year I may have let it get to me a little, but this year I think I am handling it pretty well. I have also tried to work on being more aggressive in the offense and taking it to the cup and finishing.”
There are a lot of high expectations for the team this season, how has the team and you individually dealt with the pressure of being a Final Four contender?
“To be honest, we really don’t even look at ourselves as being a top-ranked team. We try to just go out there and do what we do. We have a lot of talent on the floor and we just try to get it going on the defensive end early on and then get some easy buckets on the offensive side. We try not to worry about the pressure.”
What is it about Coach Williams that makes him such a great recruiter and makes players want to play for him?
“His will to win. He is one of the winningest coaches in college basketball today. That right there speaks for itself. His program is a winning program and all of the players he has dealt with take their basketball careers to another level. Who wouldn’t want to play for a guy like that?”
What is the most fun part of being a Division I college basketball player?
“Being able to play for Carolina. This is a great opportunity for me to be able to play for this organization and a top winning coach. That is just like having a double advantage—having a great program and having a great coach.”
Do you follow the NBA much right now? Are there any particular players you are a fan of or have modeled your game after?
“I don’t follow it much right now. I am focused on college basketball right now, so I am just trying to do what I do for my team. Hopefully if things work out in the Spring, I’ll be able to look down that path a little more. Scottie Pippen is my all-time favorite player. I haven’t heard anybody say who I remind them of, but I just pretty much try to do what I do.
Which of your teammates do you feel deserves more credit and publicity for the things he does for the team?
“I would have to say Quentin Thomas. He brings a lot to this team. He has been having a lot of competition for his position, but he still shows the younger guys what to expect from Coach Williams. He has been in a lot of situations since he came here. He’s played for a National Championship team; he knows what it takes for Coach Williams. He is one of those guys that a lot of people overlook, but he brings a lot to this team.”
More Top 10 Teams Interviews