We recently caught up with the San Diego native and asked him about doing battle in the ACC, what his role is this year, and what he needs to do to be successful at the next level.
Tom Dalton (CHN): Craig Smith was such a force for BC last year, particularly inside. Now that he’s gone and in the NBA, how does your role change this year?
Jared Dudley (JD): I think I need to somewhat expand a little more and take bigger shots – more critical shots – and assume the leadership role.
CHN: Your game has so many dimensions to it. At BC you’ve been very successful in the paint and on the perimeter. At 6’7 it’s feasible you could play the 3 or 4 spot in the NBA. What position do you see yourself playing at the next level?
JD: I’m definitely a small forward, not a power forward. But I’m 6’7 and can post up when I have to. Take a look at successful small forwards in the NBA, and most can score points in the post.
CHN: What pro player best embodies your style of play and spirit?
JD: If there were an NBA player that I model my style of play after, I’d say it would probably be (Celtics forward) Paul Pierce, who’s right here in Boston. He can score on the perimeter and in the post. He’s got a great all around game and plays with tremendous enthusiasm.
CHN: BC has some big games early in the season. Some downplay the importance of early non-conference games. What’s your take?
JD: I think they’re important because they’re statement games. Providence, Michigan State and Kansas will all be tough. Tom Izzo’s clubs are always well prepared, and Kansas is one of the best teams in the country. So these are great statement games that help prep us for conference play.
CHN: How will BC as a team be different this year?
JD: You have to go with your strengths. Last year we were slower, but we did a good job pounding the ball inside. We’ll still be doing some of those same things this year, but we have a very good foundation and a very solid point guard, and will probably look to score in transition more and get easier buckets. Against teams like Carolina and Duke we’ll want to slow it down because running is their strength. The only way to be successful against those teams is to hit free throws and win the turnover battle.
CHN: Growing up in San Diego did you ever imagine you would end up where you are today?
JD: I always dreamed of playing college basketball on the East Coast in the ACC or Big East. My father was from Wilmington, North Carolina, and I grew up loving the Tar Heels and hating Duke. Boston College turned out to be an excellent fit for me, and it’s really been a dream come true.
CHN: Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us.
JD: You bet. Thank you.