Observations from Tuesday's 52-45 Loss at No. 14/15 Wisconsin

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Hollins vs. Wisconsin
Andre Hollins scored 38 points in the Gophers' two games against Wisconsin this year. He set a career high with 20 against the Badgers at Williams Arena, and he again led the team in scoring at the Kohl Center with 18 tonight. Hollins scored eight of Minnesota's first 13 points, including two three-pointers. Later in the half, he was fouled by Jordan Taylor shooting a three, and made all three free throws. The freshman point guard outscored Wisconsin's senior point guard, 13-5, in the first half.
Go Gophers! RS3
Go Gophers!
Sampson is the 37th Gopher to reach 1,000 career points.
Go Gophers!

Join the Club
With eight points tonight, Ralph Sampson III added his name to a small list of Golden Gophers who have amassed 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, and 150 blocks over their careers. Mychal Thompson, Kevin McHale, Randy Breuer, and Michael Bauer are the others to reach those numbers.

Sampson's career totals now stand at 1,004 points, 625 rebounds, and 201 blocks heading into his final regular season game as a Gopher. His 1,000th point came on a free throw in the second half. Sampson is just the third Gopher to reach 200 blocks, which he eclipsed by swatting away five shot attempts today.

Minnesota Misers
Although Minnesota did not compile large point totals in either half, the Gopher defense was even stingier than the Badgers' in the first. Minnesota tied its lowest point total allowed in a half by limiting Wisconsin to 16 points in the first, tying the season mark they set against USC in December.

Hot and Cold
Neither team shot well tonight, and the Badgers did not make a single field goal for the last 12:32 of the half. They went on a six-plus minute scoring drought during that time, from the 8:27 mark to the 2:08 mark. When the scoring drought began, it was 13-13. During the scoring drought, the Gophers scored 10 points, including eight free throws.

Minnesota went on a drought of its own, stretching from the 3:08 mark of the first to the 16:55 mark of the second half. That drought helped the Badgers to tie the game at 25 early in the second.  Each team held a 10-point lead at one point in the game.

Behind the Scenes in Golden Gopher Basketball

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The final buzzer sounds, the score of the game goes final, and the band plays one last fight song as the crowd begins filing out of the arena. Many fans will spend the rest of the night winding down, but for those involved in the basketball program, there is still work left to do. Steps to wrap up this game and get ready for the next one begin immediately after the game clocks hit zero.

After a road game, managers Adam Bates, Tony Clemons, Tony Emanuel, Aaron Katsuma, Eric Lutz, Tom Giesen, and Dan Kurtzweil collect everything they brought with them to the arena--from laundry to dry-erase boards to chairs. They make sure it is all there, pack it up, and load it on the team bus to go to the airport. After loading and unloading the plane and bus and finally returning to Minneapolis, they ensure that everything makes it to its proper place back in Williams Arena.

There are a few different things to take care of after home games, but no packing and unpacking. Managers will likely leave Williams Arena an hour to an hour and a half after the game ends. They must clean up the bench areas, the locker rooms--including the officials' locker room--and the water coolers. And, of course, they must collect the laundry and take down the team's filming equipment.

Even for televised games, the team films each game on its own, too. It is video coordinator Bryan Bender's job to deal with all the footage. Before he gets to the team's version, he first makes DVD copies of the TV version right after the game and distributes them to the opposing team and to the Gopher coaches and players. Then the Gopher staff has a meeting to discuss not only the game that just ended, but also the upcoming schedule of games, practices, and meetings.

Go Gophers! Bender
Go Gophers!
Video coordinator Bryan Bender prepares all the film the Gophers watch.
Go Gophers!
Next, Bender goes back to the team's video. He uploads it onto a server and spends a few hours working on it--still on game day. Using a program called XOS Thunder, he breaks it down by possession and by personnel and cuts out the dead time between plays. The program allows Bender and anyone else watching the film to sort clips by situation, play, and player. For example, Rodney Williams could watch all the plays in which he drove down the baseline and scored.

Bender also obtains film of Minnesota's future opponents. For most Big Ten teams, this is fairly easy because the games are usually televised and Bender can record them. He also uses Synergy Sports Technology's online database of televised games. Like the Gophers' film Bender has broken down, the games in the database can be sorted. This digital filtering technology is a major step up from the VHS tapes the Gophers used when Bender started six years ago.

The most difficult time to find copies of opponents' games is the non-conference season. Some of the smaller schools rarely (if ever) play on TV. Bender may trade for film if other teams agree to it. Early-season tournaments present another challenge. The Gophers do not know who they will play each round, so they have to prepare for all possible teams. This means Bender had to find film of all seven teams in this season's Old Spice Classic, and prepare multiple scout tapes for one day.

During the Big Ten season, the schedule is set and film is easier to find. Even before the Gophers face a conference opponent they have already played during the year, Bender still gives the coaches copies of that team's last few games.

"We kind of know what they're going to do, but it's still good to see new things that they're doing," he said.

The day after, the team usually watches at least portions of last night's game to see what did and did not work. Players can also decide to go in on their own and watch clips of only their playing time. Once they have watched their last game, they move on to their next opponent. Bender makes a scout tape with a summary and highlights of each opposing player, one of the assistant coaches writes a scouting report, and the team does on-floor scouting of what the opponent does and what the Gophers can do to stop it.

"The guys have three ways of learning: It's on paper for them, we watch it on video, and we actually do it on the court," Bender said. "We cover all the different learning styles."

On those practice days, head manager Bates and his fellow managers usually stay at the Barn for five to seven hours. Bates was there for 13 hours two days before the Ohio State game because the team practiced twice that day. During practice, the managers help with the clock and drills and keeping things running smoothly. Afterwards, they put away all the equipment and do more laundry. After a few days of practice, it will be time to set up for the next game.

"Getting ready for a home game isn't really hard because everything's here, and if we don't have anything ready, we can go find it," Bates said. "But for road games, we have to make sure that we have everything. We'll double-check the players' bags and the bags that have all the gear in them. We have a big checklist to go through. We always pack extras of everything just in case someone needs something. That's definitely the most important part."

Soon the next game is over, and they all repeat the cycle again--more meetings, film sessions, clean-ups, and practices. Bender and the managers spend a lot of time and energy doing work that might not be recognized by those outside the program. But they see payoffs in their jobs that make it all worth it.

"Seeing something on film, we implement it on the floor, and you see it happen in the game--that's kind of the most rewarding thing," Bender said. "You can see some applied knowledge from what you do in what they are doing on the floor."

For Bates, the role of manager offers a chance to gain valuable experience and connections that could help him reach his future goal of becoming a high school athletic director. But more simply, it offers an opportunity to be involved in something big.

"Personally, the most rewarding thing is just being a part of the team when you win," he said. "Once you don't play (varsity) sports anymore...it's cool to still be a part of the team even though we're not out there playing. All of the managers, we take pride in being a part of the team."

Jim Brewer, 1972 U.S. Olympic Teammates to Reunite This August

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Forty years after suffering a heartbreaking and controversial loss to the Soviet Union in the gold medal game of the Olympics, the 1972 U.S.A. basketball team will reunite to commemorate its accomplishments. Former Golden Gopher forward/center Jim Brewer played on that team and is expected to attend the reunion activities.
Go Gophers! Brewer
Go Gophers!
Minnesota retired Brewer's No. 52 jersey in 1973.
Go Gophers!

In three varsity seasons at Minnesota (1970-73), Brewer scored 1,009 points and pulled down 907 rebounds. He led the team in rebounding in each of his three seasons. Brewer was a member of the "Iron Five" lineup that led the 1971-72 Gophers to a Big Ten title. Following his time at Minnesota, Brewer played nine years in the NBA, ending his career with a championship for the 1982 Los Angeles Lakers.

A release about plans for the reunion is provided below, courtesy of Amy Dedman of Preston-Obsorne.

--Thursday, members of a planning committee gathered in Davis-Reid Alumni Gymnasium on the campus of Georgetown College to announce the reunion of the players of the 1972 Men's National Basketball Team during a celebratory weekend this August.

The celebratory event will take place Thursday-Sunday, Aug. 23-26 in Central Kentucky and include both public and private events.

"Those of us alive in 1972 will remember the significant impact that the controversial men's basketball gold medal game had (and continues to have) on international competition," said Billy Reed, executive scholar in residence at Georgetown College and founding member of the planning committee. "As our world witnessed the first act of terrorism in the modern era with the deaths of 11 Israeli athletes at the hands of Palestinian gunmen, the courage of these 12 young men's convictions in Munich does not go unnoticed."
Go Gophers! Brewer
Go Gophers!
Brewer and his 1972 U.S.A. teammates have never accepted their silver medals after the controversial loss.
Go Gophers!

The planning committee is working closely with Kenny Davis, captain of the 1972 team and Georgetown College alumnus, to coordinate the event. Currently, Davis is an account executive at Converse, the founding sponsor of the anniversary celebration.

"I look forward to reuniting with my entire 1972 team for the first time this August," said Davis. "It'll be nice to share all that Kentucky has to offer with my teammates, and in turn, share my teammates with the people of Kentucky."

On Friday, Aug. 24, the public will be invited to Georgetown College for a series of academic seminars and panel discussions focused on the historic impact of the 1972 Games and more specifically, the men's basketball gold medal game. All members of the team will be participating.

"Georgetown College has the privilege of calling Kenny Davis one of our own," said Dr. Bill Crouch, president of Georgetown College. "We're honored to host Kenny and his teammates for this reunion event."

The capstone event will occur on Saturday, Aug. 25, at the Griffin Gate Marriott after the players take in the sights and sounds of the area. They will join other notables and appear at a public banquet dinner benefiting Georgetown's Academy for Character in Sport.

"Converse is honored to be a sponsor of this extraordinary event," said David Allen, vice president and general manager for North America at Converse. "Kenny [Davis] has been with Converse since 1972, and we are proud to pay tribute to such a dedicated member of the Converse family and his teammates."

Gov. Steve Beshear was unable to attend the press conference, but sent the following statement:

With the rich history of basketball success associated with this state, Kentucky is an appropriate backdrop for an event of this magnitude. On behalf of the citizens of the Commonwealth, we are proud to host and honor such a special group of men on the 40th anniversary of the 1972 Games. We look forward to welcoming this outstanding group in August and celebrating the courage they displayed in Munich.
Mayor Jim Gray agreed. "Central Kentucky is rich in educational opportunities, and we can always count on Georgetown College to expand our horizons," Gray said. "Congratulations to Dr. Crouch and his colleagues on a thought-provoking program."

For more information about the reunion event, visit www.Courage in Munich.com.

Barnstorming with Grimm: Behind the Bench

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No players like to sit on the bench during a game, but when the Golden Gophers are out the game, they do have some pretty nice chairs to sit on. In this week's episode of "Barnstorming," radio play-by-play man Mike Grimm pays a visit to the Gopher bench to show us who sits where on game night.

Get to Know Oto Osenieks

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Get to know redshirt freshman Oto Osenieks. The Riga, Latvia, native talks about his home country, his redshirt year, and even Ricky Rubio in these Q&As.

Q: What are some things that you learned during your redshirt year?
A: On the basketball court, I learned a lot. I learned what Coach Smith wants from defense. I learned his system offensively, too. I worked a lot on my game individually. Off the court, I adjusted to American culture more. I learned the language the language more, and learned in classes.

Q: How did it feel the first time you came into a game this year?
A: It felt awesome to be able to step out on the court after the year that I waited. It was hard (waiting), and I was really happy to go out there with Elliott (Eliason) and Chris (Halvorsen), who also redshirted.

Q: When you are in the game, do you specifically look for three-pointers, or do you just take them when they come to you?
A: I'm always trying to spot up for an open three-pointer, but if it's not there, then I just screen somebody and move without the ball and try and make opportunities for other players.

Q: How did you develop your shot?
A: I remember when I was a little kid I used to shoot every day. I just love shooting. I used to play point guard, and I always shot threes. I love three-pointers.

Q: When was the last time you were home in Latvia?

A: Last summer, the year before, in June.

Q: How does your family follow the games?
A: When the games are on ESPN, they can see it in Latvia, too. On Big Ten Network, when the games are live, they stream them. But if the games are not live on TV, they cannot see them. They just follow the live stat updates.

Q: Do you talk to your family on the phone a lot?
A: We have an eight-hour difference, so it's hard to get on the same page time-wise. But we talk a lot on Skype on weekends.

Q: People probably get your last name wrong all the time, but how often do people spell your first name incorrectly (with two "T"s)?
A: Yeah, it actually happens. I don't know if they have the name Oto with one "T" in America. It's kind of rare. I understand the mistake.

Q: What do you like to do for fun outside of basketball?

A: I like to go to movies and play video games with teammates. But you don't get a lot of time off, usually.

Q: Have you chosen a major yet?
A: Business management. And a minor in sport management.

Q: How do you like your major so far?
A: It's good. I'm taking all my classes next semester that are required. The first years were just general requirements.

The Golden Gophers line up on the sideline of the Williams Arena court. Clad in their maroon and gold practice gear, they are ready to get started. For the next several minutes, they go through a series of warm-ups--from slow lunges to straight-legged kicks to calf stretches. The Gophers go through this sequence of dynamic and static stretches before each practice.
Go Gophers! Elliott Eliason
Go Gophers!
The Gopher strength & conditioning program has helped Eliason put on 43 pounds.
Go Gophers!

While head coach Tubby Smith and his assistants run most of the practice, Kevin Kocos is the man in charge of those first few minutes. Kocos is now in his second season as director of the men's basketball team's strength and conditioning program, and his fourth season overall with the program. He earned his Bachelor's Degree at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, and before earning his Master's Degree at Minnesota, he was an intern with the Chicago Bulls strength and conditioning program.

During the season, the Gophers lift in the weight room with Kocos twice a week. Out of season, they train with him Monday through Friday, incorporating more agility, speed, and conditioning drills as well as weights. The volume and nature of the work depends on the time of the year.

"In the beginning of the season a lot of times, it's getting them prepared for the volume of work they're going to be doing on the court," Kocos said. "We do a lot of conditioning in the preseason. Then after that, I can progress them to getting stronger, more explosive, and doing the things that are going to transfer more on the court--getting them faster, playing better defense and everything."

Now that Minnesota is most of the way through its Big Ten schedule, the team's strength and conditioning needs are different from way back in the nonconference season. At this point in the season, Kocos has the Gophers lifting lighter weights, but with quicker repetitions.

"The speed in the weight room will transfer over onto the court and be very fast, and power output will be a lot higher that way," he said.

Workouts must not only be tailored to where the team is in the season, but also to where each individual player is.

"You need individualization, because all these guys come from different training backgrounds," Kocos said. "Some guys will still benefit from doing heavy weight training and getting stronger. Other guys are already strong and they need to work on their speed and explosiveness more. It depends on every individual. Some guys are so fast already, but they're not even strong enough to put on the brakes, so to say, and stop themselves and make cuts."

In his time at Minnesota, Kocos has been particularly impressed with the improvement of guard Austin Hollins. He has been in the starting lineup for nearly every game of his sophomore season, and he is averaging more than eight points per game. Kocos would attribute a portion of that success to Hollins' added body weight and increased lifting capacity in the weight room.
Go Gophers! Austin Hollins
Go Gophers!
Austin Hollins has significantly increased his lifting capacity since arriving at Minnesota.
Go Gophers!

"I believe he's put on about 25 pounds of body weight and he's put on about 75 pounds on his back squat, 50 pounds on his bench, about 50 pounds on his power clean," Kocos said. "You can see it in the way he moves on the court--how he jumps, and how he makes cuts--that it's really helped him."

To make those types of gains with each player--to successfully individualize each player's training program--Kocos collaborates with the basketball coaching staff as well as team athletic trainer Roger Schipper.

"We're always in daily communication, finding out, 'This guy might need a little more conditioning because he didn't play that many minutes the other night,'" Kocos said. "Or, 'This guy's ankle's very sore because he rolled it the other day, so we might need to modify that to do only single-leg stuff.' Or things of that nature. So injuries, conditioning--it's changing every day."

To limit those injuries as much as possible, the Gophers must do their stretches correctly. Those slow movements might not seem as exciting as lifting hundreds of pounds or increasing a vertical leap, but really, the two functions of the program--preventing injuries and building better athletes--work toward the same goal.

"Everything we do here is geared towards injury prevention," Kocos said. "The stronger I make them, the more efficient they're going to be on the court, the less likely they are to be injured. It's not all completely separate--injury prevention and performance can be one and the same. As long as they're becoming better at these movements, they're going to be safer athletes."

While safety is always important, all competitive athletic programs have aspirations beyond keeping their players healthy. To win games in one of the top basketball conferences in the country, the Gophers need to have the physical tools to stay in the game against other Division I players who have worked just as hard. Experience, basketball-specific skills, and smarts all play a role. But sometimes, it is strength and conditioning that can determine who has the edge.

"The difference maker between elite athletes and anonymous athletes is speed and explosiveness," Kocos said.

Observations from Wednesday's 66-61 Loss Against Michigan State

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Back and Forth
In the first half of the game, there were four ties and 16 lead changes. No team led by more than five points. In the Gophers' and Spartans' last meeting, Michigan State led by 10 at halftime. The second half tonight never saw a lead larger than nine points. Tonight's meeting was much more competitive than the 68-52 loss on Jan. 25 in East Lansing.
Go Gophers! Austin
Go Gophers!
Austin Hollins made four three-pointers on his way to 17 points.
Go Gophers!

Back on the Scoreboard
Starting guard Austin Hollins was held scoreless at Northwestern on Saturday, but came back with a 17-point performance tonight. He posted eight of those points in the first half, including both of the team's first-half threes. He was 4-of-6 from three for the game. Elliott Eliason scored four points after a scoreless game in Evanston. Previously, Joe Coleman had been in a four-game stretch without a basket. He broke that slump with 12 points at Northwestern, and had four tonight.

May I Be of Assistance?

Julian Welch has been distributing the ball well lately. He established a career high with nine assists against Ohio State, followed by five at Northwestern. Welch dished out eight assists tonight. He is now averaging 3.2 assists per game on the year.

Spartans Continue to Roll
With this win, Michigan State retained sole possession of first place in the Big Ten standings. The Spartans have won six straight games and sit at No. 6 in both polls.

Blog: The Barnyard Travels to Evanston

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Normally, I work as a communications student assistant at Golden Gopher home games. But for the second year in a row, I traveled with almost 100 other students on a Barnyard Road Trip for a Gopher away game. This year's destination was Evanston, Ill., for the Gophers' Feb. 18 tilt against Northwestern. The annual excursion was sponsored by the Golden Dunkers and the College Licensing Company. The Barnyard Board and Gopher marketing department planned the trip.

Photo Gallery

On Saturday morning, we could check in at the Williams Arena lobby starting at 6:00. Our game tickets, trip t-shirts, and itinerary sheets were ready for us when we arrived. Our two buses' departure from the Barn -- which was scheduled for 7 a.m. -- was delayed by about 20 minutes while we waited for one straggler who had accidentally overslept.  To her credit, she was really hustling carrying all her gear.
Go Gophers! bus
Go Gophers!
The bus leaves the Barn on Saturday morning.
Go Gophers!

The bus ride was pretty quiet at first while some people tried to go back to sleep. Around 11:15, we got off of I-94 for a bit to grab lunch at a mall in Madison. It was fun walking around Badger country with all our Gopher gear on. We watched "Happy Gilmore" for the next stretch of the bus ride. I used the bus's wireless Internet to check on early college basketball games as well as the Gopher baseball team's tournament.

When we finally got off the freeway, we drove through some business and residential areas to get to our hotel in Evanston. We discovered that no one's keycards worked, so the nice people at the front desk reprogrammed them for us. Then my roommates and I watched -- what else -- more basketball before leaving for our own game.

On the way to Welsh-Ryan Arena, people on my bus started an impromptu rendition of the "Rouser" and then "Gametime" by Mac Irv (former Gopher player Lawrence McKenzie), the song played before Gopher home games. We arrived at the home of the Wildcats about an hour before the 6:00 game. It was cool to see the football stadium -- Ryan Field -- before going into the gym.

This was my first time in Welsh-Ryan. It is a pretty small arena. To get to our upper-level seats, we almost had to go outside -- the stairway was kind of separate from the concourse and we had to go through a door to get to it. We found our spots in the wooden bleachers and got ready to cheer on our Gophers.
Go Gophers! Barnyard
Go Gophers!
The Barnyard waits for the action to start.
Go Gophers!

When the team came back out on the court for more warm-ups, we cheered and sang the "Rouser." The team definitely noticed us--I could see Andre Hollins smiling his signature smile at us. Northwestern's student section -- the Wildside -- looked up at us, too. The Wildside's seats are located behind both baskets. We were in the upper corner by the Gophers' bench.

We stayed loud and stood throughout the game. We tried to pump up the Gophers' defense and encourage the offense. (We also like to believe that our noise was the reason behind any missed Wildcat free throws.) Some sweet dunks and Julian Welch's five three-pointers got us extra loud.

Unfortunately, it was a rough game for the Gophers. Our yelling could only do so much to disrupt the Wildcats' offense, and Northwestern ended up with a win. But even when it got to the point where we knew the loss was coming, our group -- though
outnumbered--was as good as or better than the Wildside. After the buzzer sounded, we stayed in our seats for one more "Rouser" and even an off-key singing of our alma mater. Despite the loss, "to thy colors true we shall ever be." 

Following the game, most of us found something to eat, and many decided to explore Evanston. I was really tired from waking up at 5 a.m., so I decided to stay in after dinner, watch the end of the Michigan-Ohio State game, and go to bed.

The next morning as I was walking down the street to church, I heard some people who were out walking their dog having a conversation about the Wildcats-Gophers game. After I got back and we loaded our stuff on the bus, my co-worker/trip roommate (Kelly Kleine) and I took a walk of our own around our hotel's neighborhood. Evanston is a cool area, and it was nice to move around a bit before the ride home.

We again stopped in Madison for lunch, at the same mall. Kelly and I could not resist going to Culver's. A post-lunch viewing of "Dodgeball" made the trip seem to speed up for a while, but when the movie ended, most of us were anxious to be home. It was a fun trip -- well worth the $35 and 14 or so hours on a bus -- but it was nice to get back to the good old Barn.

Thanks again to our sponsors, planners, bus drivers, and everyone else who made the trip possible. Hats off to thee.

--Justine Buerkle, Athletic Communications Student Assistant

Barnstorming with Grimm: From Locker Room to Court

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This week, watch Mike Grimm as he follows the route that the Golden Gophers take each game. Walk in the team's shoes--past the pictures of Gopher basketball history, and up the stairs to the raised floor. After the tour, Grimm talks about the Gophers' upcoming game against Northwestern.

Get to Know Ralph Sampson III

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Through 18 games this season, Ralph Sampson III's career scoring total stands at 980 points. With 20 more points, he would become just the fifth Golden Gopher ever to amass 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, and 150 blocks. He currently has 605 rebounds and 193 blocks.

The  Gophers' senior day is coming up in a few weeks. In the meantime, get to know more about Sampson--one of only two Minnesota seniors--with these Q&As. 

Q: Could you talk a little about your role as the veteran on the team?
A: My role as a veteran would be to give my experiences and my words of wisdom to the team and try to guide the team as best as I can, to try to get them ready for the upcoming games and upcoming battles that we're going to face in the Big Ten season.

Q: What were some of the major things you took away from your summer workouts with Michael Jordan's trainer?
A: Some of the major takeaways that I got from it are that I can always push myself harder--that's definitely one thing I learned--and just how to take care of myself, take care of my body. And when things aren't going a certain way or going the way I want them to go, how to figure out ways to change them or how to adapt to those situations that come up.

Q: Elliott Eliason filled in for you in the starting lineup for a few games while you were injured. How would you assess his performance?
A: He redshirted last year, so it was his first time out there kind of going through the ropes. I think he handled it fairly well. The whole team had to step in and take on that role once I went down. When Trevor went down and when we both were out, I felt that the team came together a lot. We're still able to pull out wins. From that, I kind of found out what kind of heart our team had and what kind of fight we had in us, which is definitely beneficial now.

Q: Coach Smith and your teammates have said you are a good communicator on the court. Is that a skill you have always had, or have you had to work to develop it?
A: I think I developed it my freshman year coming in here. Back in high school, I didn't really understand the meaning of talking on the court and how to communicate. It really was not until I got here around the seniors and upperclassmen who taught me how to communicate and how to talk on the court. Now I do it all the time and try to get my teammates to do it. Coach is always harping on communication and talking on the court, and how we'll be a better team.

Q: You--one of the tallest guys on the team--won the three-point contest at All-Star Friday Night. Talk a little about your outside shooting ability.
A: Outside shooting is one of the main things I tried to work on over the summertime--trying to extend the range on my jump shot and just being more comfortable taking it. Everybody saw that when I came back here and won the three-point contest. I really don't think anybody was expecting me to win. I think it was a shocker to see me out there taking it all.

Q: What would it mean to you to reach 1,000 career points?
A: It would mean a lot, just to join the greats here at Minnesota. To be in the 1,000-point club would be a wonderful honor. I'm close. I'll just keep grinding it out and just take it one step at a time.

Q: What do you like better: a sweet dunk, or a sweet hook shot?
A: Nothing really beats the feel of a sweet hook shot, but in terms of getting the crowd into it, getting your team into it, a dunk is better.

Q: What are some of your favorite classes you have taken at Minnesota?
A: My favorite class that I took was an art class called Time and Interactivity, where you got to create sound bites and got to alter video clips and do video editing. We got to put our own thoughts and our own creativity into each project. ...I got to explore different things and hobbies that I liked.

Q: You are from Duluth, Ga. Have you ever been to Duluth, Minn.?

A: No. I haven't been there yet. I actually didn't know there was a Duluth, Minn., until I got here. People were telling me about, and I thought they were talking about Duluth back at home, but really they were talking about Duluth, Minn. It was a little confusing at times.


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