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Wayne Blackshear talks about Senior Day, Louisville career

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On expectations for Senior Night

You know, I've seen what it's like from the past seniors. It is going to be an emotional night just because I've been here for so long and just being around different teammates and everything. So it's going to be an emotional night.

Do you feel like you're playing your best basketball right now?

Uh, I'd say yeah, a little bit. I mean I've had some inconsistent days where I didn't play to my potential. I think the last couple games I've been really performing well a little bit. And I just want to try and keep it going.

What has Louisville meant to you?

It's meant a lot. Just getting recruited, and just being here period. Everybody just gets along well. That's what really stood out and made me want to come here: the team and how everybody treats each other like brothers and just sticks together.

On how he views his Louisville career

Obviously coming in hurt, you definitely don't want to do anything like that as a freshman. But I mean, hey, I've played on some good teams since I've been here. You know, Final Four freshman year, then going back to another Final Four and getting a championship, winning two Big East championships, going to to the AAC and winning a championship and going to the Sweet 16. I mean, hey, a lot of people can't say they did that over the course of three years. We're gonna try to go out there and battle for the ACC now.

How often do you watch the championship game?

You know, I go back from time to time and look at it. You know those are memories that are always good to have. It's good that you can always see it on the Internet and everything.

Why do you think you're playing better now?

You know we're moving the ball a lot more. I think everybody is just sinking in to what coach wants them to do right now -- like when it comes to getting paint touches and everything. I think he's been on me about getting to the paint a little more, which is opening up for me to drive more and shoot more too.

How difficult is it to maintain your grades and play basketball?

I'm not gonna say it's easy, because it's not. You have your time that you have to get your stuff done, and our academic adviser stays on us 24/7 with our grades and everything. He makes sure everyone's doing what they're supposed to be doing at all times. With me coming in, that was an issue for me with school and everything, but since I've been here I've never had a problem. I've always gotten the help I needed, and it's just made me better and it's made me like school a little more.

Have you had to exert more effort on that end than you expected when you came to college?

You know, it thought I did. But I guess it was just on me being lazy in high school. But coming here, it really just kind of woke me up. You know I'm on my own, I'm by myself, so basically you're growing on your own. So basically I just made the effort to do better.

Would you have ever imagined that you'd be an academic All-American?

(Laughs) No. I would have never thought that. But I mean, it's a great accomplishment. Hard work pays off and I'm proud of myself for it.

What have you and Montrezl passed on to the new guys?

Hopefully we just showed those guys that games are never over with. We always battle no matter who or what it is. And we always just give 100 percent out there.

On Virginia

Every team that plays against them struggles against their defense because they're so connected and they help each other out so well that it makes tough for other people to score. Just like any other team, they've got flaws in their defense though that can be exposed at times.

Does the way you played against them in the second half give you encouragement?

Yeah, it definitely does. We do think we did play them a lot tougher. If we would've done that in the first half, we could've pulled away with it, but hey, we have to live with what we have and we're just gonna play tomorrow.

On the comparisons to the 2011-12 team

We can talk about it, but you know that was a different team. We had different players back then, but it's the same situation right now a little bit. I can say that every guy on this team thinks we're going to win every game every time we go on the court. There are no bad attitudes. There's nobody questioning.

On Quentin Snider being thrust into the spotlight

Q is a talented player. Just like every freshman that comes in, he's going to have trouble playing defense here because we play so many different styles. The only thing we can do is just help him and have his back out there on the court and just continue to talk and rotate and do the little things to help him out.

On being joined by Trez on senior day

It's going to be fun. It's gonna be the final two, end of an era right there. Me and him basically came in together and were able to get a championship. He's had a great career here too, so it's gonna be a real emotional night for both of us.

On his favorite Trez dunk

Probably the championship game. Just because we made that run and he ended it with that dunk he had.

You got the deflection on that too, didn't you?

(Laughs) Yeah, I did. I didn't want to say that, but I did.