You can find video of Wednesday’s presser here. Below is the transcript.
(On how he is getting acclimated to campus)
Everything has been good so far. I came later, so I’m just getting adjusted to, not like the around campus stuff, more like following what they’ve been doing in practice, trying to pick it up quicker, the lifts, because Coach Kettler is one of a kind over here. I think, in a week and a half, I’m really getting adjusted. In practice today, I feel like it’s probably one of my better ones. I’m getting adjusted and learning everything fast.
(On if he’s had a chance to showcase his passing and your rebounding in practice yet, and not just his shooting)
Yeah, definitely. I feel like I’ve definitely, since I’ve got here in the short period of time, showcased my passing. Coaches have reiterated that to me. They like me coming out the screen and making that pocket pass, and post feed entry, so it’s been good, it’s been good with that. Rebounding, just getting to the glass as soon as possible, and being able to get back. I think anybody can rebound, it’s just whether you’re willing to or not.
(On what he remembers from his matchup vs. Louisville while still at Miami)
I’d say, when we played them, I realized: one - that it’s a lot of new guys here from when you guys played us. A lot of people left or graduated. But the biggest thing is a lot of change. Mainly the style of offense that we’ve been running, compared to what they were running here last year.
(On how different Louisville’s offense is now compared to when he played them)
It’s just very fast paced. I think it’s good, and it’s really opened up my game more than I would have even thought, because it breaks open a lot of - like some guy doesn’t get back, or are scrambling, and they’re running out on a man, it gets me transition threes, and a lot of open shots. It’s really good to see an NBA-style offense, I think. It’s not robotic, and it’s really, personally, helped me along with the team.
(On how much the promise of a new offense played into his recruitment to Louisville)
They were telling me that they weren’t the best shooting team last year, and that was one of their main focuses on trying to get better at next year. Just the fact of needing a shooter, and along with the way they were describing it. They sent me Coach Ross McMains, that he was coming in, and kind of sent me his whole background, and stuff like that. Then when I wasn’t here when the whole team was here, Ross was always sending me clips of what they’re doing, so I could at least get a feel for it, even though it’s not on the court running it. So when I do come in, I see exactly what’s going on and where I fit, and how running fast can really-not just like getting to the rim and all that, but really like open my game, and where to be in the corner, this and that. Pretty much keeping me updated with the sending me the clips when I wasn’t here, has been the biggest difference.
(On if Louisville was recruiting me out of high school, and if he considered continuing high school football into college)
Out of high school, I never talked to Louisville. There was no communication there at all. First time I talked to them was in the transfer portal.
With playing football, I was considering that, because I actually played up until my sophomore year where I broke my leg. I always had a love for football, so I considered it. But I think I would probably wouldn’t be here if I chose that. The biggest reason as to why I came here was because I wanted to play basketball.
(On how things look defensively in practice)
The biggest thing is just-our term here we call on offense, is “try to trigger dominoes”, where got guys constantly closing now, and running on close outs to try to beat that. So the biggest thing on defense, is finding how to be disciplined in a fast paced game, because we might not be the only ones that do that. Other teams could be playing fast, so it’s really been disciplined, stay on your feet, a lot of full speed run out close outs. If you’re running out there and you jump, that’s triggering dominoes for the rest of the defense. It’s really been: stay disciplined, stay on your feet don’t let the guy beat you, and pretty much guard your yard.
(On why he left Miami)
It was mainly just-wasn’t the best fit for me. Probably didn’t see that coming out of high school that I probably should have. I think it ended up just being not the best fit. Now going the second time around, I wasn’t focused on the gym, the weight room, everybody’s got that. Now the second time around, I really realized it’s about the fit, and about where I can help at the end of the day. I think it ended up just being not a great fit for me.
(On what he was up to between leaving Miami in January to arriving on campus)
I actually immediately went back home, and finished my classes when I was at home, so I didn’t work out there. But when I was back home during that period of time, I worked out with my trainer back home, his name is Peter Reppas. So I was just pretty much just honing in my skills the whole time when everything was going on, and I wasn’t playing that four months stretch.
(On if his performance vs. Louisville piqued their interest in him, and what transpired between that games and leaving Miami two weeks later)
Maybe for them. They haven’t told me really anything specific, if that game helped them make a decision on recruiting me. So in my eyes, I don’t know anything about that. We didn’t talk during that time right after the game, I didn’t talk to them until I put my name in the portal. So for me. it was more like a coincidence, I guess.
(On his impressions of Louisville’s backcourt)
I think the guards are really good. My roommate, Noah Locke, he can do a lot of things. He’s a combo guard, he can bring it up, he can shoot it just as well, in transition mid-range he’s got the floater, he’s a good passer. Then Jarrod West, who I kind of see as our, in my eyes, kind of like our captain in a way. He’s kind of like the grandfather of the team. He’s like a floor general, pass-first guy, gets to great spots, gets people in perfect position for a good pass right to the rim for open jump shots. El Ellis, he’s athletic, playmaker, scoring ability. I think all the guards are really, really good, especially good team guards.
(On how good of a shooting team he thinks Louisville can be)
Just by going on our practices and pickups, and even just shooting around, I think we’re going to be a pretty good shooting team. Especially after everyone got adjusted, not thinking as much, a lot of guys are making a lot of shots. I think that we could end up being a really good shooting team, overall field goal percentage and three point percentage. I think it’ll be a big change from what they said they had last year.
(On the biggest obstacle when it comes to building team chemistry with mostly new players)
I feel like it’s just like any other team with new guys. Just over time, that comes. Nothing forced comes naturally.I think we’re a really close team for the short period of time, even shorter for me. I’m already close to the guys. I think that says a lot. I don’t think it’s like any other team, where you guys get closer over time. I think it’s a naturally really close team. I think it’s going to get closer, like guys are already comfortable doing stuff that you probably wouldn’t do with each other on week two for me, and like a month for them. A lot of similar interests, everyone takes basketball seriously, and willing to joke around. I got people in my room all the time, watching movies in each other’s room, it’s been good. I feel like we’re a really close team, especially for teams I’ve been on.