Partial transcript below.
On Larry Drew II giving him advice:
Larry’s so small, so his vision of a big man is totally different. A lot things he says about using the body is usually a foul. It’s just fun. It’s fun playing with Larry. He really knows how to pass the ball. He loves running pick and roll with me because he feels like I’m a real center.
On adjusting to the college game:
You do a lot more on defense than in high school. It’s a lot more technicalities. With the shot clock, you don’t play defense as long. It’s quick, but you have to adjust really, really fast. … When we set a screen on the pick and roll, I really love when the big helps. When he helps, it’s easier to get my layup off.
On how he’s feeling mentally and emotionally:
I’m fine. I’m doing great right now. It’s fun. We’re in the home stretch. Hopefully we can get into the NCAA tournament and have a lot of fun. … It’s been great. The season’s gonna have its ups and downs. Us sticking together and just playing hard is what we’re really trying to do. It’s working for us.
On shooting around
It was cool. I have the most legs, so I shot the best. Don’t tell them I said that. Me and Jordan go at it in the warm ups sometimes. We shoot against each other. It’s a lot of fun.
He can’t do what he did before, but he’s a great player. Bachynski, he’s a definite pro. He has a great left hand jump hook. We’re all right-handed, so guarding a left-hand in the post is kind of different. He uses his size really well, he’s 7-2, second in the nation in shot blocks. He’s a pretty good kid. It’s going to be hard to stop him, but you gotta contain him. You gotta get physical with him. … It works in my favor because he’s tall and long. I’m short and I’m kind of wider. It’s easier going to be easier for me than it is for him.
On Howland calling the freshmen ‘gym rats’:
I’ve been playing basketball all my life. I have to be in the gym. It’s fun. We get paid to come here and play. Do what we can, it pays off. We come here, we play hard. The fans love us. That’s our payment. That works out for us. To see kids come around, walk around. We don’t need money or anything. It’s just to see kids come happy and come watch us play. I feel like if we put the work in, they’ll keep coming.
On playing time:
It’s just about being here for my teammates and playing hard. If I play five minutes, two minutes, it’s all the same thing. If we win, I’m perfectly fine. …
It was cool. I’ve played basketball before, so it was just keep playing. If he wants to pull me out, that’s perfectly fine. I’m perfect with Coach Howland. It was great. I got to play with my guys and it was fun. … It’s way easier (to get consistent minutes). You get a little looser, you get a little comfortable. You start to get the feel for it, and I think that’s what really happened, especially in the first half (at USC).
On his girlfriend Destinie Gibbs playing for USC:
We actually went to rival high schools in Atlanta. Her high school, we played them like four times one year. It’s always a sold out game. She always has her trash talking. She’s not as bad as Christina (Marinacci), Dave (Wear)’s girlfriend. When we beat them at football, there’s a lot of trash talking going on.