Q: What did Pitino tell you about your role as a freshman?
A: To bring him shooting and defensive ability. But not only that, just to be a team player, go hard in practice every day and give it my all. I’m going to be a team-first guy. I’m not coming in as a freshman expecting to get mine and get mine only. My first and only priority is to do what’s right for the team. If the team needs me to score points or set my teammates up, then I’ll do that -- whatever it takes to win. Coming in as a freshman, I want to be a part of a winning program. I know we can do that next year.
Q: Does it seem to you like the Gophers can take a big step forward this season?
A: Definitely. I’ve had an opportunity to meet all the guys on the team. I played with (Gophers sophomore guard) Dupree McBrayer in high school my freshman year. He’s coming back a lot stronger. The team as a whole is stronger. Just watching them in practice, I know they’re going to have a sense of urgency and focus this year. I think that’s going to help them in the long run win a lot more games. I’m very excited to be watching them.
Q: What have you noticed about McBrayer’s improvement?
A: Besides gaining weight, I’ve noticed his work ethic. He’s worked extremely hard. I saw it when he was a senior and I was a freshman (in high school). But four years later, he’s working even harder. It’s great to see. He and I have a great relationship. Brings me a lot joy to watch his success.