He won't be able to play Saturday, or this season, due to the transfer. But I caught up with him today by phone, and here's some of what he had to say:
How is the move going?A: "It’s going great. We’ve got a good set of guys. We’re working hard. As for me, it’s a lot closer to home. I really feel that as an individual, I feel like I’m getting a lot better since the move."
Is it frustrating sitting out this season?A: "A little bit because everybody wants to play. But when you look at the long run, I’m going to be so much better as a player. That’s the thing you have to look forward to: be patient and your time is going to come."
How is the A&M program different from UW's?A: "It’s a lot more execution is a big part of how we play here. We run a lot of different plays and different sets expose (defensive weaknesses). If we have a post player that has a mismatch, we have plays to get him open. Or if we have a guard that’s hit a couple of shots, we have plays to get him open. It’s a variety of plays pretty much just picking whoever that night is having a good moment."
Does the program there seem a better fit for you?A: "I would so say. Like I said, it’s more of a variety of things that you can do offensively and defensively. You can affect the games in so many ways. It doesn’t have to be in terms of just scoring. Over here we pride ourselves on setting good screens and getting people open. In this offense, if you can screen and get people open, then more than likely you’re going to be the one to get open."
Give us a scouting report: How does this A&M team differ from the one that came to UW last season?A: "Last year, when A&M came up to Seattle they had a couple of good players: Derrick Roland, who everybody knows got hurt, and Donald Sloan was really their go-to guy. And this year we have a lot of balanced scoring. Our leading scorer averages 12 points, but there are other people right at 11 and 10 points a game. On any given night, it could be anybody that has a good night. That’s the good thing about our offense: You can’t just be concerned about one of two guys because we have so many people who can create on offense."
A lot of UW fans remember that injury: Do you know how Roland is doing?A: "He’s doing fine. He’s actually in the D-League. He’s doing pretty well right now. He’s fully healed. We played with him in the summer, and he’s doing fine."
Do you keep in touch with any former UW teammates?A: "The person I talk to the most is probably Scott (Suggs). His mamma and my mamma are like real good friends, and his family is coming down for the game and so is mine. Our families always keep in touch. And I talk to Matt a lot. I talk to Holiday and Darnell here and there, and I keep in touch with pretty much most of them."
Does it feel nice to be playing in your home state?A: "It does, just because so many people that I’ve gone to high school with actually go to this school too. It’s a lot more suiting, I guess. It’s an hour away from my house. My parents will be up here this weekend to watch the game. Especially when I can play, my parents and my sister can come watch my games anytime they want to."
Do you wish you would have gone there directly, or are you happy about starting at UW?A: "I wouldn’t have changed it for anything. So far the best two years of my life has been up there. Seattle’s a great area. I’ll be up there all summer just hanging out because I had some good relationships with people not even in athletics. It’s just a great city to be in. I would have made the same decision."
But you're also happy your transferred?A: "The move is fine. It’s had the rough parts, but it’s something that I wanted to do and something that I had to do. For the most part, it’s something that’s been working well."
What was the main reason for the move?A: "It was more of just a role. My game has gotten a lot better just from the individual workouts from the redshirting. I’m doing a little bit more on offense than just being a spot-up catch-and-shooter. I’m getting to the foul line and hitting the mid-range shots and doing a little more versatile scoring than just being a straight-up shooter."