Q&A With Leslie McDonald & Brice Johnson
Senior Guard Leslie McDonald
On what the approach will be this year in terms of the lineup:
"I'm not sure. I can tell you last year was last year. We had a good chance with running a small lineup, but you don't know about this year. You don't know about the different teams we play, the experiences. But that's Coach's call. I can't really tell you if we're going to go small, big or whatever. That's Coach's call. Whatever he feels like is most comfortable for this team."
On the "freelance" offense and how much the team might rely on it this season:
"Freelance is a play where we have the freedom to make plays. We go set screens, we go cut. It's not a structured offense. It's very free and spaced out. We set screens, back screens, cut to the basket and make basketball plays...We do pretty good [when freelancing]. We have young guys that listen to what Coach says and with my experience from a long time, we are going to do pretty good just by us working hard. Everybody on our team is dedicated to this team. We want to win a championship, we want to win games so we are going to do whatever it takes."
On what he's seen out of P.J. Hairston:
"I can tell you definitely his spirits are up and running. He's a determined young cat. Just seeing him work hard to run the "33s," going extra hard in workouts - you can tell that he's very, very determined to be a part of this team and to get his time back. I praise him for that because some of the stuff that you don't see behind doors, [like] what he's been working on and running extra time. Some guys would give up, some guys wouldn't take that opportunity, [and] some guys would leave and waste the week away, but he's been strong."
Sophomore Forward Brice Johnson
On his reduced minutes toward the end of last season:
"It was very difficult just knowing that we're giving up a little bit of size now, but at the end of the day you have to respect what Coach [Williams] does and go in there and produce when you have to. We all back whatever he says."
On what he learned from last season:
"That we [big men] have to work harder because Coach [Williams] likes to play with two bigs and not with four guards."
On how prepared the team is to play with a bigger lineup this season:
"We are a lot more prepared because we have a lot more experience this year than last year. A couple of us really didn't play that much, with me and Joel [James] being freshmen. We have more experience because we have more game time, [and] played a lot more. So we are a lot better prepared this year."