12 hours ago
#teamfoe giving back is a must.. Great feeling!
STF: I want to talk to you about this notion of developing as a player. You could be making a living as a basketball player right now - why was it important to come back to school?
Perry Ellis: I had a lot of ups and downs, and I realized I still had a lot to learn about the game. Just by becoming more mentally tough and learning little aspects of the game that coach was teaching.
STF: You started to really show what you could do toward the end of last season. Do you feel like opponents might be sleeping on your abilities now that they have a new crop of freshmen phenoms to focus on?
PE: I definitely do. I’ve been working really hard this offseason in the summer just trying to improve. I’ve been working hard in practice. I feel I can just bring something extra to the table for the team.
STF: Last year there was a lot of focus on Ben McLemore, who was an incredible shooter. This year’s roster has different types of players. How will that effect what you can do inside?
PE: Well, we do have some shooters. I think it will be good. Andrew White, Brannen Green are good shooters. In practice, we’ve been meshing real well, with guys knocking in shots, or I can get it in the post and kick it back out. I think that will be great for us.
STF: You’re not that much older than Joel Embiid, but you have that vital year of experience. Have you been able to take him under your wing a bit?
PE: I’ve definitely tried to. He’ll get down sometimes and I went through that too my freshman year. I can relate to him on that. Jeff (Withey) and them would take me under their wing when I wasn’t doing well or got down on myself. That’s what I’m really trying to help them with. When things aren’t going well, just keep competing.
STF: Guys who have been there a year or more know that there’s a long season ahead - if you have a bad game, you can make up for it - have you been able to pass that along to some of the new guys?
PE: Definitely, I realized that too my freshman season. It’s a long season but I turned it around at the end, so I know there’s always time to turn it around.
STF: We’ve seen big men at Kansas do that before. Cole Aldrich didn’t play a lot as a freshman, but then the postseason came around and he was a crucial piece. Did you feel that as well, like you were gradually getting integrated into the system?
PE: Yeah, I would say. The game started slowing down for me toward the end of the season, too. I could definitely say that by the end of the season I felt a lot better.