Thanks to sydbruin for posting this on BZ.
Interview with Lazeric Jones, UCLA's Starting Point Guard
by Brett Pierce
Published on 10-09-2011 09:00 PM
Here is a BruinsBall.com exclusive interview with UCLA Starting Point Guard, Lazeric Jones.
How was your offseason?
Lazeric Jones: The offseason went great. I did a lot of rehab. I’ve been working pretty hard.
What specifically were you doing to train?
Lazeric Jones: Just worked on a lot of ball screen things, a lot of jump shots, ‘cause this year we’re going to dump the ball off to our best shooters, so I need to be ready to sometimes take that shot. I worked on really mentally trying to get myself ready for this year. I know I’m going to have to lead the team. So really, I’ve been trying to work hard on my mental and physical game.
How was playing with a lot of your teammates in the Say No League?
Lazeric Jones: That went really good because it gave me a chance to not only work on the offense that I’ve been working on this summer, but also to see the new guys. I got to see how they’ve been working out, and to give them a little guidance.
How was Norman Powell playing?
Lazeric Jones: He’s a really good player. Norman’s gonna be really good. He’s a great talent. He is very athletic; he shoots the ball really well. Norman’s gonna have a great freshman year.
Is your wrist completely healed now?
Lazeric Jones: Yeah, completely healed. I had to do rehab for it. I was good within 10 weeks of my rehab, and then I had to start working out for the summer.
How much did that wrist injury really affect your play last year?
Lazeric Jones: A whole lot. Really, my game is as a slasher, so it kind of threw me off a little bit as far as getting to the basket. Defensively it didn’t hinder me, but offensively it definitely did. It threw off my shot a little bit. I mean, it really was a freshman year, so that year kind of helped me mentally, and I feel having gone through that year and getting through it without quitting, without giving up, it definitely made me a stronger person.
I’ve been hearing that you now look like a completely different player since you’ve healed from the injury, and that we can expect some big things from you this season. What are your individual and team goals this year?
Lazeric Jones: Right now, my individual goal is to do whatever I have to do to get to the national title. I feel like we have a really great team and we need someone who can be the leader and do all the little things to get us there. We have great individual talent at every position, and backups at every position so I need to be the best I can be and be the best teammate I can be. I feel like if I can do that, this team is definitely going to win numerous championships.
Is this a better team than the team last season?
Lazeric Jones: We lost a lot, but we definitely gained a lot. Rebounding-wise we’ll be a better team; defensively we may be a better team. We lost our best defender but our team defensively will be better. I think we’ll be great.
Who has really impressed you with their play this offseason?
Lazeric Jones: Our whole team has done really well. The twins, they’ve really been good. The thing, honestly, is how they go up against the pros. I see how our team never backs down. It’s definitely a tougher team than last year. It’s hard to say that there is one individual that showed me more than I figured they would. I feel like everyone worked pretty hard, so everything that is coming from the players, they deserve it.
You mentioned that you played with pros this summer. Who did you play against and how did that help you prepare for the season?
Lazeric Jones: The pros that helped me this summer were Earl Watson, he helped me out a lot again this summer, as he has done before. Baron Davis helped me, and Russell Westbrook [too]. I played against OJ Mayo. Those guys showed me a lot of things. Seeing how they worked, and every day they come into the gym they’re going to come at you, and I knew how to run it. I think that really gave me a different mind-set going into next year.