N.C. Pro-Am Interviews

Inside Carolina
Posted Jul 10, 2012


DURHAM, N.C. -- P.J. Hairston and Leslie McDonald spoke to reporters after combining for 50 points in Sheraton Imperial's 62-59 win over The Athlete's Foot at the N.C. Pro-Am on Tuesday.

Stat Lines:
Hairston -- 30 points, 10-21 shooting (5-8 3FG), 5-7 FT
McDonald -- 20 points, 7-11 shooting (0-2 3FG), 6-8 FT


HAIRSTON
Listen to Audio (3:59)

What is it about this setting that you like so much?
“First of all, I was taking it slow and then I heard some Duke fans in my ear, so that got me kind of hyped up a little bit and I kind of got hot. That’s how it was.”

How does this summer league help you get ready for the season?
“The Pro-Am is full of great players. Gary Clark, who played at Wake Forest, was guarding me, so it’s great competition out here always. You have to work to figure out how to score.”

You took a charge tonight. We don’t normally see that in summer league ball.
“You saw the score – it was a good game. So I needed to do it. Nobody was expecting it, so it is what it is.”

How’s your shot coming along?
“It’s coming pretty good. I’m starting to shoot more off the dribble and trying to get to the basket more and just trying to find my teammates, too.”

It looks like you got your shot back tonight.
“I sort of got into a rhythm. Some Duke fans in my ear pumped me up, so every time I made a shot I looked at them and they were quiet. And every time I missed a shot, they were cheering, so it was fun, but at the same time competitive.”

What were they saying to you?
“I couldn’t shoot and then I hit about three more jumpers after that. So it was kind of funny. I was laughing at them after that every time I made a jumper.”

What’s your evaluation of how Leslie played tonight?
“[Rasheed Wallace] got in our ear a little bit. He started telling us to be more aggressive and take it to the basket, because at one point in the fourth, there was like five minutes left and we were one foul away from the bonus. Sheed pulled Leslie and me together and was like, ‘be more aggressive.’ Leslie’s playing like his knee didn’t even get hurt last year in this [event]. He’s playing with no remorse and that’s how we’ve got to play all of the time.”

Is getting into the lane something you’re trying to add to your game?
“Yeah, of course, because it puts pressure on the defense. They know I can shoot already, so they already pressure up on me, so if I go past them, it will confuse them and they won’t know what to do after that.”

How’s your shoulder?
“I wouldn’t say it’s 100 percent, but it’s not bothering me at all. I still ice it when I’m at the gym or I go get in the hot tub and put it under water. But other than that, it’s fine and not really bothering me.”


MCDONALD
Listen to Audio (3:01)

What does a performance like this do for your confidence?
“It’s good. I didn’t shoot too many jumpers, got to the basket a lot and had a little post-up game, but I’m going to have to do that sometime. There are going to be smaller guards on me, so that was a good atmosphere and good chance for me to work on my post-up game and attacking the basket strong and making and-one plays.”

Was Rasheed playing coach out there?
“Rasheed has played this game so long. He’s been on our level and beyond, so I’m going to listen to him. He has valuable information for you, so if he tells you to do this, then you do it. And if you don’t, then that’s your choice because that’s excellent advice from him.”

Are you trying to work on anything specifically or are you just trying to have fun out here?
“Have fun. You work on your game. The first game I was mainly shooting the ball. This game I was mainly attacking the basket and trying to get rebounds. I had a little guy on me, so like I said, I was posting up. But this type of environment helps you to work on other aspects of your game you can’t do in practice.”

Do you come in to each game planning to work on certain aspects?
“Well, in the beginning of the game, you don’t know how the game is. Once the game got tied up, I thought to myself, ‘It’s time out for shooting shots, let’s get to the basket, let’s get fouls and let’s get to the line and score points.’”

Can you talk about your summer in Chapel Hill?
“It’s been good. I really like this new NCAA rule allowing players to affiliate with the coaches in practice a little bit. It’s helping the freshmen come along and get that glue that we need to come together. But I really like it, because we’re practicing all of the time.”

What have you seen from the freshmen so far?
“They’re good athletes. With the help of Jonas [Sahratian], our strength and conditioning coach, and listening to Coach [Roy] Williams, I think they’re going to be big-time players.”

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Related Stories
Hubert Expanding Body & Game
 -by InsideCarolina.com  Jul 3, 2012
Pro-Am Photos: McDonald & Hairston
 -by InsideCarolina.com  Jul 18, 2012
Pro-Am Q&A: Leslie McDonald
 -by InsideCarolina.com  Jun 28, 2012

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