As a team I think April went pretty well. We are 11-1 right now and our only loss was to Kansas City Pump N’ Run at the Next Level Tournament in the semifinals. They just shot the heck out of the ball. As a team I think we are playing very well. I thought we would struggle having so many high level players, but we’ve done a great job with that.
Personally at the Boo Williams tournament I thought I had a couple OK games, but I didn’t think that I played that well. I got very frustrated. I didn’t do a great job in that tournament in terms of taking care of the ball and doing what I do best. Then I went down to Dallas and turned it around and had a much better tournament. I got a lot more confident after that game against Naptown and going into the rest of the tournament. It’s one of those games that help confidence wise. I think I was able to turn it around and help my team out.
I definitely feel the pressure to play well because I’m committed to North Carolina. When you go out on that court you know everybody’s eyes are on you because you’re the one going to Carolina. I actually had a kid when I was warming up ask one of my teammates who was going to Carolina, so you have that from the start.
This weekend we are going to Tucson, Arizona for the Cactus Classic and then two weekends from now we go to the Memorial Day Classic in Tennessee.
A LOADED TEAM
One thing that I think is great about our team is when one player is down another does tremendous. At certain times we’ve had Marshawn Powell come out and play like a beast. In the Boo Williams Invitational we had Steven Pledger come out and start knocking down shots and it was kind of his outburst weekend. Tristan Spurlock has been playing well offensively, so things have just been going well as a team.
I definitely think we are better than last year. We have a lot more offensive weapons. Defensively we still need work, but that’s going to be with any team in AAU. I think if we keep competing and getting better as a team we will be fine.
I actually look forward to the AAU tournaments because I know I get to miss that Friday of school. So that’s good. But getting back on Monday I’m tired and on Tuesday I’m trying to get in the flow and it doesn’t help when every night you are working out at open gym, but it’s cool. It’s the sacrifices I have to make.
All the weekend trips can wear on you, but a lot of it is stamina and conditioning. This is what you train for. You just have to be mentally tough enough to tough it out the whole weekend. When it comes down to the Sunday games it’s about skill, but not as much -- it’s more about who has the drive to win.
I love the AAU experience. I work out during the school year and during the summer I get to go out there and play against the best. The summer is the time that you get to do that. You want to go out and compete and have fun.