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Husky Men's Basketball

The latest news and analysis on Husky men's hoops.

September 24, 2009 at 4:43 PM

Matthew Bryan-Amaning unplugged

Sat down with junior forward Matthew Bryan-Amaning and dished about everything from the huge shoes he has to fill in replacing Jon Brockman to a Twitter bet he had with Isaiah Thomas. It’s a fairly lenghty interview, but a pretty good read that provides some insights into Montlake’s favorite Brit.
MBA said he worked on a mid-range jumper this summer during games with Spencer Hawes and Nick Collison. He also said Darnell Gant is huge. (And he is. I saw Gant Wednesday and he looks ripped. He obviously put in a lot of time in the weight room.)
(What did you do this summer?) “I was here for two months just taking classes and working out. Then I went home for about three weeks to see family.”
(Did you play in a tournament in England?) “Yeah, the Midnight Madness. It was fun. Just playing with old friends. Teammates. Guys back home and guys that’s been over in the States.”
(What did you work on this summer?) “There’s not one thing, getting better as a whole. There’s so much going on in the game and during the game that you want to be able to get better at a whole bunch of stuff. I’ve been working a lot shooting and getting a lot of jump shots up. Mid-range jump shots, 15-18 feet.”
(So you have an 18-foot jump shot now?) “I didn’t say that. (Laughs) You’ll have to see. But just getting a lot of jump shots up. Doing face-up moves to the baskets from mid-range. That’s what I did a lot.”
(Did you work on that baby hook shot that gave you problems late in the season?) “That was just my footwork. During the year, I played a lot during the last year. Last summer playing with the Under-20 team. So I think by the middle of the year, my legs were just tired to be honest with you. It was falling and doing very well for me early on in the season, but the thing with a baby hook is it’s unstoppable to block so it’s not really anybody or my defender that threw me off, it was just not finishing around the rim.’
(Did you gain any weight?) “Yeah. I’ve been in the weight room a lot. I was up to around 245 around midsummer. I’m down to around 240 right now. That’s just getting back in shape. I’m sure I’ll gain that back within the next few weeks.”
(Are you still 6-9 or did you grow?) “Still 6-9.”
(Do you hear the concerns about you replacing Jon Brockman?) “Yeah we hear stuff, but we don’t really pay attention to it. We just work and try to be the best team that we can be. We got so many weapons that can produce. Our backcourt is going to do that on a nightly basis. Then all the bigs. Myself, Tyreese (Breshers), Darnell (Gant), Clarence (Trent) playing inside and out. We’re just trying to produce so we can help (the backcourt).
(But is there more pressure on you because you have the experience?) “Well Tyreese has been around the program for a year, he knows everything that goes on. Darnell, obviously he’s only a sophomore, but he’s redshirted and he’s been here the same amount of time as me. So we all know everything that’s going on around the program. It’s not nothing new or it’s not like these guys haven’t been around and seen what’s going on. It’s not like I have more experience. We’re all experienced.’
(What would you like to accomplish this season?) “Just try to be the best basketball player I can be. I don’t like to try to predict or anything like that. Just go out there and be the best player that I can be. If the best player I can be is someone who averages five points and four rebounds and we’re winning, then I’m happy. If I’m out there producing and getting picked to the all-conference team, then I’m happy. I just want to go out there and win games.”
(Whose been giving the most challenge during the offseason?) “During the offseason we’ve been playing with a bunch of NBA guys. Spencer (Hawes) was back a lot. Nick Collison was back. We (the Huskies) tried not to guard each other just so we can go against the NBA bigs and get ourselves in better shape.
(And what about your guys?) “Darnell has put on a lot of weight. He’s around 230 right now. He bangs with me a lot in the post. Tyreese is going to be a beast as soon as he gets in shape. He’s going to open up some eyes. He’s around the same height, but a little heavier than Brockman, but he’s so much more athletic. He moves good from side to side and can get up and down the court. As long as he keeps his wind and gets back in shape, he’s going to be really good.”
(Do you have the foot speed to keep up with your quick backcourt?) “The one thing with this team, coach has said it already, we got the personnel to be able to guard all positions on the court. With that and our length, it’s going to be ridiculous. Obviously with a guy like Venoy (Overton) putting pressure on the ball, guys on the wing like Quincy (Pondexter), (Justin) Holiday, C.J. (Wilcox) denying. And then the guys behind them like myself, Darnell, Tyreese who can block shots. It should be a real good defensive team.
(Excited about the season?) “Of course. We’ve waited a long time. Especially with my situation and our personnel. Some times guys have to wait their turn and now hopefully it’s my turn.”
(Did you work a lot with Gaddy and Thomas this summer?) “Yeah, we’re going to have a lot of fun. Let’s put it that way. Both on the offensive and defensive ends. Me and Isaiah and me and Gaddy, we’ve been running pick-n-rolls all summer. So stuff like that, it’s going to be real good.”
(Which one of your teammates surprised you the most?) “Tyreese’s ability for his size. A lot of quick footwork he’s got. I already knew how Gaddy was. I’ve seen him play a lot in high school. So I knew he was a pure point guard that can really shoot it. Just the whole team. If you look at this team, we’re a close team and we seem more focused. With Brock out of the picture, leadership-wise Quincy has really taken over. You can tell that he wants to be a leader and he wants to be the head of this team. But as a team we’re really focused. All of us guys hang out together. We’re really goofy to be honest. I was not worried, but that’s one thing that people think about when Brockman left. How would we be and so far what we’ve done in the last couple of weeks in practice and conditioning it shows me that guys are really focused.”
(So what’s this I hear about you, IT and Twitter?) “Oh that. (Laughs) It was fun. Basically we just had a little bet to see who could get to 500 followers first. I won. Of course. He lost and now he has to shave his head. We didn’t put a timetable on it, but he’s going bald soon enough.”
Back later.

Comments | Topics: C.J. Wilcox


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