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Husky Men's Basketball

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

February 11, 2011 at 3:01 PM

Stanford’s John Gage and Aaron Bright return home

john gage.JPG
Photo credit: McClatchy Newspapers – Nhat Meyer
Stanford flew out of Spokane and into Seattle this morning. Before stopping at the hotel, they bused over to Edmundson Pavilion for a practice, which has just finished.
Had a chance to speak with Cardinal coach Johnny Dawkins before the workout and later caught up with former Bellevue High standout Aaron Bright and Vashon Island standout John Gage.
Very funny interview with Gage (above, right) who talked about returning home, why he chose Stanford over Washington and his mother who has a unique cheering style.


STANFORD COACH JOHNNY DAWKINS
(On John Gage and Aaron Bright) “I’m really proud of both young men. They’re both playing well. They both are making good contributions to our program. Bright has started a number of games for us and John Gage has actually started to really earn time over the last two weeks. He’s made the most of his minutes. I’m really proud of his growth.”
(On Jeremy Green) “I’m really proud of Jeremy’s work ethic. A lot of times when a kid goes through a spell like that it could kind of last all season. But he’s been able to fight his way out because he’s believed in himself. He’s a very confident player. He kept working. He knew he was getting good looks, but sometimes they just don’t go for you like you want them to. And he was battling a few injuries at the time. His finger and his leg. So he had things going on. But he’s starting to feel better. I think it made him a better player because it forced him to learn how to do other things on the floor for us. And now that he’s shooting it better he’s still able to do those other things that he wasn’t doing when he was primarily a shooter.”
(How has he adapted to taking over the scoring responsibilities from Landry Fields?) “He’s been making adjustments. You have to remember he’s now taking and everybody is giving him that player who guarded Landry. So he’s taking on the best athletes or defender. And there’s been an adjustment there. He’s been making it. I think he’s been learning from each experience and he’s growing and getting better from each one.”
(Seemed like you turned the first game against Washington into a battle.) “For us we want to compete. I don’t know if battle would be the word for it, but we want to be able to come in and compete. We know they will and we have to be ready to do it as well.”
STANFORD FRESHMAN JOHN GAGE
(You anxious for tomorrow’s game?) “It’s going to be a lot of fun. I was a UW fan growing up and so just to come back here. I’ve only played one other game in my life here and it was a great game for me so I’m excited to get that feeling going again.”
(You nervous?) “Ultimately you kind of have to treat it like any other game. So it’s the nerves that you get in any other game except that you’ll have a lot of friends and family watching. So I guess a little more. But it’s another game for me.”
(How many friends and family are you expecting?) “I would say about 20-30 people that I know very well. A lot of them are Husky fans. I’m from a very Husky area.”
(Was the other game the MLK tournament?) “Yes it was. We beat King’s by a little bit.”
(How close was the recruiting between Washington and Stanford?) “It was really close. It was a really tough decision when it came down to it. But looking back I feel like I made the right decision. It feels like it was best for me.”
(Who’s going to be louder, your mom or Aaron Bright’s mom?) “Probably Cindy (Bright’s mom). She gets pretty loud. Although my mom likes to make really loud comments at awkward moments during the game. Right before free throws when it’s dead quiet she’ll go “Up and in. Up and in.” And then she’ll go “Whoo-hoo.” It’s really confusing with her. But she enjoys it.”
(How long has she watched you play basketball?) “I started in the eighth grade so she’s been to pretty much every game since the eighth grade.”
(Does she understand the game?) “She gets it. She was a cheerleader in high school and she never really got over that.”
(Have you ever told her this?) “No. It’s my mom. She does her thing.”
(But you’re saying this now?) “I think it’s funny. I love her.”
STANFORD FRESHMAN GUARD AARON BRIGHT
(How do you feel about returning home and playing against Washington?) “For me it’s a dream come true. I’ve always wanted to play in Husky Stadium whether it was for the Huskies or against the Huskies. It’s a dream come true. It’s just really a blessing to be able to play here.”
(Will you have a big following at the game?) “Yeah. A lot of people are coming down. I think it’s more than 20-30 people to be honest. I don’t know. I used up all of my tickets. Hopefully it will be a packed house and a good game.”
(So there’s going to be a lot of red in the building?) “Well all of them are going to be cheering for me, but against Stanford. So I wouldn’t necessarily there will be red in the building.”
(Can you talk a little bit about Friends of Hoop coach Jim Marsh?) “Coach Marsh will be there. He’s been down to a couple of our games at Stanford. I keep in touch with him periodically. He just told me this is like another game. I think it will be fun for him to watch two of us from the Friends of Hoops program. There’s a few of us out there competing against each other.”
(How big is it for you that you’ve already started some games?) “That was my goal was to start and keep the starting spot. I started a few games and that was great. Right now it’s about winning and getting better.”
(How much did you run into Venoy Overton and Isaiah Thomas in the offseason open runs?) “I came here only once or twice for open gyms at UW and both of them were injured so they didn’t play. So I was playing with Abdul (Gaddy). I haven’t played with Isaiah since my freshman year on Friends of Hoop. It’s always good when me and him go against each other. We compete against each other.”
(Do you gain some confidence from your first game against Washington?) “Yeah. Just getting that first one under my belt. Our team played really well. We’re coming into this game with confidence and hopefully we can get another win.”

Comments | Topics: Abdul Gaddy

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