Before Wednesday’s practice, Washington sophomore co-captain Nigel Williams-Goss talked about Thursday’s exhibition opener against Saint Martin’s.
Here’s a partial transcript.
(On excitement for Thursday’s exhibition) “Definitely excited. It’s been a long offseason. I’m just ready to get back out there – back on the floor.”
(On new physique) “I’ve definitely leaned out. Cut down my body fat. Gained weight. Yesterday I was at 191 (pounds). Under five percent body fat. I feel good.”
(What did you weigh when you arrived at UW?) “Like 184.”
(And body fat?) “Like 5.5.”
(Do you feel better?) “I feel stronger. I feel quicker. I think when you gain muscle it kind of adds in other areas.”
(On ways he’s improved) “I feel like I’ve improved in every aspect of my game, which is something that I try to do every offseason. Not just focus on one area. Kind of try to do everything. I just think I’m a lot more confident. I’ve watched a lot of game film this offseason so I feel like I have a better understanding of the game. I’m just excited to see all of my hard work pay off.”
(On last season) “I learned a lot. Like I said I was watching film a lot. I watched a lot of time-and-score situations. Kind of the difference of being at home and being on the road – things you got to do differently. Like I said time management and everything like that. The small aspects that kind of go unnoticed, but is really key especially as a point guard to really have a good grasp on. I feel like I’ve learned a lot. Again, I’m just excited.”
Washington junior co-captain Andrew Andrews.
Here’s a partial transcript.
(On Thursday’s exhibition) “It’s going to be great. We’ve been practicing now the whole summer. We’ve been doing things against each other for a long time now so it’s going to be good to go out and have a real game and play against each other and combine as one unit and play. It’s going to be great.”
(On differences between last season and this season) “I think early on our defense. Our defense is so much better early on. Athleticism. Speed. Quickness. Our size. Everything. It’s just completely different than last year.”
(On roles being defined early) “Guys trying to get better. Guys buying into the system this year. Like I said, over the summer everyone stayed here so there’s kind of that course of learning and education going on to allow people to make that step to grow and to get better. We’ve seen it early on the people that want to just step up become leaders on and off the court. Even though me and Nigel are captains we still have other leaders that are captains and stepping up.”
(On UW being sneaky old, according to Lorenzo Romar) “Me I’m like the young old dude. I just turned 21, but like Jernard is 22 already. G (Giles Dierickx) is 22. Shawn (Kemp Jr.) is like 60. We’re just an old group of guys now. But then we also have our young guys like Darin (Johnson) and Nigel. They’re both still young. Jahmel (Taylor), he’s even old. But yeah, we’re an old group. But good thing we kind of play with energy and play like we’re young.”
(On what maturity does for a team) “It makes a big difference. Going through this college experience I’ve learned a lot of the better teams usually have those older guys, people that are more experienced to lead the way. And then there’s always the young guys who kind of step into their roles and embrace that role with you. I feel like that’s what our guys have done. Darin Johnson has come back way more mature. Way more focused. The same with a lot of other younger players. We all know Nigel is way beyond his years. So we’re pretty good in that area.”