Catching Up With Verdell Jones III
July 31, 2009
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Rising sophomore Verdell Jones III spent some time talking to IUHoosiers.com recently about a wide range of topics from what foods he is eating to gain weight to the tremendous fan support the Hoosiers received last year.
Here what Jones had to say:
What is it like to come back as a veteran as opposed to coming here as a first year player:
"Well, I think this year is much better especially from the basketball aspect. We know what to expect now. When conditioning comes around we know how hard its going to be so we can really prepare ourselves. And its different this year because this time last year we were looking at each other for leadership. I think this year everyone knows the younger guys look up to us now. We play a different role this year most definitely."
What are some of the things that you might be doing differently this summer:
"I think Coach wants us to get closer in a different way this year. Every Wednesday we do a non-basketball activity. We usually start out with a team meal then we go to the SRSC and play soccer or racquetball or something like that just to have fun in a different way and get to know one another better."
After you came back from your injury you played some of your best basketball of the year. Is there anything that you can attribute that to?
"After the injury, I just realized that the game is a privilege, its not a right and so I had to play hard every day as though it was the last day I was playing. I mean it can be taken away so easily. I worked out much more than I did at the beginning of the year and just gave it my all, really."
What game individually stands out in your mind as far as a game where you knew you could compete at this level?
"I think the Purdue game when I had four different guys guarding me and I was still able to compete. I tweaked my ankle at the beginning of the game, came back and taped it up and I thought I played pretty good. I thought there were a top ten team at that time and we were right there in it. If mean if there were a couple more plays here and there it could've been a different game."
What are some of the personal goals you have heading into next season?
"To be a better leader and to get the team winning more. I'm not sure what my position will be this year. I mean, I think I can still run the point the as well as anyone on the team, and I think that by me learning to speed up the pace of our team, it will help us a lot more."
One of the emphasis on you since you got here was to put on more weight
and that's been pretty well documented. How is that coming along?
"It was going real good. I was at 175 in the beginning of the summer and then I got sick a little bit and I lost some weight. But then i just weighed into today and I was like 181. Im trying to get to 185 before the season starts. Right now it's going pretty good I may already be over 185, who knows."
What are some of the dietary changes you've had to make.?
"It's protein shakes and I've increased the amount of eggs. I eat a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in between classes. Now I'm pretty used to the amount of protein shakes so I don't get as full anymore, so my mom bought me a big package of angus beef burger patties. You can just throw them on the grill, put a patty on their along with my shake and eat it."
What's the one thing you learned about Indiana basketball that maybe you
didn't know coming in? And is there anything that happened last year that makes Indiana basketball really special?
"I'd have to say by far the fan support. When you have a team that struggled like we did this past year and you still get a sellout game, that's great fan support. And even now, I mean there's no place like it. Any other place you go to the fans would not be there as much as they were last year."
Check back soon