K-State Men's Basketball Holds Annual Media Day

Oct. 22, 2014

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K-State Athletics
MANHATTAN, Kan. - K-State Men's Basketball helds it annual media day on Wednesday at the Basketball Training Facility. Meeting with the media were several players. The following is a transcript of the select player interviews.

Sophomore Forward Brandon Bolden
On finally being able to play...
"I am so eager. It has been a little over a year since I have played. I am really anxious to get here and get out on the court and play again, really."

On what the past couple years were like...
"Now that this year is here, it seems like a road to get to this point. I did not know how important it was at the time waiting for this, but now it has all been built up to this."

On the difference between Georgetown and now coming to K-State...
"The overall environment is different. If you come in here on any day during practices, there is so much more intensity. Everyone including the coaches get into it and feel that vibe. The offense is definitely a lot more fun to run here and less sluggish. Here is it is more high speed and really shows the athleticism that we have in our team."

Junior Guard Justin Edwards
On being anxious for the season...
"I'm extremely anxious, it's tough sitting out a whole year and just only being able to practice and not see any game action. I'm excited to go out and show people what I can do and have fun with my teammates"

On what people should expect to see from him this year...
"(Laughing) Lots of dunks, people say I like to dunk and they aren't wrong. Hopefully a lot of exciting plays, as well as block some shots and make some threes. I want to bring a lot of excitement and energy into Bramlage. "

On what he has learned from sitting out last season and practicing with the team...
"I've learned the level of competition is way higher. Always having to be aware on defense or else you will be exposed. You absolutely can't take any plays off, you always have to compete. Everyone is good and there are no bums on the court."

On the process of leaving Maine and why he left...
"I was looking for another school that got a lot of exposure and played against good competition each year and had a good coach. Once I got my release from Maine is when K-State started recruiting me. They were the first school to show interest in me and that was really appealing to me. Coach (Bruce) Weber is a great coach and I could tell it would be a good fit."

Sophomore Guard Marcus Foster
On how he spent the off-season...
"I ate a lot better, last season I didn't eat as healthy as I should have been and my body fat was higher than I wanted. Since then, I've cut three percent off my body fat and I'm lifting more in the weight room.  Overall, since last season I've been working on getting stronger and slimming down."

On having added depth this season...
"It's going to help all my teammates, not just me. We can throw it down low to (Thomas) Gipson, Brandon Bolden and Stephen Hurt, which will relieve pressure off the guards. Then we've got guys like (Wesley) Iwundu and Nino (Williams), who are good stretch guys that will get to the basket and score. And then we're also going to have guys that can score on the perimeter."

On the non-conference schedule...
"It's going to be tough, we don't want to lose games early in the season, but they are teams we can beat and really build our resume for the NCAA tournament."

On his opinion of media talking about him possibly going to the NBA...
"It's exciting to hear people talk about it and I feel like I can get there if I keep working hard and stay hungry. I'm not going to let it go to my head, I'm going to stick to the things I've been doing and do the things that made me successful last season."

Freshman Forward Malek Harris
On his size this season...
"I'm weighing 213 (pounds) right now; I put on 18 pounds. Being 6-foot-7, I put on some weight coming in. That was an important thing to me playing guys that weigh 250 (pounds). 

On how he sees himself playing this year...
"I think the biggest role for me is going to be defense and on the glass and rebounding. Anywhere I can play and whoever I play against, I am going to want to rebound for the team. I just want to be smart and not make forced mistakes or turnovers, and overall play well."

On what he's looking forward to facing Washburn...
"I am just looking forward to new competition. I've been playing with and against these guys for four months now. I'm looking forward to playing against different guys."

Freshman Guard Tre Harris...
On how he describes himself as a player...
"I would definitely have to agree with the `Shotmaker' name. I have the ability to stretch the floor and make easy plays for my teammates. I like to open up the floor and give everyone the chance to operate.  That is the role that I take pride in."

On redshirting...
"It has not been brought up since I have been here. I do not think that is going to be the case, but you never really know." 

On adjusting to playing on a larger level...
"These guys are grown men. It was definitely tough getting used to the strength and the speed that these guys have. I have put on a little bit of weight, like 20 pounds, since I have been here. I just want to keep working, but the transition has been going really well for me."

Junior Forward Stephen Hurt
On being part of K-State...
"It has been great so far...getting acclimated to all new things like the playbook, defense systems. It's been a real fun process."

On what separates K-State...
"The family atmosphere definitely with the great fan support. Also Coach (Bruce) Weber and the rest of the coaches in setting me straight. Also nice knowing that we are going to have a really good and young team."

On what type of player he is...
"I guess I am a more finesse type of player. I can switch in between both games. I can be in all types of things. I can step out and shoot the jump shot, and I can also go down low as well."

Sophomore Guard Wesley Iwundu
On talent or effort when rebounding...
"I would say effort this year for sure. Last year I would not say it is physical as much as effort, but this year I feel like it is a mixture of both. I feel like I can be more of a threat in the paint this year."

On preference for position...
"I am pretty comfortable at the three and the four. On defense I play every position. I think though that I contribute better as a three, but I will play wherever I need to play."

On personal expectations for this year...
"Well for the team, I think win the Big 12 Championships and make the Final Four. For myself, I just want to have great energy for the team and have a successful year and it all starts from here."

Sophomore Guard Jevon Thomas
On building confidence...
"I began to second guess last season with my mental toughness decreasing. From there, I just used it as a learning experience for next year."

On Justin Edwards...
"He is basically like our senior. He is being more verbal and with going to the camps, he knows what it takes to improve. He went to camps so he learned how to work hard, and you can see it through the drills that we do here. He just keeps working hard and being competitive."

On Marcus Foster...
"...In the drills we do, we are starting to move him around. When he goes to the next level, he is going to definitely have to play the point guard. During drills, we push him, give him advice, and try to pick him up full court."

Senior Forward Nino Williams
On Justin Edwards...
"He's probably the most athletic player I've ever played with. I think he is going to surprise a lot of people and our own fans that haven't heard much about him yet. I personally think him and Marcus (Foster) will be our leading scorers this season. I've never seen anyone live in practice like Justin. I think he will bring a lot of excitement to the team. "

On working with the added size to the roster this season...
"It's been really good, we all bring a different dimension to the team. Gip (Thomas Gipson) is a strong physical force down low, he worked a lot over the summer on facing up towards the basket and making jump shots. Brandon Bolden is a super athlete and can run and jump very well. Stephen Hurt is very skilled, he can make a lot of jump shots for being as big as he is, but still plays physical too. Malek Harris is very gritty, he plays a lot like me, but can also shoot and plays hard."

On the frontcourt...
"It's really exciting, we go hard at each other every day in practice. So were really looking forward to getting to play against someone else and stop beating up on one another and starting the season off right."