December 2, 2010

Another exclusive Shaq Thomas Interview

NIA Prep and Shaquille Thomas split two tough games in Maine this week.

For the week Thomas averaged 21.5 points and talked with BearcatReport directly after each game.

NIA Prep 90,Lee Academy 81

How did you feel about tonight's game? How did you do?
I think I helped my team out. I wasn't shooting the ball good from the perimeter so I tried to start attacking the paint. Dudes were pretty big down there, so I just kept on attacking, attacking.

I just worked inside-outside.

How did it feel to get that jam at the end up on top of Keith Coleman?
It felt pretty good because the ref wasn't calling fouls because it was a pretty physical game down there. I was thinking to myself that the next time I go up I am going to dunk the ball. I had an opportunity so I just dunked it.

They had some tough players, big guys out there. How did you do against them?
I think I held my own down there. I am pretty skinny but I think I played pretty good though.

You said your shot was off tonight?
It was kind of off because we just got off the road and came here. It was about a six-seven hour drive. It was pretty tough to get out of the van and play.

Oh, wow you drove right in. You didn't stay last night?
Yeah, yeah, yeah. We drove right in today. It was pretty tough. I just didn't have my legs on my jump shot. I think I made one or two jump shots, but that is it.

You have really nice handles. Is that spin move something you have had for a long time?
Yeah. That is like my go-to move.

You really get used on the press break. Is that somewhere where you can really help out?
I can handle the ball and I can attack from off the press. It is an advantage because you could see that I scored three or four times off of that.

Maine Central Institute 90,NIA Prep 79

Did you get enough sleep last night? More rest anyway?

Yeah. I got a little more rest. I got some good sleep.

What advice do you get from Coach King about basketball?
Just let the game come to me more and don't force shots. I guess I am the key dude on the team, so the defense is going to focus on me. Like you see today they were keying on me a lot. He says to let the game come to me and just play.

You started to take off late in the second half with a few shots inside. Did you feel you needed to get into the post more than outside?
On the perimeter you obviously see that every time I go to the hole they were doubling or closing in because we played them already. And their scout was at our game yesterday. I think if I get the ball down low I can go straight up or make good passes.

The guys outside were holding you pretty tight. Were they holding you?
While I was trying to set a screen, they were putting two hands on me. They couldn't do that but the ref wasn't calling it, so I was just playing through it.

What kind of ideas does UC have for you to gain weight?
He said just eat three to four meals a day. Do pushups and get in the weight room.

You draw a lot of fouls. Is that common for you?

Is that from getting to the basket
Cause I am usually quicker than my defender I usually get to the lane. If you get to the lane you draw a lot of fouls.

Is that a way you can get points no matter how you are shooting?
Yeah. I haven't been shooting very well. I have been in a shooting slump kinda. I have just been attacking the rim and letting the game come to me.

Do you focus on every game. Ever space out?
I always focus like two hours before the game. I put my headphones on and I just focus on the game.

What music do you listen to?
Hip Hop.

Any favorites?
Wiz Khalifa. That is my favorite. And Soulja Boy (laughs).

Is it tough to get separation from the shorter defenders, who get up into your chest on defense?
Yeah, yeah. Our offense is usually dribble drive. Or the big man comes screen down for me. When I curl I usually curl to the basket, so if a small defender is right on my hip I can go right up. If he is bigger I just pop out and take him off the dribble.

Do you like to play defense around the rim. Weakside help you do really well.
Because I am athletic enough if a guard penetrates I can usually get the block and start the break myself.

I saw that. There was one attempt by Daishon (#1)
Yeah, then I blocked it.

I don't know if you know but one of their players, Khristian Smith was a verbal to Cincinnati for awhile.

He was guarding you early on, but you easily took him off the dribble. Was he not quick enough for you?
He played me pretty well, but I am definitely quicker than him.

Do you prefer to go against bigger wings like that?

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