April 3, 2008
In a changing of the guards on the Seminole men’s basketball team, rising senior guard Toney Douglas sat down with graduating senior guard Jason Rich and answered 10 questions about next season and how he plans to lead the ACC in steals for the second consecutive season.
1) What is the one main goal that you plan to reach during the offseason and as you go into the 2008-09 season?
“The one thing I am going to work the hardest on is my conditioning. I am going to really work hard with Coach Bradley in the weight room to improve both my strength and my conditioning. I am also going to work on my follow through on my jump shot so I can improve my field goal and my 3-point shooting percentage. The main thing I am going to do is work harder in everything I do. I can do that and improve on both my offensive and defensive games because when it all comes down to it – the game of basketball is all about hard work.”
2) Are you ready to step in the leadership role for your teammates? How will you display your leadership abilities to what is going to be a young team during the 2008-09 season?
“The most important thing I am going to teach myself and have the younger guys accept is the concept of hard work. There will be no substitute for hard work on our team next season. Everybody will work hard and everybody will work hard together. It’s that simple. I am going to set the tone for not only our returning players but our new guys as well from day one. We are not going to be outworked next season.”
3) Which of the players are you most looking forward to playing with during your senior season?
“We have some many talented players on our roster that I am looking forward to playing with all of them. I am very excited to start practicing as a team for the first time with our new guys. The player who I am most excited about playing with is Solomon Alabi. He’s going to be fun to play with because of what he can do on the basketball court. We got to see some of what he could do in his limited time this season but his skills are ridiculous. He is a big player who scores around the basket – he will help the guards because our assist total will go up immediately. Look out for Solomon because he’s a really good player.”
4) Who was your favorite basketball player growing up?
“Michael Jordan. Simply said he’s the best player to ever play in the NBA. He’s the reason why I wear No. 23.”
5) What game do you have circled for next season?
“All of them because they are all important for us. It doesn’t matter who we are playing – we have to bring it every night. Our coaches stress to us that we can’t take a game or a play off. It’s going to be especially important next season. We can’t take any games or any plays off. Period.”
6) Who was the best point guard you faced this past season?
“In the conference we play and the schedule we play they are all really good. If I name some of them I will leave some of them out. They are all really good. They all have different things that they do well and all make you work hard when you are guarding them. I can’t just pick one out because they are all really good players.”
7) What arena is your favorite arena to play in?
“I love to play in Cameron Indoor Stadium because it is such a great environment. The fans are great and they make you want to play better and harder. They have earned their reputation because they are great fans for their team.”
8) How can you make your teammates better players during the upcoming season?
“Another thing I am going to work on this summer is getting to know my teammates as well as I can. I want to know exactly where they want the basketball, when they are ready to shoot, I want to know where their favorite spot in the floor is and I want to know how to deliver the ball to them. I really want to get everyone involved and make everyone around me a better player.”
9) What is your favorite NBA team?
“My favorite NBA team is the Golden State Warriors.
10) Do you think you can lead the ACC in steals again next season?
“Yes. With the help of my coaches and my teammates, there is no doubt in my mind that I will lead the ACC in steals for a second consecutive season. For me to lead the ACC in steals we have to play great team defense to enable our quick players to get in the passing lanes and get deflections.”