(rooster crowing) – [Reporter] So, first
question, how you feeling? What’s it like to get
back out here is 2019? – I’m feeling good, excited as always. Can’t wait to come to practice today, it’s going to be competitive
and just can’t wait to see my teammates and go hard. – [Reporter] Competitive
is something Frank said a lot yesterday with
practice the first two days. Can you just sense that every single day, how you guys are just pedal-to-the-metal, obviously competing for spots, cause this is a pretty deep roster. – Yeah, for sure. Everyone is excited, we
always bring high energy, we’re always competing against each other, talking, no one is really
down on each other, always competing and
bringing each other up, try and get better. – [Reporter] A.J. how do you feel like your game has grown
since the end of last season? – I feel like I am more of a leader now. I’m trying to be more vocal. I’ve always been high
energy, never get tired, really always like to run up and down. I’m just trying to be more
vocal for the young guys. – [Reporter] Yesterday
Frank was talking about how he saw you grow with your
Team Canada experience. What did that experience do for you, and how do feel like your
game evolved from that? – With Team Canada, it felt like I had a leadership
responsibility on that team, and I had lead up for my country. So that gave me more confidence, knowing that I could
lead and do something. So, now I’m trying to
bring that back over here and try to lead, because
I’m a returner now. So I have to show the young guys,
the new people, how it is like, and how last year wasn’t
as how tough it was, and you have to grind through everything. – [Reporter] He references
a specific play, that he remembers sitting down and watching you against Australia. Where he felt Australia
was kind of trying to go at you a little bit
defensively and you refused to be screened a couple times. Do you remember that? In
Frank’s mind that’s all growth, and did you sense growth
when you did that? – I think so. I guess
I learned from Coach. I remember after that game I
think he called me or texted me, saying I seen how you
dodged those screens, and I was just thinking
like hmm I really did that. So I guess I just learned
from all through last year, all the different defensive
drills that we did, and it just helped me through
Canada basketball this summer. – [Reporter] Yeah, he
said that proved to him that you bought into
his defensive mentality. How long did that take? I know that’s difficult in
this program to get there. How long did it take for you? – It is difficult, but I
can’t say when it happened, but I just can say I learned gradually. – [Reporter] A.J. do you
feel like going through that NBA Draft process
helped you last spring, and perhaps maybe helped
you grow into the person you’re going to be this year? – Definitely, everything I
do just gives me experience. So, that was experience for me. It really got my name out there
for people to know who I am, and this year I’ve got to stay focused, and stay within the team
and do what Coach says. I feel like it will be good year for me. – [Reporter] A.J., have
they talked about your role, and how much they maybe want
you to play point guard, compared to maybe the two this year? – Me and Coach talked. He said that just same thing
as last year; play point, play whatever on the wing,
whatever I need to do, just got to be confident
in what I’m doing. – [Reporter] What’s the next step, I guess in your game? Where do you hope to kind
of make the most jump? – Not to rush things this year, be more patient with the ball
and make the right plays. – [Reporter] Is that hard
to do in a flow of a game, where this team probably
likes to play pretty fast? – I guess sometimes it’ll be hard, but I’m learning everyday in practice, when I take the point guard position. – [Reporter How do you feel about the point guard depth in this team? It seems like you’re one of
at least maybe three or four, guys that can do that. Is
that comforting to know? Is it one of those deals where
whoever gets it can kind of initiate the offense, run
the ball up the floor. How do you feel about the
depth of that particular spot? – I feel good about it.
If I get the rebound, people know I’m going to bring up the ball and set up the offense. If someone else brings up
the ball, I can run the wing. We’re all going to run, so I
feel really good about that. We have good depth on the team. – [Reporter] What do you think the offensive identity is this year? I know you guys want the
play with a lot of pace, but what else? What else
do you guys want to do? – Be physical. We have a lot
of strong guys on this team, and we’re fast. We can run up the court, and beat people down the floor. But now we’ve just got to be physical. – [Reporter] When you lose a piece, like Chris Silva, what is
the hardest part of adjusting to not having him on the floor? – It’s his intensity that he brings. You’ve just got to bring
that everyday like he did. He brought that intensity
with whether he was tired. You’ve just got to bring that like he did. – [Reporter] Frank said
though that early on in practice that there
has been some intensity, at least around the rim
where Chris used to be. With guys like, I’m not going
to try to say his name, K and Wildens and stuff like that. What have you seen maybe
from those post players, kind of taking on that
role in Chris’s absence? – They’re really trying down there, and whenever I get the ball on the wing, and they’re open I try to
give it to them on the post, because they are working
really hard down there, and I can see it and they’re
putting in a lot of effort. – [Reporter] Have you been
blocked by anybody yet? – I have. – [Reporter] Okay, anybody specifically? – I ain’t going to say. – [Reporter] What are your
impressions of Micaiah? – Well, he’s older so he
knows certain positions, the way he has to do it, how
to get open in certain spots, and he’s been working really hard, and he’s been getting a lot of rebounds, blocking shots and just trying. Because he’s still new to the offense too, so he’s been trying and doing really good. – [Reporter] And with Justin
being back on the court, how big was his presence last year? Even though he wasn’t able to play most, a lot for you guys last year. – It was big, because
he had experience too. He was a sophomore at the
time, and he did a lot for us. He did a lot for me, he helped me a lot learning
with the offense last year. And this year he’s been a leader. – [Reporter] Frank
talked a little bit about you making better decisions
in the mid-range this year, with these point guards. Just how hard is it to
make those decisions? What all goes into when you get into the three-point line
and get into that area; what do you have to
think about consistently? – I think you’ve got to
think about your man, and the help defender. If
someone’s not helping you, maybe you have a open lane to drive or if someone’s helping you, a big man might be open in the corner. You’ve just got to make reads real fast. – [Reporter] With all the depth, that this team presumably has,
how does that align nicely with the style you want to play, in terms of getting up and down the floor, and trying to wear teams out? – We have a lot of depth, so we’re not going to
get tired that easily. We don’t run the floor every time, and that’s what I like to do. – [Moderator] Anything else for A.J. guys? – [Reporter] Thanks.

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