Ike At The Mike...Diogu Quotes From Media Day

Oct. 23, 2003

ASU's sophomore sensation Ike Diogu talks about the upcoming season. A reminder the team will have a scrimmage at Wells Fargo Arena on Saturday, Nov. 1, at 10:30 a.m. prior to the football game vs. California at 1:30 p.m.

(On being a leader this year, as he is one of four captains on the team)'I'm one of the few players who played a lot last year and I'll try to take the new guys under my wing. I really don't like calling them young guys because I'm young myself, but I'm here to help them out. We have a tough bunch, so the coaches have done a good job of recruiting and I think the young guys are really going to surprise a lot of people this year.'

(On his improvements over the spring and summer)'I feel like I've improved my defense a lot and also my dribbling skills. I think I can put the ball on the floor a little bit better this year. I've always thought I had a good jump shot at the three-point range so and I felt I had that last year. I still think I have it now. Hopefully it willl keep the double or triple teams off me. I've got to keep expanding my game because they're going to keep throwing different defenses at us, so I've got to be prepared for anything. It will also open up some things for other players on our team. I have a lot of confidence in my jump shot and coach does too. Whenever I'm out there he gives me the green light to take. Whatever it takes to be successful this season. I'm ready to do whatever it takes.'

(On the new look)'I still weigh the same (about 250 pounds), but I think I've dropped a little bit of body fat.'

(Regarding magazine covers and preseason All-America status)'It feels good to be on the cover of a magazine, as its just the hard work paying off, but at the same time I'm not satisfied. There's a lot more out there to accomplish so that's just how I go about it. It is pretty nice, but I'm really not letting it get to my head. I'm still the same person, nothing has changed. My mom has a lot to do with that and so does my dad but other than its just the same old Ike. I'm never really satisfied with what I have accomplished so I have to keep on improving.'

(On how much the Pan Am Games helped his game).'It helped a lot, I really didn't play as much as I wanted to, that's how it is sometimes. Sometimes you're going to be on teams where you're main thing is not to be the scorer. You just have to find your role and stick to it on different teams, depending on what team you are on.'

(On his thoughts beyond this year)'I've already answered that question several times. I'm really focusing on this season and nothing else. I don't want to look to far in the future. A degree is something that's very important to me and to my family, and I like it here. I like it here a lot.'

(On team rankings)'We have a lot of new people on our team, so that's why we might be a little low in some rankings. But, we've also got a lot of surprises. I think we're going to be a surprise team this year because nobody really knows what we have. All you ever see in the magazines is 'they lost six seniors.' They don't really know the talent that we brought in.'

(On the frontcourt)'I'm real close with Keith (Wooden) and Wilfried (Frameni) and I think Will is really going to surprise a lot of people. He almost plays like Serge, I don't know how many people have seen Serge play but, he's that type of athlete, he's quick and he can jump. Keith can do the same, Keith has an unblockable jump hook. Those guys are really going to help out down low. Those guys are going to be two surprises that nobody really knows about.'

(On how his game will benefit from another low-post presence)'I think it's really going to open up my outside game as well, taking me away from the post a little bit, that's still where the bulk of the points should come from is from the post, but at the same time I think I'm going to be a lot more versatile this year.'

(On what he needs to improve)'I feel like my defense could use some improvement, and also reducing my turnovers. That is what I'm going to work on this year.'

(Will points be harder this year?)'I feel like the points came tough last year. There was no easy game for me. I'm going in thinking its going to be tough. It's never going to be easy, its not like high school, I'm not going to be going against any 6'1' post players.'

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