Q & A With Kevin Kruger

Nov. 8, 2004

ASU Men's Basketball Media Day October 14, 2004Kevin Kruger:

Do you feel any additional pressure to ensure that Ike Diogu, one of the top 3 players in the country, gets his points?'Ike is the best player in the country, there is no question about that. I believe it does add extra pressure on us not only to perform that much better but to also take the pressure off him because we have to get him his positions and sometimes it is pretty hard to do, especially when defenses are concentrated on him. When we as a team have a chance to help him out we need to do that even more as a unit.'

How did the China trip prepare you for this year?'It shortened the break between games as I know a lot of people go months without playing organized, official games. I got to break that streak and get back out there into competition from around the world.'

Are you ready for the higher expectations for this year, personally, as you had a strong finish last year?'I think so. I really don't feel that there is really any pressure. I am going to go out there and do what is expected of me and hopefully that will be enough.'

Is there a preference with two, point two?'Going off of last year, I know I played a majority of the two at the end of the year and I am assuming this year, with Jason Braxton coming back, as a point guard, I really don't see myself as one guard but consider myself a combo.'

Expectations for this year?'We're going to go for the top. We are definitely not expecting to repeat what happened last year, that is behind us. But last year's season is in the back of our heads and that is extra motivation for us to go out there and be that much better, work that much harder.'

What makes you think this year will be different than last year? Is it maturity, or that another year has gone by?'I think the main thing is the extra year and extra summer under everyone's belt to be around each other, the coaches. Most of us have another year of practice, of plays, that we have achieved in the past year that the coach expects. I think we will just flow that much more smoothly this season.'

How was your trip in China this summer?'It was a good trip. I got to play on one of the top professional Chinese basketball teams. It was a great experience for me. I got to play with Chad Prewitt, a former Sun Devil, so that helped a lot.'

What was the caliber of the games?'I really wouldn't know who to compare the Chinese basketball team that I played on to. They had two national players on one of the opposing Chinese teams that we played four times, and they were really good. They're about the same as the competition that we play here during the season.'

What did you average over there?'I have no idea. I was just going over to China to play as there were a bunch of great players on the team and I just wanted to go over there to get some running, see a tour of China, and get a good experience.'

You came back to the U.S. and worked with your dad, what did you two do?'We practiced the same things we have been doing for as long as I remember. Going to the gym with him everyday. We spent the majority of our time in the gym, to catch up on things there, shoot around there. It was good to be home for a while.'

Does it matter whether or not you start?'Starting is nice. I think everyone wants to start but if we're winning, I don't care. I don't care at all, as long as it's not last season. We are going to do what we need to do to win.'

Did you feel more comfortable in the starting role toward the end of last season?'Yes, I think I felt more comfortable in the starting role toward the end of last season. I really don't know why I felt more comfortable, but it just happened that toward the end of the season I just started feeling more comfortable. I just needed to kind of feel my way personally, but unfortunately my strong role toward the end of last season does not show for it in the record books.'