Sophomore guard Knox
Hellums of the men's basketball team is excited to have started practicing. He
tells us how he feels about himself as a player and how the team is mixing together
with so many new faces:
Q: With practice just starting, how has it been beginning this new season?
A: Practice has been great so far. I could even recognize myself that our first practice was already one of the best practices. Even coach said it was one of the best first practices Pepperdine has had in a long time.
Q: How are the incoming freshmen fitting in and mixing with the team?
A: Perfectly. Everyone has been working hard and it felt like we gelled very well together. Having the whole team together over the summer was huge since now we know each other's personalities. Our main focus right now is getting our chemistry down even though it feels to me like our chemistry is way ahead of schedule. As the season moves along, I think the freshmen are going to continue to fit in even better.
Q: While the first game against Oklahoma State isn't for a month, what are your first takes?
A: I'm just excited to play them since being from Houston, Texas, a lot of my friends and family from back home are going to be there to watch me play. They are a Big 12 team and they are going to be a big challenge for us but I am sure we will be ready for it.
Q: Blue and Orange Madness is coming up, what do you think about that?
A: I can't wait for that! It's always cool to get in front of the whole school and see everybody and kick off basketball season the right way.
Q: What are some differences in yourself between your freshman year and this year?
A: I feel so much more comfortable and confident, basically I feel like a veteran. I am much better at defensive reads and I know the playbook like the back of my hand. Honestly, I'm just excited to get back to playing.
Q: What parts of your game have you been improving over summer and hope to better in practice?
A: The best part of my game especially from last year was shooting. So I have been trying to shape many other parts of my game, like finishing at the rim and in the paint. Working on ball handling and being able to not only create for myself but also create for others. Finally, I have been working on defense so if someone is quicker than me I'll be one step ahead mentally so I can get the stop. Our coaches said G.I.D. -- get it done -- which has been in my mind a lot throughout the summer while I was working on that.
Q: Being your second year do you feel like you know what the coaches want from you?
A: Yeah, my relationship with them is great. I know exactly what they want out of me and I am willing to give it all for them.
Q: What are some goals for yourself and the team?
A: My goal for our team is to win the WCC championship and go to the NCAA Tournament. That's always been a dream of mine to win a conference championship with my team. Especially now since I'm more connected with the guys, I feel like they are my brothers. I know how bad we all want it. We have been putting in the hours of hard work with 5 a.m. conditioning and summer workouts. I'd like to keep up my shooting percentage and hopefully lead the conference in that but I'm more of a team guy so my focus is to help us win games.
Q: What does being a Pepperdine Scholar-Athlete mean to you?
A: My academics are important to me. I kept a really solid GPA last year by staying focused in school and being behind the books a lot.