Interview with USC's DeMar DeRozan from NBA Pre-Draft Combine

Ryan MillerCorrespondent IJune 11, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 15:  DeMar DeRozan #10 of USC looks on during a break in play in the second half against Arizona State at Galen Center on January 15, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.  The Trojans defeated the Sun Devils 61-49.  (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

What’s the thing that people don’t know about you that they should know?
How hard I really play. Every time I’m out there on the court, I do whatever it takes to win, and at the end of the day, I just want to win as a team and not think about anything individual, just enjoy the game of basketball with my team.


Do you pay attention to the mock draft boards?

Naw, I really don’t pay attention to it. People tell me and say stuff, but I don’t really pay much attention to it. I just want to go out there, work hard and let my ability take me where it’s going to take me.


Who do you think you model your game after?

My favorite player is Kobe, but I really don’t compare myself to anybody because I just want to be a player that can work hard and have my own name. That’s one thing I really try to focus on.


How hard was the decision to come back after one year and not spend more time in college?
It was tough. College was fun. I learned a lot in college and grew more as a man in the time I spent in college. It was a hard decision for me, and I was close to home so my family could see me play. So it was close. It was something I talked to my family about, and they just encouraged me to do what I felt was best for me.

Do you think you’ll miss college?
Of course. When I came to college I missed high school, so I know definitely I’m going to miss college.


Obviously, the Wizards are a team that’s interested in you. What can you add to their system?

Whatever they need. That one year of college really made me focus on defense. I really love playing defense now and want to lock down players at my position and get stops. That’s one thing I think I can bring to a lot of teams.

What else did you learn in college that you need to apply to the NBA?
How hard you’ve got to play every play. You can’t let down. Players are too good these days to take one play off or two plays off, because on any given night anybody can give you 20, 30 points. You’ve go to play hard every time down.


Who do you have workouts scheduled with?
Next week I have a couple workouts with Sacramento, Oklahoma, and Washington. I should have a couple more in the next two weeks, too.


Talk about fitting into the Kings program:

The Kings are a great team. They really get out and run. They have a lot of talent over there. They were a great team the past couple years but just need to put in the right pieces. I think that would be a great system for me to fit in as well.


Did you interview with the Kings? Did they surprise you with anything they asked?

I did last night. Everything went good. Every team surprises me in things they ask. It was enjoyable. They asked me what I could bring to their organization. I kept it honest and told them what I can do.


Are you surprised with how much background knowledge and information teams have?
Yeah, it’s crazy how much they know about you, but that’s their job to know a lot of stuff about you, especially if they want you to be a part of their organization. They’ve got to know what type of kid you are, what type of player you are, so you know, it was crazy but I wasn’t surprised.


Did you talk to Washington already?
Yeah, I talked to Washington last night. They knew a lot about me. One of my good friends, Nick Young, plays for them. They compared me to him and were cracking jokes, it was funny.


You’ve been linked to the Knicks. Do you think D’Antoni’s style is okay for you?

Oh yeah, coming out of USC I haven’t really had a problem with any kind of style. I really like D’Antoni’s style how they play and get up and run and push ball. That’s one offense that really caught my eye.


For someone that hasn’t seen you play, what kind of player are you?

Besides my athleticism I just like bringing excitement to the game. Coming out there, giving all that I’ve got and really getting my team going. Getting the crowd involved and doing the little things that motivate us to do more.


How were the drills this morning?
They went good. It felt good to get out on the court because we didn’t do too much yesterday when we got in. It felt good to get in and get some shots up and shoot with the fellas.

How tall were you?
6’5” without the shoes and 6’6.5” with shoes.


NBA Pre-draft Combine Results

Height w/o shoes: 6' 5.5"
Height w/ shoes: 6' 6.5"
Weight: 211
Wingspan: 6' 9"
Standing Reach: 8' 6.5"
Body Fat: 4.9 percent
No Step Vert. 29.0
Max Vert. 38.5
Bench Press: 5
Lane Agility: 11.88
3/4 Court Sprint: 3.31 sec.


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