Zac Swansey. Don't leave my blog just yet. Swansey isn't exactly a household name to my readers unless you live in Tennessee or follow the Southeastern Conference (SEC). Swansey is the starting point guard of the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles and is averaging 10 points and six rebounds.
Zac Swansey is notable for being a member of "The Dream Dawgs" when he played at Georgia before transferring. This Georgia Bulldog team of 2008, was 13-16 with a 4-12 SEC record before stunning the country in the SEC tournament. A major reason they reached March Madness was because of Swansey as a freshman.
Swansey came in for the Bulldog's star Sundiata Gaines and hit a turn-around three-pointer with 1.4 to knock off Kentucky. Interestingly, Swansey has played against Scottie Pippen's son, who he lit up for 26, (controversial) Heisman trophy front-runner Cameron Newton, Blake Griffin (top NBA Draft pick of 2009), Michael Beasely, OJ Mayo, and the consensus top prospect in the MLB in 2007, Jason Heyward.
Here's my interview with Mr. Swansey:
Brad Wolff: Does your game reach a new level once it is a clutch moment?
Zac Swansey: I believe so. When situations get tough, you tend to zero in on getting the job done and your concentration level goes up.
Which athlete that Swansey opposed would you want to play against?
BW: Out of all the celebrity opponents you have played against, which one was the coolest for you to look back on and say, "I played against him," and who did you play the best against?
ZS: Probably Blake Griffin. His team beat mine by four in the AAU Final Four. The best was probably Cameron Newton in the state championship. His team was undefeated and they had already beaten us twice. I had 18 points and eight assists.
BW: Speaking of Cam, how was he in basketball?
ZS: He was real good. He could have been a division one basketball player if he focused on basketball.
BW: Well based on this season at Auburn, I think he made the right decision.
ZS: Yes. I agree.
BW: Will you miss not playing in a popular conference with great teams?
ZS: I don't think I'll miss it because it's something that wasn't meant to happen for me. To go to the OVC [Ohio Valley Conference, where the 16 seeds are commonly from, including Austin Peay] and play, I am looking forward to it.
BW: But you don't regret the decision due to the talent level and the competition you would go up against with how good Kentucky was, will be, and is now?
ZS: No, I don't regret it. Everything happens for a reason. I enjoyed my two years at UGA and have some good memories. No regrets.
BW: Can you explain the difference between high school basketball and college basketball?
ZS: Huge difference. Everybody in college is very good. In high school, you may have a couple of legitimate college players, but once you get to college, the level of competition and intensity goes way up. There's a lot more "team" stuff in college, rather then in high school, you rely just on a couple of guys.
BW: What are your goals for your basketball career?
ZS: I'm going to give it my all these next two years and see what happens. Hopefully a pro career when I am done. Eventually I want to coach.
BW: What player do you base your game around?
ZS: Steve Nash.