Here is a sample of what you will find in addition to recruiting news on Blue Devil Nation Premium. I was able to sit down with Elliot Williams earlier this evening and spoke with the player everyone wants to hear from. I hope you enjoy the
interview, where all but three questions were our own. Williams seemed happy to have been in the spotlight and his teammates Jon Scheyer and Gerald Henderson had nice things to say about him. Williams stated that Coach K had not been to the team with concerns as to who will start against Wake Forest. Up next – Jon Scheyer, so be sure to check back. Don’t you think it’s time to join the best Duke subscription site on the Internet? Our members will tell you that you are missing the best recruiting news and more. Give us a try – you’ll be glad you did. We will be adding yet another update on recruiting shortly.
Well, let’s get right to it. What was it like to start last evening?
It was fun! It was my second start of the season. Being able to start in Madison Square Garden, giving my teammates an edge, I came out and played good on ball defense. It was fun for me out there.
When did you first know you were going to start?
Two practices ago, I had a good practice. He flipped me over to the white team. I had a couple of more good practices and coach gave me a starting spot.
Was it tough sitting on the bench for much of the season?
Yeah, it was tough. That’s the toughest part as a freshman. Coming into a situation where there are a lot of good players in front of you. You have a lot of moves that you can do in high school that you can’t do in college (smiling). The things I had to do were watch how Jon (Scheyer) moves. Watch how he moves off the ball. I watched “G” and how he used his athleticism to get into mid range – things like that. Coach is coach! Whatever he says, I’m going to believe in.
So, you felt like you learned a lot in practice regardless?
Yeah. Learning things in practice, watching on the sideline – things I needed to learn.
A.P. writer- Talk about why you think you played …
I guess Coach sees I can be a really good defender, an on ball defender and that I can slow down some of the guys who has hurt us in the past. Being 6-5 and an athletic guy out there I can help. I’m somebody who can make some strong
moves, get into the lane and finish around the rim and just bring energy to the team.
Talk about your defense …
When I first got here, I was moving my feet a lot. One of the things I have learned is to lock into the man and not move my feet as much because I was getting wore out early. That’s one of the main things I have learned.
You seemed comfortable out there last night. Were you letting the game come to you? Is that pretty much what was going on?
Yeah, that’s pretty much what was going on. If you come out too antsy you’ll make dumb turnovers and not get better. One of the main things I wanted to do was just be calm and know I’ve been in this situation before. I just wanted to play like I knew I could play.
I talked to my Mom after the game. I didn’t tell them I was going to start. She said she was proud of me and to not get settled with that and stay hungry.
Do you feel like you will build on that performance?
Exactly. That’s hopefully what I’m going to do. Look back on this game and see that’s how I want to play and build on that. Be more aggressive and pick my spots, play off the veteran guys and play good on ball defense.
Do you see know how Duke might use you?
Yeah. Oh yeah. That’s one of the things I saw yesterday. They can use me a lot of places defensively, on ball, off ball … and just attacking the rim and things like that. I can handle the ball pretty well so sometimes they have me help
and bring the ball up. I can play the two position – I’m a good slasher. Also, I can use my athleticism to rebound and that’s what they want me to do.
You were known for some great dunks in high school. Do you look for those moments?
(smiling) When you look for them, you’re probably not going to get them. You just have to let the game come to you and if it happens it happens. That’s something I’ve learned.
I hope you don’t spend too much time on the Internet reading various things, but there are some who feel you are not happy. Are you happy at Duke?
(shaking his head) Um-hum. I’m happy at Duke.
(A.P. writer) How has the transition to offense and defense been for you out there?
It was tough for me to transition from offense to defense early in the year. Because I was so excited to be out there as a freshman I used a lot of energy on defense. As I was telling him (nodding towards me) one of the things I do is try to lock into my man and be poised out there.
Can you talk a little bit about the adjustments you have had to make in college and which ones have been the most difficult?
The first thing is some of the moves I was able to make in high school, you can’t do in college. You need to be strong with the ball and not so loose, being able to move without the ball. In high school I would just catch it and go … there was no help defense, no charging … so (laughing)
(N & O) Who had a big influence on you growing up?
My brother and my Father basketball-wise kept me going. There was a time in the seventh and eighth grade where I almost quit playing ball. To be real with you, in the seventh and eighth grade I really wasn’t that good. But in the ninth grade I had a big growth spurt of about four inches. I always played guard and when I grew having guard skills helped me.
Are you looking forward to the Wake Forest game?
Oh yeah. Yeah. It should be a good game. We played pretty well out there but a few things went wrong. They’re a great team – a very athletic team. Hopefully we can come away with a win.
Thanks for your time!