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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Q&A;: 1-on-1 with Jamelle Horne

The Arizona Daily Wildcat’s Bryan Roy sat down with Arizona forward Jamelle Horne on Friday in Anaheim, Calif., and talked about national respect, social media and Derrick Williams’ mom. The Wildcats play UConn today in the Elite Eight.

Can you compare your second half against Duke to the one you had against Cleveland State (from the NCAA Tournament second round of 2009?)

Nah I think last night was a little bit more special. Cleveland State was a great team and spanked Wake Forest.

In terms of your performance though, the big spotlight rising to the occasion?

I don’t think it’s even about me. I think it’s about helping the team win. Coach Miller has a ton of confidence in that group. We played great and opened the game.

You guys talk a lot about national respect: What is national respect and how do you gauge how much you have?

I think national respect is turning the naysayers into believers. Talk show hosts and analysts saying we’re lucky. I think even if we go all the way, they’re still going to say it was kind of a fluke.

I don’t know about that. Duke, Texas, UConn, I don’t know how that’s a fluke.

As crazy as that sounds, these guys are still saying the same thing. They’re sticking to their guns. And we respect it but that’s what the media is for.

Do you guys watch SportsCenter, the TV shows, and does that add fuel?

It just kind of makes us laugh. I think we have enough fire within this locker room to not really need the social media to give us any uppers or downers. We believe what we do and we have the entire year.

Who’s decision was that to put an end to social media throughout the Tournament.

It was our athletic director (Greg Byrne) and coach Miller that agreed to say “”let’s give it a rest until the end of the tournament.””

It’s been working.

(laughter) Can’t complain too much. All of us are thirsty to get back on.

Is that something you think can continue on a season basis. It has nothing to do with the game but at the same time it’s hard to overlook that? 

I would say yes and no because of the success we’ve been having. It think success goes back to lifting weights and working hard.

You’re not going to score points on Twitter.

(laughter) Exactly. Twitter’s a great thing for all of us and we enjoy reading about ourselves and what they’re saying about Arizona. But we kinda left it alone for the time being.

With so much going on it’s hard to think this could be a last game or a last trip. Is it possible to grasp everything?

Nah I think we can manage it.

I mean yourself as a senior.

I’m not even thinking in that kind of way. I think that puts more pressure on yourself as a player. All the guys come up to me and ask if I’m nervous and I’m just like,

I’m really not. It’s like, “”don’t ask me about it.””

Yeah (laughter), whatever is going to happen is going to happen. We all go out with the same goal in mind to get that victory. Everyone is saying they’re doing this to me. I can’t really believe some of the things we’re doing.

What’s it like seeing a guy like Derrick Williams rise from a virtually unknown incoming freshman to the college basketball version of Blake Griffin?

I’m proud of him. Everyone speaks of how great of a basketball player he is, but I think he’s the most humble individual that someone can meet. His mother raised him right and he’s still afraid of her. He obviously just enjoys playing basketball.

Have you met her?

Oh yeah, mom’s always around.

Can you tell she has the authority?

Oh, she don’t play. He plays extra well when she’s around.

He said at media day if he had ever gotten big-headed that she would fly out to Arizona the next day and he doesn’t want to see that.

He doesn’t want to see her and talks about it, “”I better not be cocky to the media or say something too smart because mom might read it and come out here.”” She does not play for real.

You talk a lot about four minute wars (winning four minutes at a time) — did you guys win a single war in the first half against Duke?

No. We tied two and we lost the other three.

And in the second half I can’t imagine you lost any of them.

(Laughter) It was a great feeling to look at those wars at the end of the game and realize how many we actually won.

Was that the first thing you broke down?

Nah, we actually just soaked it all in and realized that we were here to stay for another night. We were really thankful for that and we prayed.

How about the attention you have gotten in the last 24 hours.

I think it’s finally about that time to get the respect that we’ve deserved. We’ve been a top-25 team for quite some time but nobody’s really talking about Arizona. People are still trying to downplay us which is completely fine with us. We all believe in one another and that’s what’s most important.

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