Atlantic Coast Conference Operation Basketball

Wednesday October 25, 2017

Bruce Brown, Jr.

Ja`Quan Newton

Miami Hurricanes

Q. Bruce, just speak on your expanded role this season and what you can say about trying to establish some leadership this year, as well.
BRUCE BROWN, JR.: I think we have a lot of young guys this year. As you know, we are a young team, so me stepping up and trying to be that leader, me and Ja'Quan, to the freshmen, I've tagged them along a little bit, trying to get them to know certain situations, read certain things, so helping them would be a big help.

Q. You talk about a young team; what have y'all done in a way from basketball to kind of help with chemistry?
BRUCE BROWN, JR.: We do a lot together. We hang out together. We actually went paintballing together just to have a little team-oriented thing. But we're always in the locker room joking, laughing, having a good time.

Q. Last year you kind of burst onto the scene, explosive, everything. What was it this off-season that you were working on to improve for next year?
BRUCE BROWN, JR.: I worked on a lot of ball handling and shooting off the dribble. I think I've heard I was like one of the worst college basketball players to shoot off the dribble, so I needed to work on that a lot. But yeah, it was just time to jump and shoot and shooting off the dribble, shooting off the catch. Yeah.

Q. Do you know who it was that told you you were one of the worst?
BRUCE BROWN, JR.: No, I don't remember. But when I found out, I was like, that's terrible. (Laughter.)

Q. You talked about trying to bring the freshmen along. You're not too far removed from being a freshman yourself. What did you learn last year that helps out the young guys?
BRUCE BROWN, JR.: I learned you've got to work hard, and there's no nights off. I remember we were real inconsistent last year, and we had like a real big game. We won by a lot, and the next game we fell off. So I'm trying to tell them to be more consistent and take every day like it's your last day and play really hard each day.

Q. Obviously your freshman year you were very successful in the classroom, as well. How did you respond or how did your mother respond when she found out that you made the academic honor roll?
BRUCE BROWN, JR.: She loved it. She actually cried when she called me because I've never been on honor roll before. So just her calling me and crying meant so much to me that I kind of wanted to tear up a little bit, but I couldn't. I couldn't do that.

Q. You had the chance to watch Ja'Quan Newton play last year a lot. What did you learn from him?
BRUCE BROWN, JR.: I learned to be poised. Ja'Quan is a really good player, is a really good finisher, and he makes his teammates better, and that's what I've learned from him.

Q. Just what you can say about your head coach, what he's done for you to get the most out of you and what he does to bring this team together because Miami is that team that a lot of people have expectations of this year, so just what you can say about that.
BRUCE BROWN, JR.: Coach L is a great guy, man. I love him. He expects the best out of you. Even if you're having an off day, he'll bring it to the side, talk to you, ask what's wrong, ask how your family's doing, and on the court he'll play you play your game. If he thinks you're not attacking, he'll call you to the side, like I don't know what you're doing. Go. He's making me the player I am today to be honest with you.

Q. In high school you played football, played basketball, you played JV soccer. Of those sports are there any skills that have translated for you to basketball?
BRUCE BROWN, JR.: I think I got good foot skills from playing soccer. I actually miss playing JV soccer, but I think the footwork helped me out a lot.

Q. Talk about your teammate Bruce; how did he do as a sophomore?
JA'QUAN NEWTON: As a freshman, Bruce came in as any other freshman, he wasn't really ready or wasn't really supposed to be the guy that's supposed to be right now, but growing up, he grew like very quick that any other freshman can grow. He came out there and he played hard every night, and then later on down the line when he played against Duke and North Carolina, he showed his true talent. He came out and he burst into the scene very fast.

Q. Where would you say you've improved the most in your game going into the season?
JA'QUAN NEWTON: This time I focus a lot on my jump shot. My jump shot has gotten very good. It's gotten better. I've been in the gym a lot and I've been proving it in practice. Also I watched a lot of film over the season off, just a lot of film of other point guards. I want to make my players around my better, and I want to get my team involved more.

Q. Who are some of the point guards that you watched to try to kind of emulate and learn from?
JA'QUAN NEWTON: I watched guys like Kyrie Irving, Chris Paul, Dennis Schroder. That's the main point guards I watched because I think my game focuses a lot on the things they do, I think I do in my game, so they're the three point guards I watched the most.

Q. Your dad, Joe, was the 1998 Division II National Player of the Year when he was at Central Oklahoma. Tell us about the family dynamics; how does he rub off on you? What were the skills that you learned growing up? All of that package to make the basketball player you are today. Comment on that.
JA'QUAN NEWTON: Type of skills, honestly, my dad was a good finisher around the rim. He had different type of lay-ups, and I think that's where I get it from, especially my lay-up package and the things I do in the paint, flow of the game and things like that. I think I get a lot from my dad. He's a very good finisher around the rim. He was Player of the Year in Division II, and I think I get my talent from him, and it runs in the family.

Q. What type of feedback does he give you throughout the year?
JA'QUAN NEWTON: Of course, some games he texts me after the game or he might text me the next morning or things like that. He's not the type of dad that compliment me too much or things like that. He'll say good win, he'll say the things I did good, say I things I did bad, and then we'll go from there.

Q. Obviously Miami basketball wants to get back to where it really was a couple of years ago. Do you have to be successful this year by way of a trophy? Can you be successful without winning a trophy?
JA'QUAN NEWTON: Yeah, I think we can be successful without winning a trophy. Especially if you go farther in the tournament. My sophomore year we went to the Sweet 16. We didn't win the trophy, but everybody remembers that season. I think this is going to be a season to remember. We're very talented. We have a lot of guys. We have a lot of freshmen that's very good and upperclassmen that's very good, sophomores, and I think it's going to be a season to remember, and the goal is to win the trophy. Even if we don't, I think we're still -- this is still going to be a season to remember.

Q. What makes Miami so dangerous in your opinion this year?
JA'QUAN NEWTON: Just the guard play. First I thought it was just me and Bruce alone. We're very dangerous, we're very versatile. He'll be running the point guard, I'll be running the point guard, we'll be switching on and off. And then other guys around us, our teammates are very good. We've got DJ, he's a very, very deep threat to us, probably one of the best shooters I've ever seen. We've got Anthony Lawrence and Sam Waardenburg, stretch 4 man; we`ve got Dewan Huell and Ebuka Izundu inside. We`ve got Chris Lykes, and we've got Lonnie Walker, so we're just so deep, and we're just so talented, and I think we put it together defensively, I think we're going to have a very special year.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Rev #1 by #166 at 2017-10-25 13:31:00 GMT

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