Atlantic Coast Conference Operation Basketball

Wednesday October 28, 2015

Xavier Rathan-Mayes

Florida State Seminoles

Q. Xavier, I know a lot of people will have you as a potential preseason First Team guy this year, and I'm sure you probably think of yourself as having that ability. What's the difference between your approach to last year and this year?
XAVIER RATHAN-MAYES: I think the biggest thing for me is last year I was going in not knowing -- not really knowing my expectations for the year. I got put into a role early where we lost Aaron, and I was put into the position where I had to play more of a role for the team.

This year coming in, I know what I have to do, and I think my teammates and my coaches have done a great job of allowing me to be the player that I am and keep learning on the fly.

Going into this year, I know I'm going to be a point guard, and just knowing how to get guys involved and knowing when to get myself involved, too, is probably the biggest thing for me.

Q. So when you say you know what it is you have to do and you've just said getting guys involved, what is it about your style that's going to allow you to get guys involved?
XAVIER RATHAN-MAYES: I think, with my scoring ability, it probably puts a lot of pressure on opposing teams. It's going to free up guys like Montay in transition and our newcomers with Malik and Dwyane and those guys to be able to get easy baskets.

With the guys that we have coming in and our returners, I definitely feel like we've got a special team. They're going to -- those are guys that are going to take a lot of pressure off of myself and allow us to play free and allow us to play good basketball.

Q. So you don't feel any internal pressure?
XAVIER RATHAN-MAYES: No, not at all.

Q. To be a successful season, do you have to win a championship? Can you be successful without a trophy?
XAVIER RATHAN-MAYES: Our goal is to win a trophy, so going into the season, that's been our expectation of ourselves, and I definitely feel like we can do that. So I don't think it'll be a disappointment not to win one, but those are our expectations.

Q. What did you work on in the off-season?
XAVIER RATHAN-MAYES: I spent a lot of time shooting, trying to bring up my shooting percentages from the three-point line, from the field, as well.

The biggest thing for me was going into the off-season, I want to become a 180 shooter: 90, 50, 40. That's the biggest thing I've been focusing on, my managers and I, and just becoming a great shooter and becoming really efficient.

Q. We're covering the triangle teams primarily, and you did quite well against them last year. Do you get up for those name programs more than a routine game?
XAVIER RATHAN-MAYES: I think I get up for every game, but those are -- like the one in North Carolina, that's just a special atmosphere going in to play, and those type of games are definitely special, as well. It was an exciting time to be able to play those teams last year, so I'm looking forward to it again this year.

Q. Benji Bell is a player that's coming from the JuCo ranks, was part of the national championship team last year. Historically in Division I basketball, especially with the Power Five programs, you don't see a lot of JuCo players coming in. How well has he adjusted and what's his fit with the team right now?
XAVIER RATHAN-MAYES: He's doing a great job. He came in willing to learn. He works hard. He's always in the gym, and he's been doing a great job for us. He's a guy that can knock down open shots. He gets guys involved, and he's a solid point guard. He's a guy that we can look to to be able to, like I said, just get guys involved and knock down shots for us.

Q. Do you guys feel a sense of urgency given that you are such an old team?
XAVIER RATHAN-MAYES: I don't think a sense of urgency, but we want to win. That's been our motto all summer is to be a great team and to win this season. With guys like Montay and our seniors this year, we want to do something special for them, and it's going to be a big year for us. Like I said, we want to send our seniors off on the right note.

Q. Describe your teammate over here.
XAVIER RATHAN-MAYES: That's probably my best friend. He's a guy that I've looked to for encouragement, a guy that's been there for me, and he's just a great person off the floor, and on the floor he's a big-time player. A guy, you get him out in transition, he's big-time, finish at the rim and stuff like that. That's my guy.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Rev #1 by #174 at 2015-10-28 13:28:00 GMT

ASAP sports

tech 129