Atlantic Coast Conference Operation Basketball

Wednesday October 28, 2015

BeeJay Anya

NC State Wolfpack

Q. How many times have you spoken at a podium before?
BEEJAY ANYA: Never. Not like this, no. I feel like I'm the President or something.

Q. What do we need to know about this year's team that's different primarily from last year's team coming in?
BEEJAY ANYA: I think this year we're going to be more balanced in terms of scoring, and we're more of a experienced team than we were last year because we experienced a lot last year and we have a lot of players coming back. So this year we're going to have a good year. I'm excited for it.

Q. Walking through the lobby last night, I looked over and I didn't even recognize you. Tell us about the weight. Tell us about how your stamina has improved. What it about the weight loss that's made you a better player?
BEEJAY ANYA: Yeah, my stamina has definitely improved. I can play harder for a longer period of time, and I'm a much better athlete than I was last year, so I can jump higher, run faster, move quicker overall, and I think it's going to be -- get so a point where I can block more shots this year than I did last year, and that's a scary sight for most people. I think it's going to be a good year.

Q. Are you where you want to be? Is there more to come off? Is there more weight redistribution?
BEEJAY ANYA: I might want to lose two more pounds or something.

Q. Two?
BEEJAY ANYA: Yeah.

Q. When you think about the Sixth Man Award that you got last year from those who voted inside the ACC, how did you react and how have you taken that with you during the off season?
BEEJAY ANYA: I was surprised just because I didn't know that was an award. I thought it was an award in the NBA. I was excited about it once I figured it out. You know, I've got to thank Coach Gottfried for putting me on the bench in the first place so I won the award, so shout-out to Coach G for that.

Q. Who's the most competitive guy at practice on your team?
BEEJAY ANYA: Oh, man, it's not one, it's two, the twins, Martin twins. They're so competitive. They go hard all the time no matter what, and it's annoying because when they're on your team, it's like, just calm down a little bit, slow down, but no. It's them two for sure.

Q. A lot has been written and said about Louisville's alleged recruiting violations. On a much lighter note, was there anything outlandish during your recruiting process that as a team or a fan base has done that sticks out in your mind?
BEEJAY ANYA: No, no. The crazy thing was there was like a mural painting for me, and that was dope. That was cool. I didn't think it was crazy, but no, nothing like -- you know. I don't really know much about what's going on over there, but I mean, nothing out of the normal.

Q. Through all this weight transition, through your evolution as a basketball player, what have you learned about yourself, basketball aside?
BEEJAY ANYA: I learned that I'm a pretty mentally tough kind of guy, coming from all like the ridicule I've received over the years about my weight and everything like that. It hasn't really affected me to a point where it's like I'm breaking down. You know, I realize a lot that bothers me, as well. I think it's good in the sense that I can take a lot of cutting from people. I think it's how I was raised and growing up. And I'm the kind of person that when something happens to me I can just move on from it and relearn from it, as well, because also at the same time the ridicule gave me momentum to lose the weight and really become a better player.

Q. You guys as a team, you individually, and Cat, too, and other guys on your team, you seem a lot less buttoned up than a lot of the other teams, like Coach allows you to be who you are. Is that a fair way to describe how he runs the team, he lets you guys have the personalities you arrive with?
BEEJAY ANYA: Oh, yeah, definitely. He wants us to be ourselves on the court, off the court, because you really can't -- I feel if you're not being yourself, then you're a robot. He don't want us to be robots. I think that it's -- it's a pretty safe environment on the court with him, but at the same time he allows us to be ourselves.

And people like me and Cat, we have big personalities, so you can't really try to hide that by telling us how to act and stuff like that.

Q. You guys have a lot of returners and have over the last couple years, but you have some new key players each year. How is Coach Gottfried able to mix new guys and transfer guys and have them have the impact they've had over the last couple years?
BEEJAY ANYA: I think it's just the fact that we have players coming back that really set the tone for the new guys, so they -- the new guys, like Maverick and Shaun and Terry has been here for a year now, so he's already picked up on the tradition that we have here.

And once you really have leaders on the team, like myself, Cat, Lennard and now Terry, people who came come into the program pick up on the tradition that we have and they try to just fall into their roles. So I think even more on the players we have coming back, more than Coach Gottfried who preaches it, but we're also the ones who reinforce it as leaders on the team.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Rev #3 by #166 at 2015-10-28 17:00:00 GMT

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