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ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE OPERATION BASKETBALL


October 29, 2014


Sheldon McClellan

Angel Rodriguez


CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA

Q.テつ Angel, talk about what this season is going to mean to you to get back on the floor, be out there for Miami and what the expectation can be for you.
ANGEL RODRIGUEZ:テつ It means a lot, obviously, sitting out a year was pretty long, not playing a game.テつ Obviously working on your game, but it's going to mean a lot, especially playing in front of a lot of friends and family members, and it's just a new beginning for a new coach, new team.テつ I'm very excited and expectations are always going to be high.テつ You can't have low expectations because you already get on the field before the batting even started.

Q.テつ As far as what you were able to take, even though you were sitting out a year, you were around your teammates, got to learn who those guys were on and off the court.テつ How have they helped you to grow to be prepared for this season?
ANGEL RODRIGUEZ:テつ It was a great learning experience because obviously you get to work on your game, but like you say, you learn from your teammates' mistakes.テつ Obviously it was tough not being able to help them on the court, but it's definitely going to carry on to this year because we don't want to make the same mistakes and have the same things happen to us this year.テつ We've got to learn from them.

Q.テつ Are you a patient person?テつ Did you have to learn patience through all of that?
ANGEL RODRIGUEZ:テつ Yeah, no doubt, and that happens because when you first get to college obviously the upperclassmen have to be patient with you, and obviously you appreciate that and now that I'm an upperclassmen, I need to learn how to be patient with the newcomers because I was in their position once.

Q.テつ The roster has a lot of diversity to it, international flavor.テつ What is it about the makeup of the team that allows you to expand your mind a little bit to maybe form relationships that you never thought about?テつ How does all that translate into a successful basketball team?
ANGEL RODRIGUEZ:テつ I think having a good relationship with your teammates is definitely a key to your success.テつ Same thing with the coaches.テつ Obviously we took a trip to Spain, and that kind of helped a lot with team bonding with the new guys, and I mentioned before, it doesn't even feel like we've been around each other for a couple months.テつ It feels like we've known each other from a long time, and that helps.テつ That makes the job easier because it's easier to say‑‑ it's easy to tell your teammate when they've got to step it up, when they're doing something wrong.テつ It's easy for them to tell you when you have to step it up as a leader.
Having a good relationship with your teammates and coaches is definitely a key in order for you to have success.

Q.テつ Since you were around the program and the league last year and at least got to observe what it's all about, how much of a transition will it be for you if any coming from a different conference and a different school into Miami and the ACC?
ANGEL RODRIGUEZ:テつ Well, you know, the Big 12 was very, very competitive.テつ They had a lot of very good teams, so I think the level is still going to be the same.テつ It's going to be as high.テつ But it's a new experience because pretty much every team I have not played against yet besides Virginia Tech my freshman year.テつ So there's a lot of new faces, maybe a new style of play.テつ I don't know if the tempo is faster or whatever the case might be, but I'm still playing at the highest level, so there's not much you should adjust to.テつ I guess it's a new experience just because you've got to scout new teams and new players that you never faced before, so you don't know their tendencies.

Q.テつ Do you think you'll have an advantage because you are also new to them?
ANGEL RODRIGUEZ:テつ Not really.テつ By the time you start conference play, everybody knows the scouting report and everybody will know what you like to do and what don't you like to do.テつ It's just a matter of players, whether they want to pay attention to the scouting report or not.テつ Some players don't appreciate it as much.テつ I take it serious.テつ I think it gives you an advantage if you pay attention to it.テつ It's up to whoever is looking at the scouting report.

Q.テつ Sheldon, what have you seen in Angel so far?
SHELDON McCLELLAN:テつ I've seen a pit bull.テつ Just from Miami, my freshman and sophomore year at Texas, just a bulldog on defense and just playing with a lot of fight and just wants to win.

Q.テつ Sheldon, you're in the same boat as Angel, getting out there now for the Miami Hurricanes and just what you've been able to take from having to watch and having that transition period.
SHELDON McCLELLAN:テつ During my year off it was tough to watch the games, to watch my teammates struggle.テつ But me and Angel and Coach Caputo, we worked on our game continuously the whole year off.テつ It was a positive side.テつ You can't just look at the negative side.テつ We got better individually, and that was the whole point of taking a year off.

Q.テつ With having the advantage like Angel does of not really knowing what to expect from the ACC teams that are going up against you, what can you say about your expectations of yourself and how you maybe have an advantage there that players don't really know what to expect from you right now?
SHELDON McCLELLAN:テつ The expectations for myself are always high.テつ I always set a high standard for myself.テつ And as far as playing against new players, new players not knowing about us, like you said, the scouting report comes in by the first conference game.テつ It's just a matter of who wants it more.

Q.テつ Sheldon, since this is almost a completely new team with just a couple of guys back, who is emerging as the leaders?テつ Is that becoming clear at this point?
SHELDON McCLELLAN:テつ It's still a work in progress.テつ Obviously Angel and I are looked at as two of the leaders on this team, and as far as us being leaders, we just have to guide the freshmen in the right direction.テつ We're just being confident and staying positive with the freshmen.テつ We don't want to get too hard on them or whatever where they'll lose their confidence.

Q.テつ If you started a new Facebook account for Miami basketball and you had to write a profile, a description describing the team, how would you describe Miami to the rest of the world, Miami basketball to the rest of the world?
SHELDON McCLELLAN:テつ I would say with this team we have now, we're very up‑tempo from the results we had in Spain, we love to get up and down, and that's something we didn't do last year, and we're going to play defense every night.テつ That's Coach L's biggest concern, and that's what we work on in practice, getting consecutive stops because that's what's going to win us games.テつ We have a lot of steps on the offensive end, and that's not going to really be a problem, but we have to focus on defense.

Q.テつ Do you have to make it to the NCAA Tournament to make it a successful season?
SHELDON McCLELLAN:テつ I'm not sure really.テつ We're just going to take one game at a time right now.テつ We're not going to look above any team.テつ We're going to treat each team with the same amount of respect and take one game at a time.テつ Of course we want to get to the tournament.テつ I'm pretty sure everybody does, but right now we're just going to take one game at a time.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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