6th year senior F/C Julian Gamble averages over 7 points and a shade under 3 rebounds a game. But those who watch him play, know his heart and leadership mean more to the team then his numbers. The 6'10 250 pound Gamble will be counted on heavily in Wednesday night's big time match-up with the Spartans, as well as through out the season as UM strives for a monumental year.
Here is our full Q&A with Julian Gamble:
SOTU: What unique challenges does the game against Michigan State on Wednesday present?
JG: It presents some great challenges and will test some things we have been working on. Especially rebounding as they are one of the top rebounding teams in the country perennially. That and playing against a well coached team with Tom Izzo. They have had a lot of recent success and we really have a good opportunity to get a big win for our team and our program.
SOTU: Coming back off of injury this year how does everything feel? You seem to be a bit more explosive this year.
JG: Everything feels good. I did not go home at all this summer. I made a total commitment to this team, and the coaching staff. I made sure I was ready and worked with our trainer Wes Brown and our strength coach Jim Krumpos. I worked hard to get my legs right and keep them under me. Going into the season I did not know what to expect but I played real well this summer, and my teammates started showing confidence in me.
SOTU: Along with yourself who are the leaders of the team? Have you made a more conscious effort to be a leader this year?
JG: I have definitely made a conscious effort to be a leader. Having been here for my 6th year now I have seen it all and done it all, and know what to expect. All of our seniors have really show leadership. When we go to center court as captains, all of our seniors go. All of our seniors are leaders in different ways, some vocally and some by actions.
SOTU: Looking ahead, and I know you guys aren't looking past any out of conference games, but can you tell fans who the most difficult player to go against in the ACC is?
JG: That's a great question. I haven't spent a lot of time looking at our ACC opponents. Like you said we are totally focused on our current opponent. But I know NC State being the great team they are, have C.J. Leslie. I grew up with him, and know his game. He has really come along, that team in general is very experienced but they have a good number of young players as well. You also have Mason Plumlee at Duke. There are a lot of very good guys in our league. James Michael McAdoo as well.
SOTU: Interesting about CJ, Kenny Kadji said the same when I asked him.
JG: Yeah, I know CJ really well. He is really athletic and this past season he made a huge leap, which was great to see. We're competitive. We are friends off the court, but on the court we go at it.
SOTU: Who on the team so far this year has surprised you and stepped up?
JG: Bishop Daniels in the early games we didn't have Durand. He came off the bench and really helped us with his energy. Also Erik Swoope coming in and providing all the intangibles we need. He has come in and provided the dirty work since he's been here, so he's not really a surprise but he has stepped up.
SOTU: Lastly, what message would you give to the Miami Hurricanes fans out there?
JG: We need your support. We love your support. That's what we play for. We play for the fans and we play for each other. The more people that come out and support us the better we will be.
Thanks again to big # 45 for taking the time to talk to us. And good luck to JG Wednesday night and all season long. Be sure to check out JG and the 'Canes at the BUC this year.