Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Hoops - Brad Sheehan Speaks

Sorry I've been out of action for awhile. Things are busy as my family prepares to sell our house and move to the frigid north of Albany NY. Too bad that when I get there Brad Sheehan will be heading away from Albany and down to the ATL. Well, only bad for me - not for Jacket fans, who have much to look forward to..........

Nice interview with Brad Sheehan........ Here are some choice quotes:

"I'm not really concerend about [scoring 20 or 30 points each night]. It's much more important to me to have a complete game - scoring, rebounding, blocks, assists. I'm not really happy if I score 30 points and have 2 rebounds and 2 blocks. I just aim to have rounded out stats. Besides, I know that if I ever have an off night [scoring], we have a lot of guys around me who can score and pick it up."

"My personality is pretty drawnback and sort of withheld," Sheehan says calmly. "Controlling your emotions during the game - not getting too high when things are going well and too low they are going badly - is a big part of basketball. Getting through the bad parts and being able to keep the strong runs going."

"It was good to see that people had noticed me and had seen what I could do. I guess I wasn't completely sure [that I was ACC material] until Coach Boeheim [of Syracuse] and Coach Hewitt [Georgia Tech] showed up and started talking to me about scholarships. It was just the realization that I really was good and that I really could play at that level. That I was important enough to them that they would come sit in my living room for two hours and tell me why I should play for them."

"I'm a good student," he says, with much more pride than most high schoolers have in that fact, "and the colleges knew that. It's one thing that attracted them to me. And it's one thing that my mom was really focused on, going to a good academic school."

Unlike Perkins or Cain, Sheehan made his decision - Georgia Tech - during the early signing period, ending the possibility of the Shaker gym turning into the second home of various famous college coaches this winter, as it had in 1980 and 1981. Nevertheless, Coach Hewitt dropped in for the Columbia game a few weeks back to check on his recruit.

"It definitely pumped me up to play in front of him. Just to show him how much more I've developed since he saw me over the summer. I wasn't really nervous, it was more of an excitement, it gave the whole team a lot of excitement to be playing in front of a coach that knows a lot of people. If they play well he might mention their name to somebody else and help them get to play in college."

And Sheehan was definitely able to show Hewitt a thing or two. He scored 28 points, grabbed about a dozen rebounds, and had 7 or 8 blocks in Shaker's 72-63 win. Perhaps more importantly, he showcased his mid-range jumpshot, consistently knocking down jumpers in the 12-17 foot range.

"I feel comfortable shooting the ball," he explains. "I feel like I have a really good shot, and it's one of the things a lot of college coaches really liked about me, my ability to shoot. I think it will give me the opportunity to play more, being able to play 4 or 5 [forward or center] until I get stronger and can play the 5 down low at the ACC level."

Although he believes greater strength will be the key to his college career, Sheehan is clearly not waiting till he arrives in Atlanta to start getting bigger. The most striking thing about him from a physical standpoint - once you get over walking down a hall with someone who has to duck under the doors - is that he's no longer all skin and bones. He seems to have really put on some muscle weight since last season, and it shows in his game.

"I lift during the off-season and two days a week during the season. I definitely feel stronger this year. I feel like I'm able to get better position, and I'm not getting pushed out as easily. I'm able to better hold my position on rebounds. Every once in a while I get pushed out of where I want to be. I just have to get to the point where that doesn’t happen."