July 1, 2008
Columbia, Mo. -
Miguel Paul Q&A
Missouri Basketball has an incredible seven newcomers entering the program this season to accent the return of four starters from the final 12 games of the 2007-08 season. MUTigers.com caught up with one of those seven newcomers, freshman shooting guard Miguel Paul to talk about his game and some of his pastimes off the hardwood.
You played the shooting guard in high school, but there was no doubt you were recruited to play the point in college. Do you prefer one position over the other?
"Not really, I enjoy playing both and I could play either if Coach Anderson needed me. My high school team just wanted me to score more, but I consider myself a pass-first point guard who can also score. It's all about what our team needs."
Coming from Florida, what's been the biggest change coming to the Midwest?
"Adjusting to the time change has been tough. I wake up in the middle of the night, thinking it's the morning quite a bit still. They weather has been fairly similar this summer, but it rains so much more here. It can be nice out one minute and then pouring the next."
Have you ever been in snow before?
"Oh yeah. I have family in both North Carolina and Detroit, so I've been in it quite a bit."
Have you guys got your rooming situations in order for the upcoming year? Who will you be rooming with?
"I think I am going to be living with either Kimmie (English) or Laurence (Bowers). Either way it will be great. All of us are real cool with each other and we get along well. We are always going places as a group. All of us newcomers have a great relationship with each other."
When you first arrived on campus, your dad came with you. Talk about your relationship with him and was it tough leaving home for the first time?
"He's the reason why I got here. He had me shooting everyday, working on my game, even when I was tired. He kept encouraging me to get better. He always believed in me when no one else did. I owe him so much."
On the court, who do you try to emulate? Do you have a favorite player right now in the NBA?
"I guess it would be my first cousin, Chris Paul. That's who I try to play like."
You are currently wearing the No. 3. Any significance behind that?
"Not really. People are starting to make a big deal, calling me MP3 because they call Chris Paul CP3, but my number in high school was #23 and that was already taken, so I chose #3."
Marcus Denmon has a scooter that he uses to get around campus. Have you driven it yet?
"Oh yeah, I've ridden it. In fact, I am getting one and should be getting it soon. I think all of us freshmen are going to try and get one. They are a lot of fun and of course, cheaper than a car. They are pretty fast too. Laurence has a bike, so it's funny watching him ride next to Marcus."
If you had to pick one player amongst your fellow newcomers for a 2-on-2 competition, who would you pick to be your teammate and why?
"That's hard to say. I guess I'd say Laurance (Bowers). He's a big guy, but can really get up and down the floor and is explosive. I'd take any of them though."
Talk about playing in the all-star game in St. Louis over the weekend. Did you enjoy representing Missouri for the first time?
"It was a lot of fun. We got the win, but we played well as a group and got a lot of love down there. I guess I had 19 (points) and six (assists), but if we win, the rest takes care of itself."