Q&A with Jontel Evans
As a player who is a strong defender, how does it feel to be on a team that takes so much pride in its defense?
I came in known as a guy who can stop people on the defensive end. I take a lot of pride in it. I feel like the whole team has embraced that idea. Coach Bennett tells me every game that I start the defense. When those guys see me locking up and being aggressive on defense, it gets the energy going and everyone just follows along at that level.
How much have you worked on being a better player on the offensive end?
I have worked a lot on being able to knock down that open shot when my team needs it. I am not big on looking to score, but I am big on being able to score when I am called upon to do so.
You rank among the ACC leaders in assists. What has allowed you to increase your assist total this season?
Each year I get more comfortable on the floor. The more experience you have, the more you get a feel for the offense and the game seems to slow down. I have great shooters on the wings and great post players. They make my job a lot easier. All I have to do is get to the paint and find them. If I can find them, mark me down for the assist because I know they are going to make the shot.
How much does it help you to have a head coach who was a great guard when he was a player?
It is a big help because he understands the game, especially my position. He has been to the level that everyone dreams of getting to. In my three years here he has helped me on my decision making, my shot, just being a good point guard. I have learned so much from him.
The team entered February nationally ranked and in the top half of the ACC standings. Is this the type of season you were expecting before it started?
Honestly, yes. When we came back over the summer and started playing in the open gym, I liked our chances. I told my family and friends back home to watch out for us, we were going to be a team to be reckoned with this season. We have proved that to be the case. We have a lot of confidence right now and just need to keep doing the things we have been doing well to get to this point.