July 2, 2012
Sophomore forward Ryan Anderson was a unanimous selection to last season's ACC All-Rookie Team. He sat down with BC Athletics to reflect on his first year on the Heights, provide insight on the newcomers to the team, and discuss the upcoming season, as he continues to be an emerging leader of this young team.
You were able to go home for the first time in a while once classes ended, how was it to be back in California?
It felt really good to be able to hang out with a lot of my old friends and family; a lot of people that supported me throughout the year here. And it was really great to be home, but it's even better to be back at it for summer workouts.
What were some of the things you made sure to do while you were home?
I had to make sure I got to some of my favorite restaurants - Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles, In-N-Out Burger, some classic places back home. Then I went on a family trip that we usually do every summer to Palm Springs, so that was pretty fun. And of course, you have got to make sure you work out some, too, so I fit that in there.
What was the one thing you missed the most about being home over the course of your first year at BC?
It was definitely my family, along with the beach. That combination is very, very good. I definitely missed the family that supported me throughout my high school career. They came to a lot of my games, and it was kind of different playing games and not seeing them in the crowd, so that was an adjustment for me.
As far as your first year on the Heights is concerned, what was the biggest takeaway for you, off the court? Is there a class, professor, moment, or anything else that will stick with you?
I think it was definitely the first week on school when I saw how friendly everybody was on campus. Everybody really welcomed a lot of us, even though they didn't know us. I felt a real sense of community that I have really enjoyed during my time here.
Congratulations on a great freshman season; how did you feel when you heard you were a unanimous selection to the ACC All-Rookie Team?
I was very proud. It's just a reflection of how hard my teammates and I worked this year. Coach D worked with me a lot, specifically on a lot of my skills throughout the off-season (before last season), and he has continued to do that this off-season to help make me a better player. So, I was just really thankful for all the work that he and the other coaches have put into me, along with all of my family and coaches back home that have worked with me. Mostly, I was just really thankful.
As summer workouts start up here on campus, is there one thing you are going to try and work on the most this summer?
It's definitely going to be working on my versatility. Whether that's getting strong, getting faster, ball handling, shooting, all that kind of stuff is what I think can help propel me to be a better player, and what can help the team win more games next year. And Coach D is really pushing me to improve my all-around versatility, so that's what I'm really working on.
Speaking of rookies...how have Joe Rahon and Olivier Hanlan looked so far? Can you offer any insights into their games/how they play?
They have exceeded the expectations that I had. They are far better than when we, as freshmen, came in last year. I feel like they are very, very good players. Joe is kind of a combo guard. He can shoot it really well. He's really smart, has a high basketball IQ and seems to always make the right play with the ball. Olivier is a more dynamic player. He's quick off the dribble and shoots it a lot better than I thought he was going to. I think they are both going to contribute very well this season in their own different ways. I'm looking forward to playing with them more.
How about the two other newcomers - Alex Dragicevich and Andrew Van Nest? What can you tell us about each of them?
They've both looked very good so far. Dragicevich is an unbelievable shooter. I think he's only missed like two or three shots this whole time we've been playing so far. He can really shoot lights out. Van Nest has been taking care of his paperwork with transferring and everything, but the few times he's played with us he has shown a great ability to shoot the ball from the perimeter. At the same time, he brings a lot of energy, whether that's in offensive rebounding or making a nice play defensively and stuff like that. I can't wait to play with Van Nest more this year, and I think Dragicevich will really help our team in my junior year.
Have there been any big surprises over the course of the workouts or pickup games? Has anyone or anything caught your eye?
The thing that stood out to me was how Olivier came in with the highest bench press on the team. I had that mark for a while, but he is a very strong kid. He passed all of us. Our point guard is the strongest one on the team, so I think all of us big guys have a chip on our shoulders now. We have got to get a little stronger. He benched 250 and all of us were around 240.
The team will be taking a trip overseas in August. How excited are you for this trip? What benefits do you believe this trip can have for the team?
Oh, I am very excited for the trip. I've been talking to some of my friends from other colleges that have taken the same trip and they all say that it helped their teams unbelievably so. Just the fact that you get to spend a week or two together in a confined environment, just you guys bonding together, it can only help the team. And getting a chance to play games in August when most teams aren't able to do that can only help a team that's so young, like us, bond quicker. So, I think this experience of going to Spain, which is a very historic place, is one that can, all-around, only help our team. I'm looking forward to it.
What are you the most excited about as you look ahead to your sophomore year?
Obviously, I can't wait for the season to start. Last year was a lot of ups and downs for us on the court, but I think the coaching staff really supported us well. So, going into this next year, I just want to be a part of the rise of this basketball program and in bringing us to a prominent level. I'm trying to be patient with it, but I just can't wait for the season to start so we can start the process back up. I think that is really the only thing I have on my mind right now.
- Interview conducted by Brad Fadem, Media Relations Assistant.