Over the next few weeks, the UTEP athletics department will be giving us a chance to catch up with all the players from the 2012 men's basketball recruiting class. Today, in the first "media day", we got to talk to 2012 F Chris Washburn Jr., and his brother Julian. We'll do a full writeup on the interviews tomorrow, but here's a quick Q&A teaser for that.
Press: Julian, what does it mean to you to have your brother come join you here at UTEP?
Julian Washburn: "It means a lot, I'm very happy that Coach Floyd offered him, and gave him the opportunity to come play with me...Coach Floyd is going to be very happy with the things that me and him do on the court at the same time."
Press: How much are you gonna lean on your brother here to help you?
Chris Washburn Jr: "I'm going to lean on him a lot because he's been through it a year before me, and he made a couple mistakes that he can tell me that he learned from, and I'll just go from there, and learn from what he's taught me."
Press: How does it feel to be a part of what coach Floyd is doing as far as trying to take UTEP basketball back to the glory days of the Bear?
JW: "It's great. I think he's a doing a great thing, we're playing against great competition, we're bringing great opponents into the Don, and I feel El Paso should be very excited about this upcoming basketball season. I feel we're going to do a lot of great things on the court."
Press: Chris, when did schools start looking at you?
CWJR: "My junior summer is when I started racking up offers from highly touted schools...UTEP was there a little bit earlier."
Press: Julian, as far as next year, talk about your role as more of a leader for the team.
JW: I'm really going to have to step up because you know, we lost [Gabriel McCulley] , we lost a great scorer in Michael Perez. I'm going to have to carry the load more. I'm going to have to score more. I'm going to have to defend better players, and just encourage my teammates to just keep going. I'm going to have a big jump from my freshman year."
Press: It's pretty rare for a freshman to enjoy or want to play defense the way that [Julian] did, [Chris] are you going to be like that too?
CWJR: "I averaged like two and a half blocks and two steals a game in high school. I read the ball. I know where its going to go. Its just an instinct thing...I love locking up on the other team's best offensive player."
Press: What are your expectations and goal for this season?
JW: "To win conference, and the conference tournament, and make it to the NCAA tournament. And, not just make it, but compete with these teams. I'm trying to go all the way. My expectation is to win the very last game of the season. That's my expectation."
CWJR: "My expectation is to bring a little showtime to the place, bring a little more attendance here, to win the conference tournament and the conference overall, and to just have a great year."
It was good time getting a chance to talk a bit with the Washburn brothers. Thanks to the UTEP Athletics Department for making that possible. Again, expect a full writeup in the morning.