Sunday, March 14, 2010
One-on-one with Jerime Anderson
By Blair Angulo
Aside from Nikola Dragovic, no player took more criticism than Jerime Anderson during UCLA's disappointing 14-18 season. Granted, expectations for UCLA point guards are at an all-time high after NBA up-and-comers Russell Westbrook, Darren Collison, Jrue Holiday and Jordan Farmar experienced success in college. Anderson lost his starting spot after coach Ben Howland suspended him for being late to a rehab session in January. But even before the suspension, Anderson's demotion seemed inevitable. The 6-foot-2 sophomore struggled to generate offense and eventually surrendered his ball-handling duties to Malcolm Lee. Anderson came off the bench to score a career-high 15 points in UCLA's 13-point loss to California on Friday night. His contributions probably left fans wondering where it came from.
Blair Angulo: You had a career-high 15 points off the bench [Friday], something we have not seen much of from you. Was there a change in mentality?
Jerime Anderson: Really, I was just trying to help my team. I picked my spots. I was not as aggressive as I could have been all year -- sometimes I was in my head a lot. I was not trying to make mistakes. This summer and spring, I just have to get back to who I was as a player -- before all this, before this bad season. The 15 points is a look at what I can do and I've just got to try to build on it.
Angulo: What kind of player were you? What changed?
Anderson: I was a lot more aggressive going to the rack, taking shots, trying to make something happen, you know. I used to force the issue. I just lost my aggressiveness, really. I lost my confidence. I don't know what to attribute that to right now, but I've got to work on it and not let it happen next year.
Angulo: How much of the offseason will you set aside for the mental side of the game?
Anderson: Every day. I have to get better as a basketball player. I'm going to take some time off, but whether that's watching film, hitting the weights or getting in the gym, that's what I'm going to do.
Angulo: Are you at your ideal physical state?
Anderson: I want to get a little bit bigger -- not bigger in terms of my frame, more so my legs. I need to get stronger so I don't have to worry about injuries. That's the biggest issue right now.
Angulo: Before the season, you talked about the work you put in to correct your jump shot by keeping your elbow in. Was that a factor this year?
Anderson: No, no. I just don't think I was that aggressive and confident with my shot and with my game. That comes with putting more work in. I don't think I put enough work in during the offseason to play the way that I needed to play this year. I'm not going to make that same mistake again.