Checking in with 66ers Guard Xavier Alexander

Tulsa66ers.com recently caught up with 66ers rookie guard Xavier Alexander to check in on the 2011-12 season. Alexander was drafted in the eighth round (118th pick) of the 2011 NBA D-League Draft by the 66ers. Through 10 games this season (3 starts), the guard has averaged 9.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 27.6 minutes per game.

Last Saturday against Springfield, Alexander recorded a season-high 21 points on an efficient 8-of-13 shooting from the floor to help lead the 66ers to an 87-76 victory.

On how the season is going thus far:
“The season has been going well. We have been getting better both as a team and individually. The good thing I like about being in Tulsa is that the coaches are all about development. They are serious about pregame workouts, postgame recovery. Just how serious they are about coming in getting shots up. Coaches are staying late, coming in early and rebounding for all of the guys. They talk constantly to us about getting better and they watch film with us. It just goes on and on down the list.”

On the decision to extend his playing career past college:
“I have been playing basketball all my life, so definitely after my career at Southern Nazarene I wanted to continue playing. I wasn’t sure where I was going to be, but I knew I wanted to keep playing. I am happy that I ended up in Tulsa, close to home. I was excited when I heard I was drafted by the 66ers. I came to their open tryouts in October. Because of that, I knew how things were going to go. When they drafted me I was excited because my parents and family get to be in the stands every home game.”

On the inevitable changes to rosters and coaching staffs in the D-League:
“Like Osbourne always says, you are going to have some ups and some downs in this league—on and off the court. It is how you respond and come back from those changes. It is all about your prospective on everything.”

On certain aspects of his game he wants to continue improving on this season:
“I want to continue getting better on my perimeter skills, my outside shot. I want to run a bit of the ‘one’ position, learn the point guard position. I need to definitely keep working on my free throws. Always need to work on my defense. This defensive system here in Tulsa is different than anything I have ever done so I need to continue to watch film and learn.”

On the difference between last Friday’s 105-88 loss to Reno and Saturday’s 76-67 win over Springfield:
“I think Friday we were rushing a lot of things offensively. Defensively, I think we broke down in the second half and kind of relaxed. Saturday, I think it was completely opposite. Coach Osbourne came in and told us how personal he took it that Reno scored over 100 points on us. That pepped us up a little bit. We played defense for the whole 48 minutes and I think we were patient on offense and shared the ball.”

On how some players earning NBA training camp call-ups affected the team:
“Definitely helped with some guys earning more playing time. When some of the guys left, some of us were kind of thrown into the fire. There were a lot more expectations on guys that maybe wouldn’t have normally been relied upon this early in the season. It has also helped me. I want to take advantage of playing time and getting game experience. It is something everyone on this team wants--more expectations and experience.”

On what makes the 66ers successful as a team:
“What makes us successful is all of us being in tune in defense and offense, and sharing the basketball. I think our success has come with assists and helping each other. Setting good screens, being patient on offense. And of course, being solid defensively.”