Hornets.com 1-on-1: Roger Mason

By: Preston Petri, Hornets.com

New Orleans shooting guard Roger Mason Jr. is one of the few established veterans on a young Hornets team this season, and his experience and poise has paid off for the Bees, especially recently. Through the loss at New York on Jan. 13, Mason has made 14 of his last 17 three-point field goals, averaging 8.6 points per game. He has averaged nearly three three-point field goals off the bench since Dec. 29. His clutch performances on the court have spurned the Hornets to a 4-1 record in their last five games, and his leadership off the court has helped guide some of the younger players on the roster. Mason sat down with Hornets.com for a quick chat about the season so far, his role on the team and his beloved Washington Redskins:

Hornets.com: You have had a stretch of several good games lately even in limited minutes on the floor. Is it difficult to come off the bench and shoot well especially when you’re not playing as often?
Mason: It’s never easy, because you always want to play and you’re competitive. But, your job is to stay ready, prepare yourself and to play every game. When your number is called you go out there and do your job.

Hornets.com: Are there any techniques or secrets to staying ready when you’re not on the floor?
Mason: The important thing is, when you have halftimes and situations like that, you can put yourself through a tough workout. If I didn’t play much in the first half, the key for me is to get a good sweat during halftime.

Hornets.com: As a veteran on a relatively young team, do you feel more responsibility to some of the younger guys to not just be a teammate, but a role model and an example?
Mason: Definitely. My role is more than just what I do on the court. It’s the things that I can teach some of these guys off the court like how to play, and how to be a pro, so definitely.

Hornets.com: What are your thoughts on the Hornets going forward, now that you have everyone healthy and playing well? 

Mason: We’re getting a good evaluation of our team right now. Having a healthy Eric (Gordon) and having Jason (Smith) healthy, we have more veterans out there to play with our young group and that is only going to help us.

Hornets.com: Off the court, we understand you’re a huge Redskins fan. What do you make of their playoff season under rookie quarterback sensation, Robert Griffin III?
Mason: Oh, it was a super successful year! My prayers go out to (Griffin) for a speedy recovery from the surgery and tough injury that he had, but we had a great year and I’m really looking forward to next year.

Hornets.com: Do you happen to have a Super Bowl prediction?
Mason: Oh man. The wind got knocked out of me with us (the Redskins) losing last week, but I like the Patriots to win it.