Kenneth Faried and Tobias Harris Q&As

Q & A with Kenneth Faried, Morehead St

As a senior out of Morehead St, Kenneth is a very physical and hardworking prospect. He possesses a very high motor, plays with physicality and has outstanding rebounding skills.

He averaged 17.3 points and 14.5 rebounds as a senior last season, tops in the nation. In the process, he surpassed Tim Duncan to become the all-time modern-era NCAA career rebounding leader. He was an AP Third Team All-American his senior year and he helped lead Morehead St to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

In the NCAA Tournament, Faried and thirteen seeded Morehead St upset the number four seeded Louisville Cardinals at the Pepsi Center. Faried had 12 points and 17 rebounds as the Eagles won 62-61.

His work ethic has led to early comparisons of Hall of Fame forward Dennis Rodman, whom Faried hopes to model his game after.

After putting on his display of hustle, rebounding, and defense to the coaching staff and upper management of the Nuggets, Faried sat down with Nuggets.com to answer a few questions.

Q: How does it feel to be back in Denver and at the Pepsi Center for the first time since advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament?A: It is a great feeling. It brings back great memories from my time at Morehead St. It brings back great memories of my teammates, which are my brothers and my coaches. It was a great feeling overall.

Q: What is it like playing here at elevation versus playing in another state?A:This one gets you tired quicker and you definitely get cotton mouth easier, even just talking you get cotton mouth quicker. You just have to stay focused and remain steady and be ready for anything pretty much.

Q: A lot of scouts know about your hustle and rebounding, what else are you trying to prove to them?A: That I am strong enough and big enough to play down low. Everybody says I am small, too short, or not strong enough. I just want to prove that I am able to do that, and I'm not going to back down no matter how much taller or more athletic a player is. I am going to do the little things like boxing out and just going and grabbing every rebound I can whether it’s on offense or defense.

Q: What are your strengths as a player?A:Well I know how to work hard. I always play as hard as I can and that is an advantage for me, because some guys don’t do that all the time. I know my rebounding is a big part. I also think a strength of mine is doing all the dirty work no one wants to do. I don’t have a problem getting physical, boxing out and grabbing a loose ball. I think coaches know that about me and it is something everyone wants on their team.

Q: How is this workout different than other workouts you have done so far?A: It is a lot more up and down. A lot of back and forth, and with the altitude it was making me tired a little quicker. I just remained focused and kept my drive going. It didn’t affect me but at the same time it did.

Q: It’s rare these days to see a high draft prospect spend all four years in college, what benefits do you think you got by staying all four years at Morehead St.?A: I can play right away, I can come in and play on the team right away and know what to expect. I didn’t get the luxury of going to college for one year and just not really practice that hard. I know you have to practice hard every day, if you do that it translates into the games. I know the little things you have to do to win, and I know how to win. You get to bond with your teammates, so that is my advantage for me especially with guys I have been with four years and some three years.

Q & A with Tobias Harris, Tennessee

A freshman out of the University of Tennessee, what Tobias Harris lacks in experience he makes up for in accomplishments. Harris averaged 15.3 ppg and 7.3 rpg in his one season with the Vols, earning selections to the USBWA Freshman All-America Second-Team and the SEC All-Freshman Team. He also was a Second-Team All-SEC pick by the league’s coaches.

At Half Hollow Hills West High School in Dix Hills, N.Y., Harris was named New York’s Mr. Basketball, a McDonald’s All-American and was a finalist for the Naismith High School Player of the Year Award.

Harris’ cousin is Phoenix Suns forward Channing Frye, and Harris hopes to follow in his cousin’s footsteps by becoming a first round NBA Draft pick. Harris’ father, Torrel, also has NBA ties as a former player agent.

Harris was one of six prospects working out at the Pepsi Center on Wednesday. After his workout Harris sat down to answer a few questions for Nuggets.com.

Q: Have you talked to your cousin, Channing Frye, at all about preparing for the NBA Draft?A:We speak a lot on how to do the right things. To treat the body right and just continue to work hard and what the NBA life is like. He’s told me not to take this opportunity for granted and to continue to grow with it.

Q: Having your father as a former player agent, how has that helped you prepare to enter the NBA?A:It’s helped me a lot since he knows a lot of people. He’s been talking to a lot of people and he’s kind of like a scout, watching me play and critiquing my game. He’s a good person to have.

Q: Through your father you’ve been able to meet some NBA legends, meeting who has given you the biggest thrill?A: I met Michael Jordan as a kid. I train with George Gervin also, so that’s a big thrill as well. I’ve learned a lot from him. Those two are real big guys.

Q: What do you know about the Nuggets and the city of Denver?A:They went through a big change last year losing Melo, but still managed to get into the Playoffs against the Thunder. They’re a young, developing team that is going to continue to get better. They’ve got a lot of young guys; they’re a great team with a lot of youth.

Q: Did you notice the altitude during your workout?A: Yeah, I noticed it. When I worked out here before, before the NBA Combine, it was pretty crazy, but I’m in a lot better shape now. I still noticed it though and it was tough.

Q: How have you been preparing for the NBA Draft? What has been your typical daily schedule?A: Wake up, train with my trainer, Jay Hernandez, in Long Island. Then from there, train with my trainer, Britton Kelley, doing speed and agility. With this draft process I’ve been flying from city to city and I’ll bring my shoes to get in two workouts a day. If I have a day off, and I’m off for three or four days, then I’ll end up doing three workouts. That’s pretty much my day-to-day thing. From there, just eating right and getting a lot of rest.

Q: What do you think your strengths as a player are?A: My versatility. Also my ability to put the ball on the floor and do a lot of things on the basketball floor, and just my winning attitude.

Q: In conversations with scouts, coaches, or executives that you’ve had, what aspects of your game do they say you need to most improve upon?A: I’ve just got to improve on every aspect. I need to continue to grow as a player and as a person and continue to work as hard as I can. That’s what I’m going to do; I’m not going to stop working and just continue to work hard.

Q: Which NBA player would you compare your game to?A:I like looking at Carmelo Anthony and what he does on the floor. I also like Luol Deng; I think my game is similar to his.

Q: What are you trying to show the Nuggets and other teams in your workouts and interviews?A:That I am a hard-worker, a competitor and a great player and a great person on and off the floor.