Q&A: Travis Leslie

Rebounding among strengths for powerful Georgia guard

As a 6-foot-4, 205-pound guard at the University of Georgia, Travis Leslie was never shy about going in the paint and getting up for a rebound or a putback dunk.

Leslie averaged 3.2 offensive rebounds per game as a junior last season, which ranked third nationally among all guards. He also was named to the 2010-11 All-SEC second team after averaging 14.4 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.2 steals as a junior.

Leslie has taken part in two pre-draft workouts in Denver, most recently on June 17. He was kind enough to answer a few questions for

Q. What do you know about the Nuggets and the City of Denver?
A: It’s a great city and a great place. They (Nuggets) are a great young team with a lot of talent. They’re rebuilding and every year they’re going to get better.

Q: Everyone talks about the altitude and the thin air, did you feel it at all during your workout?
A: I definitely felt it. I kept playing through it though; all these guys (coaches) knew we were going to feel it and they wanted us to fight through it. I think that’s what I did.

Q: This is your second workout you’ve gone through with the Nuggets, what vibes are you getting from the team?
A: I’m getting great vibes from the team; I’m really getting along with everybody. I feel very comfortable here.

Q: How do your workouts here compare to what you’ve been doing around the league to get ready for the draft?
A: I feel like they’re all very similar. The altitude here is the main difference here, but we do all of the same things. I’m working hard at every single one of them.

Q: As we close in on the last week before the draft, what do your final preparations look like?
A: I’m just going to keep going hard at the rest of my workouts and being aggressive. That’s what I do best. Then on draft day, hopefully I’ll get picked very high.

Q: What do you think your strengths are as a player?
A: I think I can definitely rebound for my size, being 6-foot-4. I can attack the basket and I think I’m very athletic and I play hard.

Q: In the workouts you’ve been in, what have GMs, scouts or coaches told you that you need to improve to play in the NBA?
A: For my size in the NBA I’d definitely be playing a two-guard. So I need to work on my handles and I’ve been doing that and I’ve been getting better. Also my jump shot needs to get better. I’ve been working on both of those things a lot.

Q: After a stellar three-year career at Georgia, what made you decide to forego your senior season and enter the NBA draft?
A: My family and I talked it through and thought it was the best decision for me at this time. I honestly thought it was a great opportunity for me. A lot of (college) players stayed, so I thought it was a great opportunity for me to come out.