Alec Burks Interview
Alec Burks, former Gatorade Missouri high school player of the year, Big 12 Freshman of the Year, and possible lottery pick, caught up with NBAdraft.net’s Eric Yearian to discuss his sophomore season, his preparations for his jump to the next level, and his motivation to become the great player he is.
NBADraft.net: How would you describe your game to somebody that hasn’t seen you play yet?
Alec Burks: You know, I look at my game as I’m a scorer, who can do the passing and dribbling. Anything for my team to win I feel I can do.
NBADraft.net: Is there a player or players that you model your game after?
Alec Burks: Oh yeah, I model my game after Jamal Crawford. I feel like he’s underrated and you know his game has the shooting and the passing.
NBADraft.net: One of the things to really like about your game is that, for a guard, you shoot a really good percentage from the field. Is that something you focus on, is it a by-product of your playing style, or what do you attribute that to?
Alec Burks: I feel like I’m taking the right shots at the right time and they’re going in. It’s a part of the offense that’s working well for me.
NBADraft.net: And is that something that you make a conscious effort to do, or is it something that comes natural to you?
Alec Burks: You know, I feel like it’s a little of both. It’s a matter of getting good possessions. You do that, the good percentage will come.
NBADraft.net: What aspects of your game do you feel are your strongest assets that you bring to the team?
Alec Burks: I feel like my strongest asset is my versatility, my passing, driving, shooting; anything my team needs me to do to win.
NBADraft.net: Every great player is always looking at trying to improve their game and what part of their game they can refine. What are some aspects of your game that you’re trying to fine tune?
Alec Burks: I’m trying to get my defense up to par. As far as offense, I’m always working on my jumper; you can never quit working on that.
NBADraft.net: Another thing I’ve noticed about your game, you do a really good job as a rebounder, even leading your team in rebounding last year despite being listed under 200 pounds. What allows you to pull down as many rebounds as you do?
Alec Burks: It’s my desire to rebound. That desire to rebound combined with great athleticism and wanting it more than somebody else wants it.
NBADraft.net: What has been the biggest adjustment for you going from high school, to being the conference freshman of the year, to being a sophomore and having teams now game planning for you?
Alec Burks: It’s a change, I came from high school and nobody knows about me and nobody really wants to talk about me, it’s a big change in two years going from nobody to somebody.
NBADraft.net: Did you set any goals for yourself prior to this season?
Alec Burks: I just want my team to get into the tournament and be one of the top players in the nation. I’m trying to do that every game.
NBADraft.net: Do you feel like so far this season you’re accomplishing those goals?
Alec Burks: We’re winning, we’ve won some more than we’ve lost. For me, I don’t really feel like I’m up there yet, I still feel like I’m underrated, which I like, because I’ve been underrated all my life. I’ll get there one day though.
NBADraft.net: So you use that as a sort of motivation then, right?
Alec Burks: Oh yeah, that’s my chip on my shoulder. That’s my motivation. I believe I have the talent and I believe in what I can do and this gives me motivation to get better every day.
NBADraft.net: On your player profile on NBAdraft.net, we note that you’re a “coachable player.” What are some of the biggest things that you’ve learned from the coaching staff at Colorado?
Alec Burks: Their biggest thing is just to work hard every day. Come to practice, make sure you’re always there because you’re game may not be on one day, but it’s a team, you don’t all have to be on every day, I’ve learned that a lot from the coaching staff.
NBADraft.net: Who has been the toughest player, or toughest matchup you’ve faced in your career?
Alec Burks: I’ll probably say James Anderson of Oklahoma State. (Note: Anderson was the 20th overall pick in last year’s draft, and is currently playing for the San Antonio Spurs, who have the best record in the NBA.) He was a grown man playing against kids and I was a freshman, going against him as a junior. He’s the best player I ever played against.
NBADraft.net: One knock on you that I’ve read from some NBA draft analysts, is that you’re skinny. Is that something that concerns you, and are you trying to put on weight, or do you feel that that’s nit-picking on their part?
Alec Burks: I am trying to put on weight every day, but I can still play at the weight I am, I’m showing that I can produce at my weight every day, but every day I am trying to gain weight. I don’t really let it bother me, but I can understand them wanting me to get stronger, though.
NBADraft.net: What are you doing to try to add that weight?
Alec Burks: Lifting, eating healthier every day, just put on the weight any way I can. Just do whatever I can.
NBADraft.net: I know you’ve said before you aren’t currently giving too much thought to your NBA prospects right now, but when it comes time to figure that all out what will be the major factors in helping you decide whether or not to leave school early?
Alec Burks: The biggest factor in me leaving Colorado is I have to be certified top ten or a lottery pick, if I’m certified top ten or lottery pick I would feel like I’d have to leave, but if I’m not where I feel like I need to be I’ll just come back another year so I can prove everybody wrong so I can get that lottery or top ten spot.
NBADraft.net: Let’s say you are going to be a lottery pick, do you feel like you could step in and contribute right away at the next level?
Alec Burks: I can bring a lot to a team. I feel like I can step in and contribute a lot to an NBA team and help them out my first year.
NBADraft.net: If you were to go pro after this year, are there any certain teams or players that you would especially look forward to playing against?
Alec Burks: I would love playing against Jamal Crawford, that was my idol growing up in high school, and Kevin Durant. I feel like playing against them, that’s when you know you have arrived. I would love to play against one of them.
Colorado puzzles me..I'm still wondering how a team with a possible lotto pick and a possible late 1st or 2nd round pick in Cory Higgins..(I think Higgins will be a Sleeper)...Lose to a team like San Franciso and get blown out by Harvard?
Harvard argubly is better than colorado this season lol.. since when do you have 3 star prospects going to ivy league. next season they have a 4 star prospect coming as well.
Coloroda is way too inconsistent to be predictable, such that they can pull some upsets and lose games to lowbies.
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