By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com Publisher Earlier today, CycloneFanatic.com caught up with Terry Carroll, the head basketball coach at Southeastern Iowa Community College. Over the past year, Carroll hasn’t gotten to actually coach 2010 Cyclone commitment John Wilkins in a game, but he has gotten familiar with the prospect.
Carroll could not confirm Wilkins’ commitment to Iowa State this morning because the two hadn’t yet had a chance to talk. The coach did however take some time to give us a little bit more information on John Wilkins, the basketball player in this Q&A.
What will John Wilkins bring to a team next season?
TC: He is really a talented player. His upside is huge. He is like every other player at that age. He is inexperienced. He hasn’t played a minute of college basketball yet though. He has a lot of adjustment and a lot of maturing to do but he is 6-foot-9. He can really shoot the ball. He’s very gifted athletically. He can run. He can jump. He brings a lot to the table on a positive note.
I talked to John when he was at the Missouri game. He told me that sitting out the last few years won’t bother him much. That’s his take. As a coach, how do you see that affecting him?
TC: There is no question that anybody who comes off of a year or two years absence and has never really played in America yet as far as competitive basketball goes, there is going to be an adjustment period, without question.
What is the best thing for him to do now?
TC: Like everybody who is 19-years old, he needs to spend a lot of time in the weight room. He needs to continue to work on his complete game, particularly, getting stronger around the basket and rebounding out of his area. Defensively out on the floor, he still needs a lot of work. He has a lot of areas to go where he can get better at.
What is his work ethic like?
Is he self-motivated? Did you have to get on him a lot?
TC: It is tough to say because he red-shirted. When you red-shirt, you obviously don’t deal with the player like you would a kid who is playing. He’s just practicing. It is a different scenario for John. I have never had to get on him though. I don’t really know. I do know this. When we have had discussions, he is very serious about his basketball future and where he wants it to go. I think that you can tell a lot about a kid when they do sit out about how hard they work that red-shirt year to get better. All I can judge him on is that he’s worked very hard to get better.
What is he like defensively?
TC: That is probably the area where he needs the most work because of his European background. His background is offense. He does need some work on the defensive end of the floor. With that being said, with his athleticism, he can definitely adjust and adapt to it. He’s just never had anybody in his life make him be accountable at the defensive end of the floor. When those days come along, he ill accept it and do a nice job with it. Today though, talking to you, I don’t know that because I’ve never seen it.
How much better would your team have been this year if John Wilkins would have played?
TC: Anybody who knows basketball at all could tell you that it would have made a huge difference. You don’t have very many times where you get to coach a guy who is 6-foot-8 and extremely talented on the offensive end. In junior college basketball, let’s be honest, defense it isn’t the forte of most players.
So he is a special kind of a player to play at a junior college?
TC: He is a very special player no matter where he is at. He is not your stereotypical JUCO player. He is a very good student. He probably knows three different languages. He is very polite. He is one of the nicest kids I have ever been around.