Sophomore Alex Olah became an impact player on the basketball team during his freshman campaign. How will he follow that up? He talks about that, his lost bromance with transfer Kale Abrahamson and more.
Statistically, you made huge strides last year. What do you attribute your improvement to?
It was just a bunch of individual work with [assistant] coach [Brian] James. I also worked on my conditioning, and I lost a bunch of weight and gained more muscle. I became more agile and could run faster and jump higher.
Do you think you’ll be okay without [sophomore transfer] Kale [Abrahamson]? Will you survive?
[Laughs] Yeah, yeah, no worries, I’ll be fine.
How are you guys looking to improve offensively this year? (Northwestern ranked 309th out of 351 in kenpom.com’s adjusted offensive efficiency, an estimate of how many points a team would score per 100 possessions against an average DI defense.)
The incoming freshmen are really fast, so now we can push the ball and get a bunch of baskets in transition, which is a big improvement. We’re young, but we’re talented.
Speaking of the freshmen, what are your first impressions of them aside from their quickness?
They’re a talented bunch and they’re going to help us a lot. I’m not giving names, everybody’s just – I wish I was that good when I was a freshman. I mean, they’re going to help us so much. They can do everything.
During the last several games of the season, you really turned it on offensively. How confident are you about carrying that over to this year?
I’m really confident. I have to keep the same face and prove that it wasn’t just something at the end of the season. I have to continue improving and keep the same mentality and just get even better from now on.
What are your thoughts on the new court? (Welsh-Ryan Arena was renovated over the summer, with the addition of a new video scoreboard and a much-improved court.)
It really changes everything. The court design looks good; I think the students are going to like it and everybody else is going to like it a lot.
Is this the year you guys make your first tournament appearance?
Hopefully. That’s why we’re playing, that’s why we’re practicing so hard. Hopefully we make it.