Syracuse forward James Southerland Q&A

NEW YORK — James Southerland spoke with us on Wednesday at Big East Media Day inside the New York Athletic Club in Manhattan. Here’s what he had to say:

The Juice Online: What does it mean to you for this to be the last season playing in the Big East tournament in Manhattan?

James Southerland is all smiles for the season

James Southerland is all smiles for the season

James Southerland: It’s always special at Madison Square Garden. There’s a lot of history in that place. Being that Syracuse is New York’s team, Orange in the Apple, it’s going to be different playing in the ACC next year.

TJO: What is going to be the biggest difference in your game this year?

JS: You’re definitely going to see more of a leader, and more of an impact player. Last year, I felt like I was playing a bit more laid back because we had a lot of players with experience like Kris Joseph and Scoop (Jardine). I was basically trying to fit in. And now, I’m making sure everyone plays their role.

» Related: Q&A with Brandon Triche

TJO: What do you see your numbers being like this year?

JS: Definitely an increase in all statistics. But, more importantly, being an impact player. Guys are going to be keying on Brandon (Trice), CJ (Fair) and I, so I have to make sure I do everything all around. And being a vocal leader that’s going to get the job done.

TJO: You lost Fab Melo, but you have Rakeem Christmas, Baye Moussa Keita and DaJuan Coleman still left. What do you see from your bigs?

JS: I’m seeing a lot of great things. Even though we lost Fab, a great defensive player, Rakeem, Baye and DaJuan are definitely great guys to have. They’re not established, but they have a lot of talent. We’re going to need those guys down the line.

» Related: Video interview with Jim Boeheim

TJO: Do you see Michael Carter-Williams having a breakout year?

JS: I definitely see Michael Carter-Williams having a breakout year. He saw limited minutes last year, which can make you know not his talent level. He has a high talent level, he’s a 6’5″ long guard, and he can make plays. You’re going to see that this year. He’s going to break out.

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Wes Cheng

About Wes Cheng

Wes has worked for Rivals.com covering the New York Knicks, as well as for Scout.com covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also worked for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) and reported on the NBA and MLB for the New York Sportscene. A native of Long Island, New York, Wes graduated from Syracuse University in 2005. Follow him on Twitter @ChengWes.
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