One on One: Makol Mawien
Logan Mantz and Grant Flanders sat down with Makol Mawien last Thursday to see how his off season has gone and what he looks forward to this season.
KSO: How’s practice going?
Makol Mawein: You know, it is really exciting that it is my senior year, we got a lot to do and a lot to work on. We got a lot of new guys, and our first couple practices have been great. People have been working hard and getting to know a new system; the new guys been getting the hang of it so far, and I think we are jelling well thus far.
KSO: What about the new guys like Montavious and Antonio looking to you for advice?
MM: They have a lot of talent, and they play hard, and I think they are going to be great players in the future. And I cant wait to see what they are capable of doing and have brought it to practice. And me, as being a senior, I am trying to give them tips here and there, and they have been focused.
KSO: How have you taken on the new role of being a senior leader?
MM: It is very exciting, and I just try and give what I can and try and bring what I have learned from the past years here at K-State. I share my knowledge, and the other guys have been good at taking my advice.
KSO: What have you been working on game?
MM: I have been working on my jumper, my threes, my inside games and my all-around game, honestly, over the summer. I am just trying to take the open shots and knock them down.
KSO: Are they trying to get you set plays like Dean had?
MM: We have gone through a lot of plays, and there have been a couple sets for me and some similar to Dean, but for sure some for me to get shots inside and some jumpers, pick and pop, and pick and role, here and there.
KSO: Have you noticed anything different with Bruce Weber this year?
MM: The biggest difference is that we have been going a lot slower, and I think that’s because we got a lot of new guys, and the last few years we had the same team and pick up where we left off. We never had to go through that learning curve, but with that said we are still getting better, and it’s like review for us. Its good for other guys to learn that stuff, too. Defensive concepts are the biggest things for us right now, because that kind of stuff wins games.
KSO: What makes you such a good defender?
MM: That’s a credit to the coaches, and they have done a great job just helping me understand how to guard the pick and roll. When I got here my redshirt sophomore year, they have been great with coaching me, and it's stuck, and I been able to show that part of my game.
KSO: Things you have seen with DaJuan?
MM: He is relentless, and he is always active, great defender and can get to the basket, knock down some threes for us. In general, he has been solid and going to be a great player for the future.
KSO: What is your hopes for this year?
MM: We all know there are big expectations for us, but those are great things (Elite 8 and Big 12 Championship), but we are not going to give much weight to it. We are not going to worry about who we lost to last year, because we can't do much about that, and focus on what we can do and how can we get better.
KSO: Is there a particular game you look at on the schedule this year?
MM: I would probably say the Oklahoma game, because my cousin plays there, but besides that all my focus is on the next game.
KSO: What is it like having Jermaine Henderson as a coach now?
MM: Even from last year, I feel like he has been a great coach and has stepped in his role. He is great guy to go to about on court stuff and really deserved his position. He does a great job about motivating position.
KSO: Do you talk to David Sloan about JUCO basketball?
MM: I guess we haven’t spoken much about it, but there is a great difference in competition between both levels.
KSO: How many minutes do you expect to play?
MM: I can’t give you a specific number, but I plan to play a lot and do whatever it takes to help this team win.