Pac-12 Media Day Interview: Austin Dufault

This guy is primed for a big season.

CU's basketball SID Andrew Green was nice enough to get me some time with senior forward Austin Dufault before he and coach Tad Boyle went up on stage in front of everyone. Here is the interview:

D: First question, what position will you be playing this year?

A: I'll probably be playing multiple positions, but I'll also be playing more forward than I have in the past with Shane (Harris-Tunks) coming back and with the improvements that some of our bigs have made. So I'll be playing a bit more at the 4, but at the same time I can play the 5. 

D: Can you talk about the development of Harris-Tunks coming off of the knee injury, Ben Mills and Trey Eckloff?

Follow the jump to see if I can jump higher than Dufault can!

A: First of all, Shane, coming off of his knee injury, is getting better every day. The biggest thing for him, I think, is just physically being healthy and then mentally, being able to go all out on his knee and to trust his knee. He's doing a better job of that each day. Ben and Trey have been coming to work every day in practice and just getting better, and being more aggressive this year than last year, so hopefully those guys can really pick up some of the slack on the inside. 

D: How do you feel that will benefit your play?

A: Defensively I feel like I'm more of a natural 4, and offensively too, so just being able to move back to that position where I feel more comfortable and not have such a size disadvantage will be nice. And actually having a size advantage against some smaller forwards. And then using what I learned from playing the 5 and being able to take those guys inside and post them up. I'm just looking forward to playing some forward again.

D: You're trying to replace nearly 80% of your offense this year. You're now in a position of leadership. What are you doing to help that along?

A: I'm just being more aggressive. The thing to understand about our team this year is that you can't replace an Alec Burks or a Cory Higgins. The only thing you can do is try to collectively make up for that loss. There's not going to be one person on our team that's just going to pick up the slack for those guys. If we can play well as a team and move and share the ball, I thin kwe have an opportunity to really do well this year.

D: Can you talk about some of the newcomers? Carlon Brown, Jeremy Adams, the transfers as everybody?

A: Everybody sees Carlon as a newcomer, but he's been with us for a year. This is his first year on the court, though and just seeing him last year as a redshirt, seeing him come to work every day and practicing so hard, I know how hungry he is for this year and really looking forward to playing in the Pac-12 and he had a really good offseason. Jeremy Adams is a JC transfer who played at A&M and he just knows how to play the game. He plays really hard, he's got lots of talent and he's a really good competitor. Both of those guys plus all of the freshmen that have come in all have a really good opportunity to come in and contribute this year.

D: What personal goals have you set?

A: I don't really worry about numbers or anything like that or put a number out there for what I want to average. I want to be more aggressive, more assertive and be a good leader for our team and really step up my leadership role this year as a senior and help the younger guys out. We're only going to play as well as our younger guys can play. So we need all our guys this year.

D: Where are you most excited to go of the new places?

A: Arizona State recruited me out of high school. It was pretty much between them and CU, and I decided to go to CU obviously, so it'll be fun to go down there and play them and for them to come play us in Boulder. The LA road trip to play UCLA because there's so much history with their program, and being in LA for a few days won't be too bad.

D: What do you think of Tad Boyle after a full offseason with him and going into year two?

A: Just having that year under my belt, there's a much higher comfort level there. Last year we didn't really know what to expect with coach, but this year we have a good understanding of what he expects from you every day. Our relationship has gotten a lot better, it's just built over time. You don't get that trust right away from the coach, but we've developed that over the last year and I just hope to continue to build that.

D: Can you talk about the practice facility a little bit?

A:  It's awesome. I mean, our first official practice, Women's Volleyball had a game in the main gym, and normally we would've had to go to the rec center or--we've actually gone to Broomfield Event Center to practice before. But now just having that right in our back yard and to be able to just walk right from the locker room to the practice facility right there is a great tool for our team, especially for recruiting. To see that building now and to be really excited about it you can see that Colorado basketball is really moving forward.

D: Now that you've got a facility, you can have those 'gym-rats'. Can you tell me who you've seen spending the most time there outside of practice?

A: Personally, I've been in there as much as I can be. Just getting those extra shots in at night. It just helps so much having a place to go that's not a hassle. And Carlon Brown is in there all the time, every time you walk through there he's in one of the gyms. I think a lot of guys are using it for the most part. But I always see Carlon in there working on his game and trying to get better. 

D: Thank you! (They needed him up on stage)

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