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Q&A with Julian Gamble (Part II)

Two weeks ago, I caught up with University of Miami redshirt freshman big man Julian Gamble after he participated in a basketball/religious venture to Africa with Athletes in Action. On Wednesday, I posted the details of his 13-day trip overseas where Julian said he had a life-changing experience meeting orphans, a fun time playing international basketball and much more (Q&A Part I).

In this second part of my interview with Julian, we got a chance to talk about his rough upbringing in North Carolina. He told me how his single mother struggled to raise him and his older sister and brother and how he himself struggled, attending 14 different schools from the time he started kindergarten until he graduated. Gamble, who didn't really become a hot commodity until his junior year of high school, told me he was more than happy to accept a scholarship from Miami and says being a Cane is a dream come true. He said he passed on offers from Kentucky, Florida and Tennessee because of the bond he built with coach Frank Haith, another Carolina guy, who was able to convince him UM's basketball program was headed in the right direction. The following is the rest of what he and I talked about.

Q: Who was the first person to put a basketball in your hands and when did you first start playing?
A: When I was smaller, I’d have to say it was my father. Just watching TV and during the time Michael JgambleJordan and all those guys like that were playing. I just watched basketball, that’s pretty much how I spent all my time with my dad. He took me out to the court one day. He never seriously played basketball. He always would mess around though. And then I went out there shooting and I fell in love with the game. At first it was all about spending time with my father, but as time progressed I just really found the love for the game. I didn’t get serious or start thinking about going to college until around 10th grade maybe. I was a late bloomer. I really didn’t come around until my 11th grade year. That’s when I started getting my offers and things like that. In my 10th grade year, I had a lot of mid-major offers.

Q: When did you go through your big growth spurt?
A: In eighth grade I was 6-1. By the time I was in ninth I may have been 6-4. From the 9th to 10th, I grew up two more inches. I’ve grown up a little bit since I got here.

Q: How tall are you now?
A: I’m not even sure. The last time I measured I was 6-9. But just from talking to my teammates and stuff today they say I’ve grown. I might be 6-9 or 6-10.

FrankhaithQ: What have you learned about college basketball since you’ve been here?
A: My first impression of coming here and seeing practice and seeing the game, it’s much, much faster than in high school. That was my first adaptation to make. My first impression was the energy level. In high school, the best players would just take the game over. Some teams might play good defense. But in college, everybody can do every thing. It’s not like anybody can step in and average 20 points a game. I think I’ve improved majorly from just working with coach Mac and working with my teammates and talking to coach Haith and things like that.

Q: Where have you improved or need improvement?
A: One area I need to improve is my strength and my conditioning. Those are two areas I’m looking to improve on in this offseason right here. Also, my defense – its something that would keep me on the court and give me opportunities to play. I’m not the type of guy to get stats or whatever. I just want to help the team. I want to help the team win. That’s the role I play.

Q: I know coach said you’ve lost a lot of weight and toned up. Now, it’s time to brag about what you’ve done.
A: I’ve lost around 25 pounds since I got here. I was 265 when I came in. I was 239 when I weighed myself now. I’m definitely going to pick up some weight though, lifting in this offseason, muscle, things like that. But I lost a lot of fat, nearly 30 pounds of it. I feel like a new man. The biggest difference is my quickness, my jumping, my all around game is just a lot more easier when I’m lighter. Being as tall as I am, my knees hurt when I’m heavier. Now that I’m lighter my knee pains aren’t present or a major issue like I was before.

Q: A lot has obviously changed since the day you accepted a scholarship to Miami. This team has gone from last place in the ACC to the second round of the NCAA tournament in one year and now some experts are saying you guys are a Top 10 team. What’s changed from your perspective?
A: From my personal perspective when I was first getting recruiting, coach Haith was telling me he was Ummens_hoops going to change the face of the program. I had faith in him. I knew people who knew coach Haith being from Carolina and they said he was a man of his word. I didn’t need to hear much else because I believed in him. Being here and going through last season and seeing exactly what he said would happen, it was really good. It’s just making everyone around the nation see we’re trying to work toward being a force for a long time coming. It’s all about hardwork. It’s not as if somebody says were going to be good and its over. It always about hard work for us and progress.

Q: That being said, expectations are going to be different next season. The pressure is going to be different now that you guys are where you are. How do you think the guys are going to handle the preseason hype?
A: I don’t think its going to change at all. It just kind of shows our hardwork has paid off. But at the same time we’re a humble group of individuals. We’re not the type of people if the spotlight is on us we’re going to walk around and not see people for what they are. We’re people like everybody else. Just because we won 20 games doesn’t mean we’re going to walk around here like we don’t know anybody. We’re still going to be the same people and I feel we’re going to approach things like we did before with that hard work ethic and the desire to want to improve. I don’t think because the spotlight is on us, we’re going to relax. That’s all the more reason to work even harder because people are going to be coming at us even harder. That hardwork mentality is going to stick no matter how bright that light gets.

Q: Are the guys excited by those expectations? ESPN's Andy Katz has you guys ranked eighth in his preseason poll. Also, you’re playing at Kentucky and at home against Ohio State. Is there a lot more excitement in general?
Mcclintondribble A: Of course we’re excited because these are things outside of playing basketball these are things we dream of, playing in the big games, playing at Kentucky and things like that. So, there is a level of excitement. But at the same time, this is a very large task we have to tackle so we have to work that much harder to be able to accomplish that goal. We just don’t want to go to Kentucky to say we played them. We don’t want to play Ohio State to say we played them. We’re trying to win those games. So, in order to win those games, we got to work hard to put ourselves in position to do that.

Q: When is that you guys will start working with coaches again?
A: We’re not with the coaches, but I myself will call the coach and ask them what type of things I need to work on. They’ll describe the drill and I’ll go and work on it myself. It’s all about being with our strength coach, lifting weights. We’re trying to prepare ourselves as much as we can. I want to have myself ready so I won’t have to go back and do any work I should have done already. We haven’t had a workout where everybody was together. People have been going back home and things like that. We won’t really have our full workout until I think the 30th of June -- the Monday after Summer [Session 2]. I think its going to be a level of excitement. I mean the truth is, we’re all men, but we miss our boys. We have a lot of fun together. So, it’s not like when we see everybody , “OK, your back.’ That will be our prime moment to get together and work hard. When the whole team gets back together there is going to be focus because we know this is going to be a big year for us.

Q: Talk about your role this year. Ray Hicks, Anthony King are gone. Coach talked a lot about you being that reliable post option that Anthony was. How do you see yourself in the mix with Jimmy Graham, Dwayne Collins and Cyrus McGowan?
JimmygrahamA: I think for the most part it will be a rotation like it was last year. With Jimmy being a senior, Cyrus being a junior and Dwayne being a junior, I’m going to be learning from them more than anything else. If worse comes to worse, I’ll defer to them because it’s going to be my first turn around. I think the rotation will be in that two in and two out we did last year. It’s really going to be great because all four of us bring different things to the table that will be helpful to the team. I got full confidence in coach Haith. He knows what we do well and how we’ll play well together for the better of the team.

Q: I think most people would consider you more of a true center type prospect than those other guys who are more like natural power forward. Do you see yourself as a center?
A: I don’t want to say I’m going to be Anthony King’s replacement or I’m going to do what King did as a player over his career. It’s extremely difficult to replace a guy like him not only as a player, but off the court with his leadership and everything. My role this year will be trying to be as reliable a post player as possible, doing what I can do to help the team like grabbing rebounds, blocking shots and taking charges so we win. I know we have a tremendous talent level. I don’t have to be one of the people to score points. We got a lot of people that can score points. I know I can do the small things and try to help them out.

Comments

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It's all Good... keep it up!

Thank you Manny for the great interview. I know you are going on vacation, and you deserve it, but please keep an ear out for any basketball news for us please.

More good stuff!
Thanks . . .

Thank you Manny. Have a great break from everything.

Hey manny , very interescting article, hows it been.

Thanks for the interview Manny. Great article.

Great stuff.

Hope to see more interviews like in the future.

Love the basketball interviews!

Great stuff.

Hope to see more interviews like in the future.

Love the basketball interviews!

Sounds like another gamer for Haith. I am getting excited about the big three of Canes Sports...

Good job man!!

1) Steve Spurrier

"If Coker is fired as expected after Thursday's game against Boston College, then Spurrier would be Miami's most desired replacement, a source close to the situation told ESPN's Joe Schad Sunday." - ESPN

2) Greg Schiano

"He believes Rutgers coach Greg Schiano, a former Miami assistant, should be the top candidate at Miami. Schiano said he told them not to consider him for the job.
" - ESPN

3) Barry Alvarez

"Another candidate of logical interest is former Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez, because of his close relationship with current Miami president Donna Shalala. Alvarez, now Wisconsin's Athletic Director, told Schad last week "never say never" about a return to coaching." - ESPN

4) Mike Leach

"The Hurricanes decided to promote from within after talking to Texas Tech's Mike Leach." - ESPN

TRUTH = 4TH CHOICE COACH

REALITY = 5-7, WITH NO BOWL GAME

REALITY BITES AGAIN = 4-8 IN 2008

FORESHADOW = FIRED BY MID 2009

PRAY FOR A TOP 5 CHOICE COACH IN 2010

canesrule, you are a pox on the rear end of humanity. Get off the Hurricane blogs and go swim in Lake Alice. Just be careful that one of Urban's "upright citizens" doesn't end up rolling you for all you own first on the way there. Oh, and stop sucking the tool of ESPN like it's cannon you dipsh!t.

Nice interview Manny, when's part 2?

Canesrule, OR!!!

REALITY = 5-7, WITH NO BOWL GAME

REALITY STRIKES = 9 - 3 IN 2008

FORESHADOW = BCS BOWL BY 2009

AFTER GOING UNDEFEATED, NC IN 2010

GRUDGINGLY VOTED NCAA COACH OF THE YEAR 2010

Some people fear the Arising of the Canes for they use "Canes" in vain as part of their name....

Folks in case you missed it RB Mike James has jumped on board the Cane train according to Rivals!!! Go Canes

"9-3 IN 2008"....agreed if you still played in the Big Easy. News flash, Duhhhhh U plays in the mediocre ACC where they have gone 16-16 in conference play.

REALITY BITES AGAIN = 4-8 IN 2008

Just thank Korch's season recap files that U don't have the Gators schedule, otherwise your record would be 2-10 in 2008.

TRUTH = 4TH CHOICE COACH

"Nice interview Manny, when's part 2?" - orange 'n green for a brain

Q&A with Julian Gamble (Part II)

SELF-EXPLANATORY

"RB Mike James has jumped on board the Cane train according to Rivals!!! Go Canes"

After landing the most 2-Star Recruits in the nation in 2008's class, I can see why you would brag about landing a recruit with 3-Stars.

MAGICALLY DELICIOUS

Canesrule, you alright man. You stick to your guns -- but as they say, "that is why they play the games on the field..."

This kid is getting pathetic. He has a new post every 10 minutes. Damn, I bet he's addicted to kiddie pics too! Hey, "CanesRule", Ever think about getting a job and going to rehab? Maybe you should before the poe' poe' show up at your doe' doe'!
P.S. Quit riding ESPN's d!*$. By the way, in one of your posts you making up facts about Oscar Meyer winning the NC in his 2nd year as coach. Question.....what year in to his quick stint did Larry Coker win it all? We all know how he turned out! Exactly the way Oscar will.

"making up facts about Oscar Meyer winning the NC in his 2nd year as coach" - Duhhhh U

"MAKING UP" FACTS & SOURCING ESPN, AGAIN SELF-EXPLANATORY

Question.....what was Larry Coker's record during his previous stints as a head coach prior to driving Duhhhh U into the ground?

0-0, PROMOTE WITHIN

Coker's Big Easy Record for Duhhh U = 35-3

Coker's ACC Record for Duhhh U = 25-12

DON'T NEED ESPN ON THIS ONE - WHAT HAPPENED ONCE U JOINED THE ACC

Meyer's SEC Record (Consensus Toughest League in the Nation) = 31-8

COKER'S BEST DAY IN THE ACC = MEYER'S WORST DAY IN THE SEC

I can understand Duhhhh U's opinion that Randy Shannon is the Ron Zook of Miami, but Larry Coker never was, and never will reach the respect that Urban Meyer has aready reached early in his career.

CIRCLE THE WAGONS IN SOMEONE ELSE'S STADIUM

Coker's first and only title = Age 53

Meyer's first of many titles = Age 42

ONE & DONE

"Question.....what year in to his quick stint did Larry Coker win it all? We all know how he turned out! Exactly the way Oscar will." - Duhhhh U

COKER = YEAR 1
MEYER = YEAR 2

KNOW YOUR TEAM IMBECILE

7 consecutive anti-Miami posts at midnight Saturday night on a Miami blog? Ever hear the term "get a life"?

Ha Ha Ha. I told you. This kid's got problems. I wonder why he got kicked off the Gayturds blogs? Oh yeah, "Consensus Toughest Conference" is BS. There you go with your brainwashed little ESPN brain of yours. Better luck next time. Anyways, I'm done wasting my time with this pedafile.

Wow this Canesrule is a gigantic tool. You put out a lot of records, but the only record that really matters little girl is 0-6 since '83. Must really tear you up inside every night. Were you even alive the last time the gayturds actually beat us? LMAO

Pathetic.

I'm done with you

Manny...great work on the Julian Gamble interviews.

Also enjoyed chatting with you last night at The Space about the signing of James.
The audio interview was excellent.

You are the best in the business!

GO CANES!

Link to Manny's audio with the Canes latest recruit:

http://www.miamiherald.com/907/rich_media/586972.html

Link to TONS of audio from Manny:

http://www.miamiherald.com/907/

hey gaturd incognito, si's stewart mandel printed an email by orange 'n green in the vein ...
HEAVY HITTER

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/blogs/content/shared-blogs/palmbeach/umblog
seen this movie before ... gaturd incognito spams UM blog with nonsense ...
JACKASS

hey malleable manny navarro, SOUP aka 86Cane aka tom popadak aka sybil greases you because he wants something ...
ACCESS

manny navarro can chat & link WITHOUT you ...
DISPENSABLE

Manny...how do we get Blustein of Fishbein on Canespace?

Posted by: 86Cane | June 28, 2008 at 07:48 PM

A: Well, Larry works for us now at The Miami Herald. He told me he'd be more than happy to come on for chats at Eye On The U or Canespace. ... I'll ask Fish if he's interested.

Posted by: Manny Navarro | June 28, 2008 at 07:51 PM

mi$$pent energy ...
$houldn't malleable manny navarro bent on building up his EMPLOYER'$ blog?

WHO'$ YOUR DADDY

Green...there U go ruining a perfectly good Canes blog with more of your unprovoked rants about me and Canespace. If you would just post about the Canes and The U everyone would enjoy this blog so much more.

In the meantime, for those Canes fans out there who are more interested in reading about UM's incoming (Fall) freshmen WRs and DBs click here:

http://canespace.typepad.com/canespace/

Morning fellow U fans. I know this is late notice, but I am sponsoring a get together this evening, everyone who can make it is invited, it is going to be in the South Beach area, nice place. here is a link so those of you who want to come can mapquest it http://www.scorebar.net/

I will have the Canespace banner flying proudly. Hope to see you there.


86Cane

GO CANES!!

Green...there U go ruining a perfectly good Canes blog with more of your unprovoked rants about me and Canespace. If you would just post about the Canes and The U everyone would enjoy this blog so much more.

In the meantime, for those Canes fans out there who are more interested in reading about UM's incoming (Fall) freshmen WRs and DBs click here:

http://canespace.typepad.com/canespace/

Posted by: SOUP | June 29, 2008 at 11:28 AM

Hey SOUP you dummy, oh wait that is me, I am such an idiot, blah blah blah, I have a website, look at me, I am so smart, I know it all, Did I mention I have a banner too? And that the majority of the U blogging community thinks I am an idiot, hehe I am such a moron

SOUP aka 86Cane aka tom popadak aka sybil ruins Miami Herald Eye on the U ...
COME TO A HEAD

Green = watchdog, Rottweiler..

"that really matters little girl" - Casual Observer & Fan Weather Fan

"I'm done wasting my time with this pedafile" - what the season recap file said to Korch?

"LMAO" - speaking of little girls

"I'm done with you" - after one post?

"Green...there U go ruining a perfectly good Canes blog" - creating your own sequel to a movie you've supposedly seen before.

"If you would just post about the Canes and The U everyone would enjoy this blog so much more" - speaking of whinning little girls at Duhhhh U

"am sponsoring a get together this evening" - hope you and the one other person whom shows up have a blast.

"look at me, I am so smart, I know it all, Did I mention I have a banner too?" - yet more from the whinning little girls at Duhhhh U, Part Two or is that Part II

HYPNOTIZING HYPOCRITES


"Imagine this. You’re the defensive coordinator of a Southeastern Conference team on Florida’s schedule this year. You’re sitting up in the booth, still trying to figure out what you’re going to do next time Dan Mullen slips Chris Rainey into the backfield to go along with Percy Harvin and Brandon James in the slots and suddenly the Gators break the huddle with Louis Murphy, Deonte Thompson, Percy Harvin and Chris Rainey. Then you notice the guy on the far side of the field. That’s Jeff Demps." - ESPN AFFILIATE

RUH-ROH!!!

"Murphy has run a 4.27 40 yards and he’s a sprinter on the Florida track team. Thompson has done 100 meters in 10.3 seconds, Harvin has done it in 10.4 and Rainey outran Walter Dix in the first leg of the 4X100 relay at the NCAA Track and Field Championships a couple of weeks ago."

"And then there is Demps. Saturday he did a 10.01 in the hundred meters at the Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon and by the way, he beat Dix to the tape in the quarter-final race in which he not only tied the world record for his age group, but broke the all-time American record for 100 meters by a high school kid." - ESPN AFFILIATE

DON'T BLINK - YOU'LL MISS 21 ON THE BOARD

"You just spent a week preparing for situations just like this but at this very moment it hits you that you’ve spent all this time getting ready for the fastest college football team in the nation and you were trying to simulate their speed with your own guys."

"You’ve got some fast guys, but there’s fast and there is Florida fast." - ESPN AFFILIATE

THIS ISN'T A MAZDA COMMERCIAL

"Maybe you’ve got one guy that’s as fast as Murph and maybe another one that’s almost as fast as Percy-cution but your third guy can’t stick with the Rain Man and you don’t have anyone, not even on the track team, that’s as fast as Deonte."

"And now they’ve put Demps on the field. Trindon Holliday of LSU used to be the fastest player in college football. Used to be but no longer. Demps now gets the title of faster than a speeding bullet college football style." - ESPN AFFILIATE

ADVIL TO THE RESCUE

"Suddenly you realize that if you have seven defensive backs in the game --- about what it’s going to take with all these fast Gators in the game --- and all of them are playing so deep that even if you have everybody checked if all of them go long you don’t have enough people in the box to take out Tebow."

"That’s right. You forgot about Tim Tebow. Florida has five offensive linemen. You have three. You have one linebacker. Florida has Tebow. He’s bigger, stronger, faster and meaner than your linebacker. He’s already run over your middle linebacker once at the goal line and that was with nine in the box. It was kind of embarrassing that the Gators had to point your middle backer to his own huddle after he took on Tebow. He might not think clearly for another week." - ESPN AFFILIATE

HEISMAN REPEAT

"The possibilities for this offense and all this speed are endless. With this much speed, every play has the potential to go the distance."

"You scream into the mike on your headset, “Somebody get me a time out! Somebody do it real quick!” - ESPN AFFILIATE

THE YOU'RE INFORMED YOU USED THEM ALL DURING THE GATORS FIRST SERIES - TWO MINUTES INTO THE GAME

Oh green boy, where oh where are you?

Canespace rules

I have a banner

I have guest bloggers

Green is a waste, MH is a putz, UDynasty is a clown, James likes little boys


I had enough of all you, Canespace is where it's at and you are jealous, I have Manny's help, Shandel, the ITU guys, so I am legit, jealous jealous, jealous........ wah wah wah

Whiney little girls, you just wish you thought of it first, what can I say, I run the best U blog around, I am smart. cool, and I have Canespace women, so beat that losers.........

"Whiney little girls, you just wish you thought of it first, I run the best U blog around, I am smart. cool, and I have Canespace women, so beat that losers" - fan who cancels the Canes in every post

ONCE AGAIN, SELF-EXPLANATORY

"Green is a waste, MH is a putz, UDynasty is a clown, James likes little boys" - 86Cane

If this is what fans of Duhhhhh U think of each other, just image what a "rival" school thinks of U???

Not that the Canes have had any game that could be considered a rivalry game lately. Unless you want to count the Helmet Swingers vs. FIU as a rivalry.

CIVIL WAR @ THUG U

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