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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.

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"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

Posted by: canesrule | June 29, 2008 at 02:21 PM

Greeny, is this you, posing as canesrule? Sissy boy, you still don't have anything to say, just nonsense. And if it is not you, well you too sir are a moron. Bite me, lick me and always remember where the best U news is, hahahaha. What a loser

Let's see what U have here:

A Gator (canesrule)

An Imposter (Fake 86Cane)

An Idiot (Green)

And I'm the bad guy? Yeah I get it!

And not to forget, you didn't mention I like men.

So yeah, I'm the bad guy, and all I ask is a good load to swallow.

"Greeny, is this you, posing as canesrule?" - Cane Canceler

You don't get it and it's blantantly obvious!!! Give me some credit here. Do I really post down at Green's level?

HULK SMASH

"Bite me, lick me and always remember where the best U news is" - the bad guy

WHAT NEWS???

The only news from Duhhhh U that you hear of outside of the 305 area code is about Korch, Kane, or some other thUg episode. Sure don't see 4 hours of national live coverage for Duhhhh U's spring game on EPSN.

MARGINAL MARKET

The latest breaking news out of Duhhhh U - "the Hurricanes have gotten an offer to play a nationally-televised game next season against a major basketball powerhouse on the road."

AMUSEMENT PARK SIDESHOW

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

Hey cuntsrule,

Only rivals a.k.a The "GOOD OL' BOY" recruiting network put UF ahead of UM when it came to the 08' recruiting class. Why? Because they did'nt want to give SOUL BROTHER #1 credit for having the#1 recruiting class, that's why! U have any idea how it would look for a first year, first-time BLACK head coach with a losing record to out recruit the good ol' boy heavy-weights like Saban, Bowden, Stoops and the legendary Urban Meyers who's lone claim to fame was winning a title with Ron Zook's players? Oh yeah, has it ever occured to you or any SEC dik-smoker that no one never mentioned how tough the SEC was until the decline of UM & FSU? How many SEC schools other than Alabama has more nc's than UM? We know one of em ain't UF! And about this Thug U crap... Let's check the criminal rap sheet of UM and compare it to the likes of UF, Alabama, FSU, Tennesse and OSU and we'll really see who deserves that title! As of right now UF & Alabama are competing for the title of "Longest Yard U" or "Mean Machine" lol.


What up Manny? How's Dwayne Collins development coming along this off-season???

Urban Meyer = "GOOD OL' BOY" from Ashtabula???

WRONG TIME ZONE

Randy Shannon = Direct snap from Roland "I Have No Morals" Smith and landing the most 2-Star Recruits in the nation.

Unfortunately, no recruiting service back tracks to re-rank teams after recruits fail to qualify otherwise Duhhhh U would be outside of the Top 10.

QUANTITY OVER QUALITY

Unlike "Promote Within U", Meyer has a very respectable head coaching history at two other univeristies prior to coming on board in Gainesville. Yes, he won with players recruited by Zook and yes he has landed three straight consensus Top 3 recruiting classes himself.

The obvious flaw in your statement, even to the most casual sports fan, is #15. Look at the 2006 stats - No Tebow, No BCS Title. Zook didn't recruit him.

CLUELESS AGAIN

"has it ever occured to you or any SEC dik-smoker that no one never mentioned how tough the SEC was until the decline of UM & FSU?"

It has always been the case. It's just become way more apparent since Duhhhh U faced mediocre competition in the ACC.

Coker's Big Easy Record for Duhhh U = 35-3
Coker's ACC Record for Duhhh U = 25-12
Duhhhh U's overall ACC record 16-16

BLINDSIDED BY THE FACTS

Look at the inception of the BCS, years prior to Duhhh U joining the ACC:

SEC in BCS Bowl Games since 1998 = 11-4
Pac-10 in BCS Bowl Games since 1998 = 8-4 Big Easy in BCS Bowl Games since 1998 = 6-4
Big Ten in BCS Bowl Games since 1998 = 8-9 Big 12 in BCS Bowl Games since 1998 6-8
ACC in BCS Bowl Games since 1998 = 1-9

MODERN TIMES


New blog is up about the OB:

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

So I'll ask it again. If you are correct, and 86's promotion of his website was a bad thing, then why does the Miami Herald not do anything?

Posted by: Casual Observer | June 21, 2008 at 10:39 PM

because malleable manny navarro buries his head in the sand ...

ABOVE YOU

welcome back, Canester-Nip

Green = watchdog, Rottweiler..

Posted by: M.H. | June 29, 2008 at 01:11 PM

thank you, M.H.

post here, post often : )

LOSE HERE, LOSE OFTEN :(

Canesrule, your stats make no sense. Quit contradicting yourself and maybe people would listen. No, wait, they probably still wouldn't listen. We've seen haters just like you on this forum before. I have to say that you are probably the worst of them all. You make up stats from thin air. Get a life and go back to the redneck gayturd blog you crawled out of.

so what is Gamble good at?

Proof that the idiot contradicts himself:
"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"

If the Hurricanes decided to hire within, wouldn't that put the TRUTH at #3, as he was MORE desireable than Leach. Also we will see in 2 years when the 1st choices realize what they could have had. Spurrier, Schiano, Alvarez...clearly the best choice fell into our lap in retrospect. I bet if crier was offered he would have jumped at the chance to teave turdville.

leave

"Canesrule, your stats make no sense.".....I would proably argue the same if I had to live in your reality. Facts are facts, there is no denying them. I know Duhhhhh U's downfall since joining the ACC is just that unbelievable.

Coker's Big Easy Record for Duhhh U = 35-3
Coker's ACC Record for Duhhh U = 25-12
Duhhhh U's ACC in-conference record 16-16
The ACC in BCS Bowl Games since 1998 = 1-9

THE MYSTERIES OF MATHEMATICS

"If the Hurricanes decided to hire within, wouldn't that put the TRUTH at #3"....... Tacobrain

No you imbecile, because Duhhhh U did not offer the job to Shannon until after Leach turned it down.

KNOW YOUR OWN TEAM


"when the 1st choices realize what they could have had" - Tacobrain

Most recent records:

1) Steve Spurrier (6-6)

2) Greg Schiano (8-5)

3) Barry Alvarez (10-3)

4) Mike Leach (9-4)

WINNING WITH ENVY OF DUHHHH U (5-7)

"Because the financial guarantee wasn't big enough, FAU declined a chance to play at UM, which needs an '09 non-ACC opponent to round out Oklahoma, at UCF and at USF."

LITTLE PIMP'N

The ACC in BCS Bowl Games since 1998 = 1-9

Posted by: canesrule | June 30, 2008 at 07:32 PM

NEW ACC born july 1, 2004 A.E. (anno expansion)

lies, damn lies & statistics
-- mark twain

http://gtsports.blogspot.com/2006/05/acc-expansion-proves-wise-ajccom.html

The ACC cronies are celebrating and whooping it up at their spring meeting. The ACC dominated the NFL draft with more selections than any other conference - ever, more 1st round picks than anyone - ever, more defensive picks than anyone - ever
-- gtsports.blogspot.com (may 15, 2006)

when did the YELLOW-BELLIED gaturd last schedule a bcs opponent on the road ... away from florida ... away from the south?

syracuse ... 1990 ... 18 years ago

and you lost : )

RISK AVERSE

Coker's Big Easy Record for Duhhh U = 35-3
Coker's ACC Record for Duhhh U = 25-12
Duhhhh U's ACC in-conference record 16-16

THE MYSTERIES OF MATHEMATICS


Posted by: canesrule | June 30, 2008 at 07:32 PM

2004 U 27 - fu 10 W peach bowl
2003 U 38 - fu 33 W
2002 U 41 - fu 16 W
2001 U 37 - fu 20 W sugar bowl
1987 U 31 - fu 04 W
1986 U 23 - fu 15 W
1984 U 32 - fu 20 W
1981 U 21 - fu 20 W
1980 U 31 - fu 07 W
1979 U 30 - fu 24 W
1978 U 22 - fu 21 W

easy as 1, 2, 3
indie, big east, ACC
the song remains the same
we're better than you
simply better

NITTY-GRITTY

I was sitting at home last night by myself (again) thinking about how amazing I am for coming up with the best UM website EVER! I get all the big time sports writers to come on my site because they know it is the best. I was laying around (alone with my thoughts of CGNC and Canechick) thinking WOW 86, you really did it, you really made it to the big stage. I have all the canes bloggers on canespace bowing down to me and if they don't I ahve all the power in the world to ban them. No one can stop me, I am the best blogger EVER.
Now I sit and think, I am in my mid 40's and I Sniff the jocks of 18-20 year olds, Does that make me strange??? Does that make me strange, No, that makes me the biggest fan EVER of UM! Ohh I also realized while thinking (about CGNC, canechick, and this time robert marves Jock)

sorry, Had to pause for a minute, the thought off marves jock got me excited for a bit. Now back to my thoughts last night. I finally realized, I am in my mid 40's and holly cow, I am getting the worst case of mid-life crises EVER!!!! this is why I created canespace. Now I REALLY MADE SOMETHINFG OF MYSELF. I really am someone!!! Time to go back thinking about Marves Jock.

^^LOL. Envy is such a terrible thing.

Good review on the canes...well good in that it shows most strengths and weaknesses.

http://msn.foxsports.com/cfb/story/8296970/Miami-hoping-young-squad-can-lead-a-resurgence-

We only really wanted Schiano...Spurrier is going to retire soon, Alvarez is too old and can't recruit here. Leach doesn't coach defense well and we probably couldn't afford him.

It was Schiano and Shannon all along...it really doesn't matter now, why is this even being discussed.

excellent review canesjunkie...

"it really doesn't matter now, why is this even being discussed"..... because half of Duhhhh U's fan base fails to acknowledge that Shannon was "officially" your 5th choice coach.

If "it was Schiano and Shannon all along", then why did Duhhhh U inquire about Spurrier, Alvarez, and Leach? To stroke Shannon's ego?

BLINDED BY THE FACTS


"NEW ACC born july 1, 2004 A.E" - green with envy

The ACC in BCS Bowl Games since 1998 = 1-9

Believe it or not, "since 1998" includes 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007.

RIPLEY'S

"the song remains the same" even during the years you purposely leave out.

28-3 and Duhhhh U's only loss in 1983.

BI-WEEK

hey gatordooche, why don't you go throw on some jorts, get a case of beer, your shotgun, your cousin/wife and go pump a cartridge in your skull!! Cuz thats what y'all gonna feel like doin when the Canes shock the college football world in September when they beat your Gaturds in the Swamp Toilet!!!!!

If "it was Schiano and Shannon all along", then why did Duhhhh U inquire about Spurrier, Alvarez, and Leach? To stroke Shannon's ego?

BLINDED BY THE FACTS

Posted by: canesrule | July 01, 2008 at 07:20 PM
due diligence NOT tantamount to job offer ...
Paul Dee offered Randy Shannon ...
capiche?

WATER UNDER THE BRIDGE

"the song remains the same" even during the years you purposely leave out.

28-3 and Duhhhh U's only loss in 1983.

Posted by: canesrule | July 01, 2008 at 07:31 PM

OBSERVANT

"NEW ACC born july 1, 2004 A.E." - green with envy

The ACC in BCS Bowl Games since 1998 = 1-9

Believe it or not, "since 1998" includes 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007.

RIPLEY'S

Posted by: canesrule | July 01, 2008 at 07:23 PM
A.E (anno expansion) excludes '98, '99, '00, '01, '02, '03 ...

URBAN LEGEND

hey gaturd incognito, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery ...
GREEN WITH ENVY

Of the 94 players Meyer has signed in his time at UF, 92 have made the grade.

ENVY THIS

Gainesville made the cut as one of 20 cities to be profiled as part of ESPN SportsCenter’s search for America’s top championship city.

NO MIAMI = MORE ENVY

The network will visit here on Thursday, July 10. Fans are invited to attend the taping, which will start at 1:30 p.m. at the north end zone of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium and will feature Florida alum Erin Andrews interviewing UF 2007 Heisman-winning quarterback Tim Tebow.

GATOR PAPARAZZI = ESPN

“I think there are a lot of reasons why Gainesville works,” Jacobs said.
“Obviously, there’s the recent success,” Jacobs said, “but when you look even closer, 21 different teams at Florida have won national championships, there have been 203 individual national championships, plus SEC championships, and Heisman Trophy winners."

BIG EASY & WEAKENED ACC NEED NOT APPLY


Its because ESPN likes to profile college towns. There's nothing to do in Gainseville that isn't affiliated with UF.

Do you really think they are going to highlight a major city against small college towns. How can you do a 5 minute segment on Miami...what are you going to highlight...clubs, beaches, women, latin food, european tourists, Little Havana, HS football...it would make every other town look stupid. Additionally, Miami is packed with FSU and UF fans because its a major city.

Univ of Miami is not for the masses...we are special. Thats one of the reasons we don't appear on ESPN. Envy is another, but that a whole other story.

Of the 94 players Meyer has signed in his time at UF, 92 have made the grade.

Posted by: canesrule | July 02, 2008 at 01:14 AM
how many will graduate?

SHEEPSKIN

made for TV ...
SMALL SCREEN

21 different teams at Florida have won national championships, there have been 203 individual national championships

Posted by: canesrule | July 02, 2008 at 01:29 AM
in what sports?
marbles? tiddlywinks? backgammon?
papering over futility in football, basketball, baseball

EMBARRASSED

Majors v. minors

Miami dolphins (2)
Miami heat (1)
Miami marlins (2)
Miami Hurricanes (5 + 4)

PILLARS

There's nothing to do in Gainseville

Posted by: Canesjunkie | July 02, 2008 at 09:39 AM

PERIOD

Miami is packed with FSU and UF fans because its a major city.

Posted by: Canesjunkie | July 02, 2008 at 09:39 AM
UM fans outnumber fu & f$u fans in Miami/South Florida ...

SWAMPED

Univ of Miami is not for the masses...we are special.

Posted by: Canesjunkie | July 02, 2008 at 09:39 AM
is duke basketball for the masses?
U turn on TVs ...

BANKABLE

Thats one of the reasons we don't appear on ESPN. Envy is another, but that a whole other story.

Posted by: Canesjunkie | July 02, 2008 at 09:39 AM
question the decision makers' allegiances ...

FAVORITISM

"Univ of Miami is not for the masses...we are special."

AS SUCH, YOU WILL RIDE THE APPLICABLE BUS 30+ MINUTES TO HOME GAMES

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