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James Southerland talks NBA Summer League, shooter’s mentality, Final Four

Big Game James joined us for some Q&A.

Michigan v Syracuse Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

In what Jim Boeheim referred to as the greatest comeback in Syracuse Orange basketball history, Boeheim’s Army came back from 25 down and utilized a 40-10 run in TBT to secure a 72-67 win over Team FOE. This was by and large due to — not entirely, but mostly — James Southerland. Southie dropped in 23 points in as many minutes while hauling in 11 rebounds, keeping the Orange alumni team alive and putting it into the Final Four.

After the game we snagged him for some questions and he kindly answered. More Q&A guys! Let’s dive in.

James Szuba: First just in terms of NBA Summer League, how was that experience out there?

James Southerland: It’s always a great experience, you know, you go out there with great guys, great basketball players coming from all over the world. There are great organizations out there, the Utah Jazz is a great organization, plays team basketball so it was a great expierince.

James Szuba: In the game that you played against Tyler Roberson, did you get to talking to him at all?

James Southerland: I spoke to him, it’s tough. He’s going through the process of being undrafted rookie. I was in that same process. But it’s a blessing to be able to get this far in your career and his career is just starting.

James Szuba: So back to this game, I know you touched on it a little bit, but where does that performance come from? You’re starting off 0-4 and then out of nowhere you catch lightning in a bottle. How do you keep that shooter’s mentality?

James Southerland: I feel like that’s the mentality of a professional. No matter what the score is you go out there play your game and play hard, give it everything you have. Being down that big, 22, 25 points you have to take it one possession at a time. And that’s exactly what we did.

James Szuba: When you’re down that big, do you almost say “I have nothing to lose, so I might as well get shots up and try to catch fire?”

James Southerland: You have absolutey nothing to lose. So you could either let them keep beating you up or you go out there and make a punch.

James Szuba: Going into the Final Four, how excited are you and what does it mean?

James Southerland: It means a lot to us. All the guys we’ve been working out with we’ve known forever. We have CJ and Donte who are from Baltimore so we’re going to have another big crowd. So it means a lot.

James Szuba: And then lastly, with you being away from ‘Cuse do you pay attention to the guys and watch games?

James Southerland: Yeah definitely. I definitely watch games and you see John Gillon out there hitting game winners and everything. But it’s tough because being a professional and you have a tough schedule, especially overseas. Luckily I catch the TV games. But you know, you get a look at these guys and it’s even better when you see them in person and see how much work they put in.

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Thanks for the Q&A, Big Game James. Now let us reflect how yesterday’s performance was apropos of that one game against Arkansas.