Thanksgiving Hoopfest: Q&A with five-star Kentucky commit Tyrese Maxey
DUNCANVILLE, Texas -- Five-star guard Tyrese Maxey put on a show over the course of two days at the Thanksgiving Hoopfest.
After going for 33 on Friday, the 6-foot-4 combo guard from Garland (Texas) South Garland came back with a 29-point performance in front of his future head coach, Kentucky's John Calipari.
The top 10 senior took time to break down his fit at Kentucky, the current Wildcats team, who he is targeting in recruiting and more in a question-and-answer session.
Eric Bossi: How does it feel to go out there and play knowing that you are committed and signed?
Tyrese Maxey: I'm glad that I can focus on one thing and that’s winning. I just want to win a State Championship. That’s why I came back and didn’t reclassify.
EB: How much have you been watching Kentucky this year? What are your thoughts on where the team is right now and how you can come in and help next year?
TM: I watch every time that they come on television. I’ve been watching them like that since I was younger, every time they came on tv when I was a kid I was watching. I feel like they are struggling a little bit right now but once Coach Calipari finds that dominant guard to ride they are going to be alright.
EB: Do you feel like that’s where you step in and help out as a freshman?
TM: I do. I have a lot of confidence and I feel like he has confidence in me to play that role.
EB: You have plenty of skill, but your confidence has always stood out to me. When people start talking trash you clap your hands and smile and seem to feed off of it. How important is your confidence?
TM: I know that I put the work in. If you put the work in you should have the utmost confidence in the world and in yourself. I feel like every time I step on the court I’m the best player so I just have to show it.
EB: Do you see yourself as more of a point guard or a shooting guard? Or does it even matter?
TM: I feel like I’m a basketball player and coach Cal has told me the same thing. He’s like the ball needs to be in your hands and you need to make a decision whether it be to score or find your teammates. Anything that he needs me to do, I’m going to do it.
EB: In your recruiting class you have yourself, Kahlil Whitney and Dontaie Allen coming in. You guys are still trying to get some more players and have missed on a couple of big guys. Should anybody be worried?
TM: Worried? I don’t think so. Coach Cal always figures it out. He always figures it out. I know he has a plan in his head to get it done. We did miss on a couple of guys and congratulations to them for making the best decision for them. I had to make a decision and they had to do the same thing so I wish them the best.
EB: There are still a couple of big names out there, are you working on them at all?
TM: Sure, I talk to big Stew (Isaiah Stewart), I talk to Hurt (Matthew Hurt) and I talk to Jaden (Jaden McDaniels). Me and Hurt were teammates on U18 for team USA. I mess with them all the time saying BBN and trying to get somebody and roll with it. But I’m not worried at all. At the end of the day I can’t really do anything about it.”
EB: Finally, what are you most excited about with getting to Kentucky next year and actually playing?
TM: Just the tradition and playing for Coach Cal. I always wanted to play for coach Cal. Even when he was at Memphis I would watch when he had Derrick Rose. I knew back then that I wanted to play for him because of his fire and passion for winning. I was like seven years old sitting there mad because Derrick Rose’s stomach was hurting from the gummy bears and all that. So all I have to say is I’m excited.