Although much was made of his brief career at Gonzaga, few can challenge the fact that Austin Daye was one of, if not the most, talented players in the Mark Few era. After being selected 15th overall by the Detroit Pistons this past year, Daye has at times struggled for minutes. However, he played a key role in the huge Pistons comeback tonight in Portland, and although they could not pull out the win, this was arguably Daye's finest performance in the NBA. After the loss, I was able to catch up with Austin and talk about how he is adjusting to the NBA, and also how he felt about the performance on Tuesday night against Michigan St.
Slipper Still Fits: Can you talk about what has been the biggest adjustment for you in the transition from playing at Gonzaga to playing in the NBA?
Slipper Still Fits: After playing mostly at the "4" spot at Gonzaga, you are now playing primarily on the perimeter with Detroit. Which position are you more comfortable with and do you prefer?
Austin Daye: It's probably been the difference in the mental approach. Like, for me coming off the bench, it's much different then starting at Gonzaga. But the mental approach is one of the biggest, being mentally ready to play whenever the coach calls on you. I think that is one of the toughest parts. Also, just being ready to play basketball everyday, because it is an everyday job. Some people think that's its just fun to play basketball and get paid a lot of money, but there is a whole different side to it.
Austin Daye: Ya of course. I played the "3" in summer league. I'm a "3". I could play the "4", which Coach Few asked me to do, and I have no problems with that. My natural ability, and he knew in high school when he recruited me, is as a "3". He thought I'd be at more of an advantage playing the "4", which paid off, because I'm here now after my second year. So kudos to him and thank you. I think I am more comfortable playing the "3" then in the post, but I can do both.
Slipper Still Fits: How much attention do you still pay to the Gonzaga program? Were you able to catch any of the Michigan St. game?
Austin Daye: I was set on going to the game, but we had come down here and play LA, so that kind of ruined it for me. Hopefully I will be able to make it up for a game or see them somewhere. I'm always going to support the Zags and I'm always going to support Coach Few. I want them to do good things and I know that program right now is on the rise. Even though they are young, they are going to be a really good team.