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Utah Jazz Media Day 2014: Ian Clark, Jeremy Evans, Dante Exum, Rudy Gobert and Rodney Hood

September 30, 2014

** What are the main differences between Quin Snyder and Tyrone Corbin’s systems?
The way that [Snyder] has certain guys positioned on the floor to succeed, I feel like it’ll help us a lot because of, it’s not really you need to be in a certain spot. It’s like an area, and he lets you become a player and use your talents to help the team, you know, be successful. … Definitely, he’s a player’s coach, I feel like. You know, after practice he’s always with somebody on the court, working on something they need to work on.

** Do Quin Snyder’s reads work better for you?
The more you do it, the more it becomes natural. And especially, you know, for all the reads that we have, it allows you to be a player so you don’t have to think. You just react.
** What are your expectations for yourself this season?
Well, first of all, I’m way more relaxed coming in this year, you know, being, last year being my rookie year. Had a lot of jitters and everything, you know, the first year, not knowing what to expect and everything. But this year, you know, we have a new coaching staff and new guys. I’m just more confident in myself, the work that I put in this summer, coming in and being more of a combo guard instead of just a wing. Just try to find some minutes on the court.
** Richard Jefferson is gone. Who are the locker room leaders now?
I would say just from a, being, from a Utah Jazz standpoint, being Gordon [Hayward] or Derrick [Favors], ’cause they’ve been here the longest. Those guys are technically kinda the vets now…Also, with Steve Novak and Trevor Booker coming in, you know, those are guys that have been in the league for a minute or two, so they definitely can help us.

** What do you think of Quin Snyder?
I love him. I told the guys earlier today, he puts us in positions that we’ll actually be in on the court, and you know, we’re comfortable with making passes or you know, where our teammates are.

** Have you put on any weight?
Maybe a couple pounds, one or two…[Last week] I tipped the scale at 200, so, I hope so. I hope I can keep it on.
** Are you trying to get back to the Dunk Contest?
Not really…If it happens, I’ll go back if they call me. But I wouldn’t say it’s a goal of mine. The first goal is to try to win.
** On Alec Burks
He’s a funny guy. I think the funniest thing about him is he thinks he can jump higher than me.
If the Jazz had a dunk contest, who would win it?
I told Alec, he gotta take my trophy.
** What do you have to do to take the next step?
Probably just be there mentally every game, and come out and do my best and give it my all. I feel like it’s so many times that I just don’t do that, and I can be so much better.
** What’s the best thing you did this summer?
Went to Jamaica…It was nice. I got to stay on, in a resort and just got in the water. I love going, you know, swimming…I think the best part about it, though, I got to play soccer with a couple of guys, so.
What couple guys?
Couple Jamaican guys, Americans. And it turned out to be a little better than I thought…I’m pretty good.
** When Gordon was going through his contract stuff, I [David Locke] texted him. He wouldn’t text me back.
Same here.
Oh, come on. He had to text you back.
No. Maybe, you know, I hit him up once, probably right after he hit me that time.
Did you go to the wedding?
Yeah, I did.
How was it?
It was pretty nice. Yeah, I had a lotta fun. Got to meet, you know, a couple of his friends, you know, that I talk to now. Ready to see ’em when they come out and have fun.
He’s your guy. How did you feel when you heard he could be going to Cleveland and you might be separated, that Frick and Frack was going to be broken up?
Not really. I just, you know, know that anything can happen, and just hold off and wait, just, you know, see the final call.
** On hitting Gordon Hayward up for money
I should, but he probably wouldn’t answer.
** Andrew Wiggins got a lot of pub for his massive jump at P3. Did you go there intentionally to break his record?
Not at first. But then after, you know, like you said, you hear the talk about it, and I’m like, “Man, what happened to, you know, my numbers and stuff?” So, I feel like, that, I need to, you know, prove some people wrong and set the bar high.
What was your final number?
I think 12-9. My goal is to get 13 [feet].
Twelve-nine. Do you realize how stupid that is?
Yeah, it’s pretty high.

** How do you feel you did at the World Cup?
Yeah, the Worlds was a bit up and down for me. You know, I didn’t get as many minutes as I wan–would’ve liked to, but you know, it’s all about a learning experience for me, and you know, [Australian national team head coach] Andrej [Lemanis] made that clear with me. And so, I had a good experience with it, in learning how to be professional in that kind of environment.
** Do you have to be patient with yourself, and does that affect confidence?
I think so. You know, a lot of people have been kinda putting me down. ‘Cause I’m only 19 years old, and I know it’s gonna be a patience thing, but I know both me and Rodney, we’re competitors, and we wanna be the best player we can right now. And we’re, so, we’re coming in everyday and trying to get better so when it comes to the opening night, that we’re ready. And it’s not about trying to be patient, so.
** What do you expect your biggest challenge in your rookie season will be?
I think physicality. You know, to step up and play with grown men compared to what I’ve been used to…I got a quick first step, and getting into the paint and trying to finish over guys, I think, and play with contact. So I think that’s gonna be the main thing. I’m gonna have to try and adjust as quick as possible to it.
** How has your family influenced you?
My dad played college basketball at UNC and played professionally back in Australia, and you know, I’ve had a loving family that’s supported me the whole way. My brother’s been there since Day One teaching me how to play basketball, and you know, I think that helps getting you to places, and I don’t think I would be here without them…[My mom is] kind of more on the business side, and she’s learning the game of basketball and how she can help me.
** You’ve been in Salt Lake for a week. What can’t you find, and what have you found that you like?
Well, actually, I’m a big fan of the Cheesecake Factory, so I’m happy I found one of those here. But things I can’t find? I don’t think there’s anything. One of the coaches, Alex Jensen, just told me that I can find some Tim Tams here, so I’m happy about that.
** What do you think the Utes didn’t do well against Washington State?
They didn’t score enough.

** Do you feel like you showed this summer what you’re capable of doing?
That was a great summer for me. I play a lot of playing time in summer league and national team, so I think I [did].
Did you feel like you could do all of that last year?
I think I got better and I got way stronger during the season, so I don’t think I was really ready to play at the beginning, but at the end I was ready.
** What role does confidence play?
That’s why I want to play summer league and national team, you know, to get my confidence back and be ready for the, for this season coming up.
** Quin Snyder’s bigs have to be able to pass and make reads away from the ball. Does that fit your game?
Of course. Of course. You know, I was a good passer, you know, when I was young…and that’s good that coach trust me about the pass. And he knows how to use me, so it’s gonna be great.

** What can you bring offensively to this team?
Coach want me to run the floor and first of all get my teammates open and help the team offensively. And after that, bring a lot of energy. Offensive rebound, and I know I’m gonna score being at the right place at the right time, and offensive rebound for sure.
** How do you block shots?
That’s timing. I’m very long, so it helps. Timing, anticipation. And when you get your shot blocked, you know, you think twice after when you come back. So, after I try to get in people’s head, and it helps the team.
** Did you say anything to Pau Gasol after you dunked on him?
No, I didn’t say nothing. I respect him…I just try to play and win the game.
** When you came to the NBA, did you believe you could be good?
Of course. I came in the NBA to be good, and I think I didn’t do anything else, so I came here to play, to be a very good NBA player, so. I’m just starting.

** Is Quin Snyder’s system a good fit for your game?
I mean, it’s a great fit, you know? He doesn’t want us to be shy, you know, as far as, you know, if you can shoot it, shoot it. If you can get to the basket, get to the basket. He doesn’t want us to slow–play slow-down ball. He wants us to play with pace, so I, from that perspective, you know, you got guys who can get to the basket, and me just sit out there and do my job and knock down shots.
** On learning the offense
I mean, the game is a game of phases. You know, you start off with one move, and then, you know, they stop that one and you go to another one and counter, and you know, it just an ongoing thing, and it’s been great to have [Quin Snyder] so hands-on with me.
** Who’s the one NBA player you’ve thought about going against one-on-one?
I mean, for me, it’ll probably be Monta Ellis just because he’s from Mississippi and I watched him growing up, when he was in high school before he made it to the NBA. So I always looked up to him.
** What is your living situation?
I mean, well, my brother, my big brother’s coming out here, and, just to keep an eye on me. And you know, and his family.
** How has your family influenced you?
Everybody in my family played ball. My mom, dad, sister, brother. And just watching them go through it, and you know, listening to the advice of my dad, you know? He played overseas for a few years, and just listen to everything he says about taking a professional step into this league and trying to be the best you can be. That’s how, that’s the way he always taught me, just, no matter what the result, just be the best you can be.
** People calling Deron Williams “Duh-RON”: Rodney Hood.

Unintentional Dirty Quote Machines of Media Day (UDQM)
** Clark on adjustments to his shot: This year, I been, being in the stance, ready, and just getting it off faster.
** Clark on adjustments to his shot, continued: I’ve tried releasing it higher, and I think it gets me, it gets the arc a little off. Like I said, I think the biggest thing for me, because my release is so low, is just being ready early, before the ball is swung to me, being ready to shoot.
** Clark on the long NBA season: This year, you know, I got more of a sense of what’s coming up, and I’m ready for it.
** Clark on reads in Quin Snyder’s system: The more you do it, the more it becomes natural.
** Jeremy Evans on unselfishness in practice paying off: I believe that’s real big…Everybody feeds off that. It’s just a simple thing, but it goes a long way.
** Rudy Gobert on how he blocks shots: That’s timing. I’m very long, so it helps.
** Rodney Hood on Media Day: I guess the first one always fun.
** Hood on NBA 2K: I haven’t got it. I’m ready to get it though, just play with myself.
Locke: So Rodney Hood’s gonna play with Rodney Hood?
Hood: Oh yeah, most definitely. Most definitely. I got to.
** Locke: One day during open gym, you finished and then Quin came, and spent about 10 minutes with you…You were pump faking and he’s like, “No, no, no, no. We’re not doing that.” Explain why he didn’t want that.
Hood: I mean, just, you know, we playing pretty quick and we playing with the pass. So you know, my job is to shoot, and you know, my pump fake is used in certain situations, but you know, I have a quick trigger, so he just want me to just, I mean, let it ride.
** Dante Exum on attending the Utah-Washington State game: Brock was loving it, so. He was kinda trying to persuade me to go the other way.
** Spencer Checketts: What’s up, Dante?
Exum: Not much, just trying to get out.
** David Locke: Tweet out that Dante Exum’s on. Then our audience will, like, go up 10 times.
** Locke to Exum, on criticism: I’m just gonna keep feeding it to you to piss you off.

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