Erik Durham Reflects on OVC Tournament Run…so far

Friday night Erik Durham gave an exclusive interview about the wonderful two-game winning streak. Take me back to the preseason, back when Coach Ray Harper was hired.
Erik Durham: We were just all trying to be positive.  We were looking forward to the year coming up.  We just wanted to change this program around and I knew that Coach (Ray) Harper would help us do that. On JuCo. A lot of junior college guys are in this conference.  IMO junior college guys tend to see, whether or not they were there themselves, they see the possibility that this could be the end of their career.
Erik Durham: (Nods head)  Yes sir. So they have a lot more fight in them.  Could you talk a little bit what that means to have some players like that on your team?
Erik Durham: We are just trying to fight for each other.  We have each other’s back out here.  We just want to make coach proud, all our coaching staff proud, just make Jacksonville proud. In the locker room, what is the feeling?
Erik Durham: We are hyped about it, but we have one more.  Everybody…we are locked in.  We are ready to plaky the next one.  We are ready to finish this off. I don’t know about you guys, but around Nashville Belmont is considered the cream of the crop in the conference.  Tell me what you guys thought coming in.  How real was the possibility?  What were your hopes?
Erik Durham: We are all believers in God.  We knew, with his blessings, we would get this win.  We all came out and did our agenda.  Coach set it up perfectly for us and we came out here and executed perfectly. Tell me about some of the contributions you got.  Tucker.  He was great today.
Erik Durham: Oh, yeah. Tuck was being Tuck tonight.  He was being a great shooter.  When he is on, he is on.  And he was out there showing his skills.  I am proud of that. Man, they had real trouble keeping him in front of them tonight.  I think they even switched a defender and still couldn’t stop his penetration.
Erik Durham: He has spent a lot of time this offseason.  I see him every day in there working out, and working on his handle.  That showed tonight.  That really paid off for him. (Malcolm) Drumwright had a really good night tonight.
Erik Durham: That is Malcolm right there.  He has that dog in him.  Everything he shoots it looks like it is going in…in his face.  He is positive.  I trust him more than anybody. Norbertas (Giga)?  How did he play?
Erik Durham: G, he played tough tonight.  He showed he could get out here and rough it up with the guys and, you know, play some good basketball tonight.  That is what he did.  Great basketball from him. 
Erik Durham: He has given me everything he has got in this tournament and that is all I can ask from Cunningham.  He is young, but he is ready.  I could see it in his face that he was going to give everything.  Give the whole team everything.  He is going for every rebound and just working hard. For JSU fans out there, that are like, ‘Wait. What? What just happened?’ what message do you want to give them?
Erik Durham: This is different for them, I guess.  It was nice having everybody out here.  I am thankful for them.  I am grateful for everything.  It is all a blessing.


Jacksonville State hunts for their first NCAA Tournament berth, Saturday night at 7:00 P.M. on ESPN.

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