DURHAM — The one thing no one has had a chance to see from Duke guard Marty Pocius is that the redshirt junior has, like the kids say, mad hops.
So we wilted in disappointment when the native of Lithuania, now healthy, chose to make a layup, and not a spectacular dunk, during a breakaway in the Blue-White Game two weeks ago.
So did Duke center Brian Zoubek.
"We all wanted it," Zoubek said.
Pocius, who missed last season while recovering from his second foot surgery of the year, explains, in the audio clip, why he didn't dunk. He also talked to ACC Now about his health, his summer with the Lithuanian national team and the value of slowing things down:
Q: Do you feel ready? Are you finally healthy?
A: You can say I was already healthy at the beginning of the summer. I went home to play with my national team. I spent four weeks with them. It was an amazing experience. So I was already capable of playing. I don't know what you call 100 percent. I know I can play. I know I'll keep getting better. I'm just trying to maintain my health right now. I'm trying to stay healthy, stay smart.
Q: How close did you come to making the Olympic team and getting to Beijing?
A: I was pretty close. Twenty-five guys tried out. I was like in the last 16 or 17 guys. I played some games on national TV. I had a great time. I did a good enough job to be invited back to tryout for the world championships (in 2009). The Olympic squad we had was already determined because all of the veteran players wanted to play. It was more for me to show myself for future years.
Q: This season, I could ask this question of a lot of guys, but will you get a chance to get on the court?
A: I'm not worried about that. Because the thing about having experience, I'm not really a guy who plays without his head. So I really try to slow things down and calm down. if I'm playing to my strengths and know what my weaknesses are and I really don't overdo it and I don't do what I'm not supposed to do, then I think there will definitely be time for me on the court. That's what the coaches tell me. Last year helped me, sitting and learning the game from the coach's perspective. I think I really learned a lot and I think it will help me a lot this year.