Thursday, February 26, 2015

Uno En Uno With Ezekiel Charles, Lincoln

 Hardwood Insiders Photo

ZS: How has coach (Kenny) Pretlow implored you to be a leader, being a senior on a youth-laden team?

EC: Coach influenced me by giving me a great deal of responsibility and trusting me throughout. Once I knew I had earned his trust and understood how important that was, being a leader and helping everyone us buy in came easy.

ZS: Coming in, you guys did not have the same lofty expectations or the luster synonymous with Lincoln teams of the past. Losing (Isaiah) Whitehead, losing Desi Rodriguez, losing a significant percentage of the offensive output, you've had to prove a lot of doubters wrong. What's been key?

EC: We worked hard every day and kept high expectations. We with with hard work we can be a top team and compete with anyone, no matter what the doubters say.

ZS: Pressure defense, an an in-your-shirt all day style has been instrumental to this team's growth. Balance in the scorebook and contributions across the boards have been equally pivotal. How much defensive emphasis is placed, to make sure everyone is constantly strapping up?

EC: We use a lot of defensive drills and (Pretlow) makes sure that we stay in shape. We also go over defense a lot as a team to make sure we lock the opponent down.

ZS:  Since the beginning of the season, it's clear coach Pretlow would run a similar system to Tiny (previous head coach Dwayne Morton). Since KP worked under Tiny, it was a similar style and not too many adjustments, as was the general belief. In which ways are they different and in which ways are they similar, coaching-wise?

EC: KP and Tiny are different, as KP allows a little more freedom on the offensive end. But they are the same with the same intense defense that we play. They both preach the same defensive relentlessness, because defense is what wins games.

ZS: What role do you envision basketball playing in your future?

EC: Basketball plays a big part in my future and right now I'm not sure where I'm going to play yet, so I'm focusing on the now. Fairfield, Maine, Niagara and a couple on the D-II level are showing the most interest.