Friday, January 13, 2017

Uno En Uno With: Nathan Mepandy, Calusa Prep Class of 2018

ZS: You enter this next game averaging 23.6 PPG and six assists, a guy who loves to attack the rim and get into the teeth of the defense. How did you develop to make this the true identity of your game?

NM:  Really, I just always liked driving to the basket. I first started scoring the ball that way and added a floater and was able to go to the rim with the contact.

What I also love about it is that when I get inside the defense really comes at me, so I have the option to kick the ball out to the shooters. Every time I get the ball I speed it up, I try to operate a fast pace game because we are a small team and we can get easy baskets that way.

I like driving to the basket and try to score with a floater or go to the contact and when I drive in the pain the defense comes at me so I can pass it out to the shooters , Every time I get the ball I push the ball very fast because we are a small team so my teammates can get easy basket.

ZS: How does your style of play, getting to the rim with ease and fighting to get inside the lane, match what coach (Derrick) De La Grana preaches for this team's offensive flow?

NM: It fit perfectly with Coach D. Coach D wants me to push the ball all the time and get to the rim all the time, because that's my style of play, I'm an energy guy. So, he tells me to go to the rim and to score the ball and make sure I find open guys like Nathanael (Jack) who can knock down shots. Basically, he wants me to be aggressive all the time and play with the energy I known I can always bring to the table.

ZS: How do you guys expect to fill the loss of Zach Brown, who had been averaging a double-double as a major 7-foot-2 presence?

NM: Zach Brown was a very good factor for us and really helping us inside, where he can impact both sides of the floor. But you know, we have some good players all around and obviously with Nate (Jack) as a leader, we're trying to score more points and to be more active defensively.

 It's just a matter of everyone chipping in and doing these things, getting rebounds, making good passes and scoring the ball. We're just trying to fill the loss by committee. Now, with him out, we have to maximize our effort on both ends of the court to keep up what we had going.

ZS: Which NCAA programs have expressed interest in you, and who do you currently hold scholarship offers from?

NM: Right now I have no offers but I have interest from schools such as Lafayette, Charleston Southern, Florida International, Richmond, Tulsa, and UNC Asheville.

ZS: How does your team expect to prepare for an upcoming game against a very talented Oldsmar Christian team, perhaps one of the SIAA's top-shelf teams?

NM: To be honest, every game is the same for me as far as giving my best. It doesn't matter what the name on the other jersey is. Obviously, though, when we play good teams such as Oldsmar with some top notch players I just want to show everybody what I'm capable of doing against big time players and I like the challenge. At the end, the victory is all that matters and that's what were all looking for against Oldsmar.