I had a chance to catch up with incoming 2009 freshman Florida guard Kenny Boynton on Tuesday afternoon at American Heritage High School in Plantation. I found him to be polite and refreshingly honest. He’ll be leaving on Wednesday for the Jordan Brand All-Star Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York City, the last of a whirlwind tour of All-Star games.
Here are some excerpts of a 45-minute interview I had with Boynton this afternoon. We’re planning to publish a more involved story in the coming weeks.
On the pressure to be the guy to help Florida get back to the NCAA Tournament:
“If there’s any goal I can set, that would be the main goal, to get this team back to the NCAA championship. I know Florida fans want to get back. They probably feel like football is out-doing basketball, but I want to even that out.”
on fellow incoming 2009 freshman DeShawn Painter being released from his letter of intent:
“It didn’t surprise me because I knew there was something going on with some scholarship situations that I had heard. But I don’t know if that was the reason, or what his reasoning was.”
on whether he’s a point guard or shooting guard:
“Both but probably more of the two (shooting guard.) On the ball, I can score with the ball in my hands.”
on taking a high number of shots:
“This year I probably took less shots and probably got my teammates more involved than I did last year. Last year was my first year here. Coach Herz (American Heritage high coach Danny Herz) he showed me this one paper of Kobe Bryant, that’s my favorite player, of the record when we won with the amount of shots he took and the record when he lost, the record was much better when he took less shots. So I looked at that and changed after that.
“I do what my coaches ask me to help my team win. Sometimes my coaches on the AAU circuit will tell me in order to win tonight you have to take a bunch of shots. If my coach tells me he doesn’t want me to take a lot of shots, than maybe I won’t. It just depends on what my coaches want me to do.”
on Florida recruiting guards Eric Bledsoe and John Wall:
“Eric Bledsoe, he texted me the other day. John Wall, I haven’t talked to him in a while but we all know one another. Eric Bledsoe, I think there’s a possibility he could come but John Wall, because of Florida being so late, I’m not so sure. I can’t just say he’s going to come.”
on trying to lure 2010 recruit Brandon Knight, another star guard from the South Florida area:
“I talk to him. What I basically tell Brandon is, you know, I definitely want you to come here with me but choose what’s the best situation for you. I think it (Florida) would be a good situation for him but if Brandon feels like another school is the best situation for him then go off what you feel. I push Brandon but I don’t overdo it because I know he has AAU and a whole another high school season. I know from being in that situation it gets tiring when people are trying to tell you what school to go to.”
on where he wants to improve heading into his freshman season:
“I definitely want to be better at being a (point guard). I think I can play it but not fully, throughout the whole game. I definitely want to sharpen up my point guard skills.”
on whether he would have jumped directly to the NBA if the 19-year-old age restriction wasn’t in place:
“It would have depended on what would have been said. They could have been talking about my height (6-foot-2), saying I wasn’t ready, saying I needed a few years in college.”