#AztecMBB Press Conference Quotes
April 12, 2013
SAN DIEGO - Junior Jamaal Franklin
"First of all, I want to say thank you to all my fan support here, even the people that hated on me and doubted me, because if it wasn't for them, I wouldn't have the passion that I have to push myself. I want to say thank you to my teammates for putting me in this situation because without them, I wouldn't be in the situation I am right now. I'm definitely going to miss San Diego State. It's been good to me throughout the tough times my freshman year to this year. I've just got to be thankful for my blessings, and now it's time for me to make that next step. I feel like I'm ready for it. I thought about it a lot after the season ended. Now I'm ready to make that step."
On if there's one area he's developed most since his freshman year:
"I'd say I've developed most body-wise, playing with more confidence and being an all-around player. Doing everything, making everybody better and doing everything I can to win. Off the court, after I had a little incident my sophomore year, but I haven't been in any trouble since."
On what made the decision for him:
"I feel like I'm ready. I feel like I did a lot to contribute to our team this year. I feel this is a good time for me to leave. I feel like I've worked hard for this and I deserve this."
On if he's comfortable not being a guaranteed first-round draft pick:
"You've just got to worry about working. I feel I can work really hard and make myself a first-round pick. In the (pre-draft) evaluation, I heard way more people say I'm a first-round pick than second round. There's still a question that I could go second round, but if I do, I'm just going to work on ways to get that contract and the guaranteed money. You've got to crawl before you walk, and right now I'm crawling to get picked in the first round and we'll find out June 27 where I go."
On if he talked with Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard before making his decision:
"Yes, I've talked to (Leonard) and Malcolm Thomas a lot, and they definitely helped me with my decision. I'm thankful to have two guys in my corner that are already there."
On if playing with Leonard and Thomas gives him a level of comfort about playing at the next level:
"Yes, there's definitely a level of comfort knowing people who play in the NBA right now and on high-caliber teams. It definitely helps a lot."
On concerns about his size:
"I feel I need to get a little bit more size, I need to shoot the ball better consistently, and I feel like ball handling could always be better. So I just need to work on that and I'll be fine."
On if this projected weak draft class weighed into his decision:
"No, that didn't weigh into my decision at all. Coach Fisher and my mom weighed into my decision. I'm not the type of person to jump into the weakest draft to get to the NBA. I feel this draft is a real good draft. I feel it's a loaded draft, there's just not a lot of well-known people that were highly-rated coming out of high school. It's people that worked their way up just like I have."
On if the risk of injury weighed into the decision:
"It definitely has. Stuff like that does weight into it, but at the same time, I'm a fearless person. I don't step on the court worried about getting injured. It definitely put a thought in my head, but you can't think about stuff like that."
On his upcoming schedule before the draft:
"Two times a day work out Monday through Friday, sometimes three (times a day). Working out skills first, then going to High Voltage (Fitness) and work with our strength and conditioning coach. Then getting used to the NBA ball and the NBA 3-point line."
On what the arguments were for him to stay in school:
"My teammates. We spend every minute with each other from when we wake up, to before practice to laughing and joking after practice in the locker room. That was the hardest thing for me, not having another year to spend with these guys."
On if he's accomplished everything he wanted to at San Diego State as a player:
"No, I definitely had some goals I wanted to reach this year, and didn't do it. I'm sorry to my teammates, the community and the fans that weren't haters on our team. But at the same time, I can just work on getting another accomplishment on the next level."
On if he's worried about the risk that comes along with his decision:
"You've got to grind and keep focus. There's been a lot of bumps in my road and the only thing I can do right now is make sure I use a little more horsepower to get over that bump. And that's what I'm going to do."
Head coach Steve Fisher
"We appreciate everybody being here on short, short notice. It's a bitter-sweet day. You recruit young guys into your program. You preach and teach family, and then in the blink of an eye they either graduate, or in Jamaal (Franklin's) case, they move on. You love them to death and you miss them. I've said this repeatedly: I've never in all my years (coaching) have had a more competitive young man. And I believe that will allow him to achieve moving forward in the next chapter of his life, and that's having a chance to play in the NBA."
On what this means for the team next season:
"It means we have to replace our leading scorer, rebounder, shot taker and shot maker. We've got work to do. And that being said, we've got a lot of guys that are ready to step up and take their turn. We saw it in individual workouts on Wednesday. It will mean an opportunity for someone else. I'm nervous, but I'm excited."
On if this is a side effect of success:
"Winning begets winning. Everybody's boat rises when you win, including mine. Everybody benefits when you have a team that is successful. If you win, it draws attention all over the country."
On how much it helps the program sending players to the NBA consistently:
"When I came here in 1999, I made the comment that if in three years I'm starting every sentence with, `When I had the Fab Five,' then I'd probably about to be fired. (Franklin's) presence will help us in recruiting as we move forward. There's no question about that."