NBA Draft Blog Interview with Colton Iverson

 

Photo: Associated Press

Players transferring schools at the college level often get a bad rap. The cases for switching schools are plenty, but most important among them is to find the situation that is the right fit for the player. Having the right environment, coach, and program can do wonders for a player’s game, and in some cases, can change their college career completely around. Colton Iverson is one of those cases. After three years playing inconsistent minutes for Minnesota, Iverson decided to transfer to Colorado State, and the results were great. Iverson helped lead the Rams to a second place finish in the Mountain West conference, and a berth in the NCAA Tournament, where the Rams were eliminated in the Round of 32 by eventual champion Louisville. Iverson now has his sights set on fulfilling his dream of the NBA.

For Iverson, he saw the effects the move had on his game while he had to sit out for a year. “During my redshirt year, I spent a lot of time working on a variety of offensive moves and footwork, as well as running the floor,” said Iverson. “My senior year, I was able to focus on getting better both offensively and defensively, being a leader of the team, and just a presence in the lane.”

Those are the types of things that players can work on anywhere, but the transfer to Colorado State did a lot more for Iverson. “I was able to get my confidence back and see what I was capable of doing,” said Iverson. “Sitting out and watching the game gave me a new perspective. I set high expectations for myself and gave it my all.”

There were other factors that also helped lead Iverson to a breakout senior season, including playing in the Mountain West Conference, which many considered at times during the year to be the best in the country. “Every night was a battle in the Mountain West,” said Iverson. “If you didn’t show up one night, it was a loss. It was one of the most fun and toughest conferences I’ve seen.” It was an adjustment for Iverson though coming from the Big 10. “I think I progressed well to the Mountain West style, which was more up and down the court,” Iverson said. “The Big 10 was a slower, more controlled style of play.”

Also an important factor in Iverson’s development was the tutelage of Head Coach Larry Eustachy.  “Coach Eustachy is very focused on certain things,” said Iverson. “Defensive rebounding and playing physical are important to him.” This was a great situation for Iverson. “Me and Coach saw eye-to-eye on these things from day one,” continued Iverson. “He transformed me into a complete player.”

From the player that he has become, Iverson knows why NBA teams will be interested and what abilities he has that fit the NBA game. “Well, being 7 foot in shoes and being able to rebound well is a big one,” Iverson said. “I’ve been working on getting more explosive every day. I’ll go out and set screens and be a physical presence. I am willing to do whatever the team needs.”

Iverson knows his game isn’t complete yet and he is already working out at Impact Basketball in Las Vegas on getting better. “Along with working on my explosiveness, my mid-range jumper is coming along,” Iverson explained. “I’m looking to tone my body and improve every part of my game.”

With the NBA a real possibility, Iverson can already envision the kind of role he can bring to a team. “I can be a defensive presence in the lane, set screens when needed, and by then I should have a complete offensive game,” said Iverson. “Whatever a team wants from me, I’ll do it.”

The grind from the end of the season in March until the Draft in June can be tough for a lot of players, but Iverson feels he is prepared. “I have always been very independent and very strong-minded,” said Iverson. “My parents raised me to be strong, and when I am going working out for teams, I don’t need anyone to lean on.”

It’s that toughness that allowed Iverson to flourish after transferring in college, and it’s the same toughness that could see him in the NBA very soon.”

 

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