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Keyonte George | Guard, Baylor Bears

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence
The Truth Network Radio
March 13, 2023 6:07 am

Keyonte George | Guard, Baylor Bears

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence

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March 13, 2023 6:07 am

Baylor Bears guard Keyonte George joins the show!


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Subscribe to NerdWallet's Smart Money Podcast today. How much motivation do you take away after not playing the way that you wanted to as a team in the Big 12 Tournament, feeling like you didn't accomplish what you wanted to there, but now you go into the NCAA? Yeah, for sure. You know, we took a tough loss to a great Iowa State team and, you know, that just gave us extra motivation because now, you know, we knew we were going to be in the tournament, but it's really when we go home now. So, it lets us know, like, we can't make, we got to clean up our mental mistakes. You know, we've got to play like it's our last and, you know, we came together as a team and we understand, you know, what our goal is and, you know, we're going to do everything it takes to be able to achieve that goal.

Yeah, it's a different perspective when it becomes you win or you go home. All right, so my next question, Keontae, how's the ankle? It's doing well.

I'm continuing to rehab, continuing to keep my body in shape, you know, just working on things I need to work on to be able to fit 100%. Any chance that you watched Patrick Mahomes perform on his bum ankle during the NFL playoffs and you know that it can be done? Yeah, I mean, I've heard, I heard about it.

Not too much of a football fan, but I definitely heard about it. But, you know, I like to lay myself a tough guy. So, you know, I'm gonna do whatever it takes to be able to be out there with my brothers. In the last couple of games against Iowa State, you were out there, you were logging the minutes, not the same rhythm that we see from you. So how do you get back into that great shooting rhythm and that comfort zone that you've had for most of the season? Yeah, you know, just coming off an injury was one of my first big time injuries and, you know, just getting that lift back, you know, getting that pop back and, you know, just regaining that confidence.

You know, I put in a lot of work and it comes with a lot when you put in a lot of work. So, you know, just like I said, getting that lift back, getting that pop back that I've been playing with the whole season, you know, just continue to better my body each and every day. Your team did not have a season without any adversity. There were some stretches where you guys really stepped into it deep and you played some real tough opponents. Obviously, the Big 12 is very tough. How would you feel like the adversity changed your team this season?

Yeah, we can go as early as, you know, Virginia. You know, they're a really great team. Then, you know, we got busted in the mouth and that was kind of a, you know, a wake up call. And then we went on the road to play a really tough Marquette team and everybody see how that went. And, you know, we just didn't want to bounce back again, you know, exactly. And that's when we really found ourselves and like you said, dig deep and figured it out.

And times like that, you know, really won't prepare us. You know, we really wanted those times to prepare us for, you know, where we're at now. And we've seen that we're able to do it. And, you know, even the Big 12, we were 0-3 and then we went on that, you know, winning streak. So we know what we're capable of and, you know, if we just play Baylor basketball and, you know, control what we can control, they will take care of themselves.

Keontae George is with us here after hours on CBS Sports Radio getting set for his first NCAA tournament. You mentioned the Big 12, obviously a really tough conference with, gosh, seven teams that are into the field. How did you adjust to that physical style of play in the Big 12 as a freshman?

Yeah, it just starts in the summer, conditioning your body, staying in shape, you know, cleaning up little things they need to clean up. And, you know, that was what I did. And, you know, just asking a lot of questions, just, you know, kind of getting a feel of what it's going to be like before I really experience. So I feel like that really gave me, you know, a head start myself and, you know, just in there the physical play, it's just, you know, who's tougher, who wants it more and that's what I really developed over, you know, the seasons as far, you know, playing in the Big 12. It's like a war out there sometimes, isn't it? Yes, ma'am. It definitely is.

Definitely a war every night. So Keontae, tell me why Baylor? Because you were recruited by a ton of different schools. You really had your pick. Why did you decide to go to Waco? Coach Drew, he's, you know, he did, you see what he's accomplished over the years here.

Sure. And, you know, I just really, you know, believe in the culture, you know, our culture of joy. We really embrace that. And, you know, we also talk about playing for an audience of one. And, you know, Coach Drew, you know, he wants us to ultimately, you know, be the best version of ourselves on the court, but, you know, he wants us to win the game of life.

And, you know, I really wanted to go somewhere that they not only cared about me on the court, but also on the court as well. And that's what I got here coming to Baylor. What does the culture of joy mean?

What does it look like? Our culture of joy is the Jesus of yourself. And, you know, that's what it stands for. We try to embrace that, you know, Baylor is across our chest. And, you know, our last name is on the back. So, and like I said before, we play for our audience of one. You know, that's just what the culture is like here. That's what it's like. You know, we carry ourselves in that way. This is a time where we show the world what it looks like on the court, what our culture is. Well, as someone who makes faith the most important thing in my life, I appreciate that. So, thank you for sharing that with us.

Keonte George from Baylor is with us after hours, CBS Sports Radio. So, do you expect to be nervous stepping on the court for your first ever NCAA tournament game? You know, it's going to be some, no, it's going to be a little jittery. I'm going to be a little jittery, but, you know, I know the work I put in and I know the work that the guys put in. There's no need to be nervous when, you know, you prepare for moments like that. So, I know I'll be ready to go. I know the guys will be ready to go.

It's going to be a fart. Did you watch the game where Baylor won its national championship a couple years ago? Yeah, I definitely did watch that game.

Definitely did. You mentioned Scott Drew and what he does in terms of building a culture, and we obviously know 20 years, his resume speaks for itself. Basketball-wise, how do you feel like you changed or your game improved over the course of this year working under him?

Yeah, you know, credit goes to Coach Drew, credit to everybody on the staff. You know, I really feel like I've taken that big jump in, you know, my reach. Just knowing when to get the ball somewhere, knowing where my guys will be, I really feel like I took a big jump in that. And as well as, you know, staying more consistent on the defense events, being in the stands, using my voice, you know, just being a presence. So, talk about me being a stat sheet stuffer, and you know, that's what I've tried to embrace this season.

And that's when I feel like I made a big jump. All right, before I let you go, defense has been at times a challenge for you guys. You talked about some of the games in which, especially earlier in the season, there were teams that were able to put up points. So now, what's your defensive philosophy going into this tournament? How do you play D? Defense is a want to, and we've come to a point now where we understand where if we're in front of somebody, we don't let them get by us. We know our brother got our back, we need help, but you know, we just got to play gritty. And then, like I said, always play with joy. We just got to go out there, have fun, and then the rest will take care of itself.

You are right. It is effort, but it's also a team game on defense. Can't do it without the guys that are out there with you. Well, Keontae, congratulations. It's about to be NCAA tournament time for you for the first time. I'm glad your ankle's getting better.

We're rooting for you guys. I'll always love Scott Drew, so thanks for a couple of minutes. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-13 08:30:33 / 2023-03-13 08:34:45 / 4

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