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Jalen Slawson, Furman Paladins Forward

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
The Truth Network Radio
March 16, 2023 7:27 pm

Jalen Slawson, Furman Paladins Forward

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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March 16, 2023 7:27 pm

Jalen Slawson joined Zach to discuss his emotions after beating Virginia and why he thinks Furman can make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament. 


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Learn more at today. Furman as a 13 seed did take down Virginia, who's a 4, 68 to 67. And I just want to play you this call. This is the turnover.

Then it was passed to JP Pajias, who drills a 3 to give Furman that one point lead and ended up being the final score, 68 to 67. Let's listen up. This is John Sadak on Westwood One. And now joining us on the hotline from the Furman men's basketball team, they're advancing to the second round of the NCAA tournament is the SoCon player of the year. And that of course is Jalen Slauson, who's kind enough to join us right now. Jalen, first off, congratulations. Just what a job by you and your team today. Thank you.

Thanks for having me. So when you hear that call and you lived it, you see the big shot by JP after what was a crazy turnover that you guys force. And then you see their last second shot. How did you just process it when the final buzzer did go off? You guys realize you won just walking off the court. Um, man, you know, us of all teams, we know, uh, we know that you have to play through the buzzer. And, um, you know, last year, I don't know how many people, how many people are following us last year, but, uh, you know, we had a chance to, to go to the NCAA tournament for first time, first time since 1980. And, um, I got through up a 35 footer on two people and cashed it, um, down to, so, you know, um, we had that, we had that, you know, taken from us last year, we felt like we were right there.

And then, uh, so a little bit of deja vu when that ball went in the air and, um, you know, just to see that rim out and then he had the final buzzer and look up and see, we're up on, man. Um, I couldn't be more proud of this team and, uh, you know, our coaches coached a heck of a game today. Uh, really proud of them. You know, this is, uh, a lot of their first, first NCAA tournaments, um, you know, culture, which he's one of the best coaches in the country. And then for this to be his first, his first NCAA tournament game, the way he coached the composure he had was, was big time. And then, um, you know, obviously JP, but geese hadn't shot it well all game, but you know, he's a big time player and, uh, he's, he's a freaking winner. So, you know, for him to take that shot and to bang it, especially with Mike out, Mike's our go-to guy late, but for him to take that shot and for him to bang it, uh, couldn't be more proud of him. And, and you know, he's deserving. He's worked his tail off, uh, since, since he was a freshman, but the way he's led lately and the way he's played, he's so deserving of that. As you just laid it out, the heartbreak of last year, a year later to not only be in the NCAA tournament and overcome that, but now on Saturday being in the second round of the NCAA tournament, does this even feel real right now?

Not really, man. Um, you know, I, I, I understand I, it's gotta feel real at some point because we've got more games to play. Um, we're not done yet. You know, we didn't come here to win one game. We came here to make a series run and we know we're capable of doing that. And um, you know, credit to Virginia, they're a great team. Um, you know, coach, coach Bennett's a very well established coach, but, uh, we think we can play with anybody in the country and, you know, especially when we have the right spirit and joy about us. And today we've, you know, I hope we show everybody that this team just doesn't quit and we're not going to quit.

Jalen Slauson here with us at the Furman men's basketball team with the great upset today in the NCAA tournament against Virginia, they went 68 to 67. I love the confidence that this team has, and we've seen confidence, uh, in a group like oral Roberts two years ago, St. Peter's last year, where does the confidence of this group come from? Um, you know, confidence comes from preparation and work and, uh, you know, we like to, we like to say that the games won well before us played and our preparation. And, you know, we know, um, a lot of times out, especially in situations like this, you know, we might not be the biggest team on the court. Um, we might not be the most athletic team on the court, but we pride ourselves in being the smartest team on the court. And we pride ourselves in being the most connected team on the court. And, uh, you know, when you have, when you have, you know, a group of brothers like this, you know, we're not just teammates, we're really brothers. And, uh, when you believe in one another and, and, uh, love one another, the way we do, you know, it makes it really hard to get down on one another. And when you have, when you constantly have somebody uplifting you, then, you know, obviously it makes you feel good about yourself and, you know, we're going to continue to do that. And that it's, it's just the culture of the program.

It really goes to speak to the culture of the program and the culture that, that, you know, culture to use, uh, established here. And that's probably a big reason why you wanted to come back. You already had four years under your belt. I know it's the nature of the sport right now to have a lot of change and jump around from school to school, but why did you want to come back for your fifth year? Uh, so that was exactly the reason I just said, you know, uh, the culture here, um, the, the, the love here that, that, you know, Furman has for me, the love that I have for Furman, um, you know, last year, obviously, as we said earlier, didn't, didn't end the way we wanted it to. And, uh, you know, my best friend, my best friend, Mike Boswell, um, decided, you know, we, we sat down together and it didn't take us along at all to decide we were coming back. And, you know, we said, we said, this is what we were going to do and here we are living it out. Um, but you know, I, uh, it was never about the money or, or, uh, you know, and I had a lot of opportunities or anything like that. It was about Furman and it was about the people that are here. What was the scene like Jalen Slauson from the Furman basketball team in the locker room when you guys who are so close, like you're saying, were able to come together knowing you guys won and had this great win up against Virginia, take me inside your locker room after the game.

It was just a celebration. You know, uh, there are times like that when guys could be like, why not me? Why didn't I get to take that shot? Why didn't he throw me the ball? Um, you know, it's, it's the nature of college basketball today.

And, um, it's, it's the nature of, of our generation, unfortunately. Um, you know, everybody's looking for more for themselves, but you know, it was just such a freaking, it was such a big celebration and, um, you know, everybody's, everybody's, our genuine, our love is so genuine and, uh, we just wanted to be able to see Mike, uh, myself, we just wanted to be able to put the Jersey on one more time. And, you know, we went in there and we celebrated and, you know, we were dumping water on each other and, and carrying on, but we celebrate everyone like that.

You know, winning is hard, especially at this point in time. So, uh, I could just take you in the locker room, just imagine a big family reunion. Uh, I haven't seen each other in a while.

That's awesome. You know, Mike, as you said, better than, than almost anybody. Unfortunately, he fouled out today.

You guys wanted to get them into the second round of the NCAA tournament and that's going to happen up against San Diego state. What do you, what do you think Mike, Mike is going to show everyone and maybe like a bounce back spot in the second round? Um, I'm more than confident that Mike's going to show everybody why he's one of the best scorers in the country. Um, you know, he's Mike's an elite playmaker, you know, big guard, really strong, really confident. And, uh, I have no doubt that Mike's going to play his tail off on Saturday.

Um, you know, we're going to, we're going to pour into him and not that he needs it, but we're going to pour into him and reassure him that, you know, I know, I know, I know he'll play well and he'll be ready on Saturday. I saw the video of you that's been viral now afterwards, talking about Kihei Clark, who just threw the ball up there and you couldn't believe it. Just kind of take us through just how, how you process that one. Cause I had the same reaction you did. I couldn't believe that you guys got the basketball and then found the way to hit the shot.

Yeah. Well, you know, Kihei, one of the best guards in the country. Um, you know, he's been a starting point guard on a, on a national championship team. Um, you know, really unfortunate that his college career had to end like that.

Um, if I could go back, I'd probably make sure that was said in a, in a situation that doesn't, you know, where there's no cameras on me just because, um, you know, I would hate for him to have to see that. Um, you know, I, I remember how it was last year after the shot. Um, you know, we had to see it everywhere.

Um, but yeah, man, just raw emotion. Um, you know, it goes back to, like I said, you know, he's so, so stout and, uh, you know, steady, um, and definitely didn't expect, definitely didn't expect him to turn it over. Um, but you know, unfortunately, or fortunately for us, unfortunately for them, he did. And, uh, you know, like I said, we, we had our, our five man in the low flow at the ball and he found a shooter, a big time shooter, big time player stepped up and made a big time shot. That's a really classy and, and great answer from Jalen Slauson before we let you run, you were the conferences player of the year. Uh, you've been there for five years. Like we were talking about, uh, you have grown each and every year at Furman. What made everything come together for you this year to have your best year at the program?

Um, I don't know. Off season work definitely helped. Um, I've improved my game. Um, but you know, I think honestly I'm playing with so many weapons out there. Um, it makes it hard for anybody to guard any of us one-on-one, you know, Mike was, Mike was just as deserving as, uh, for the player of the year award as I was.

And, uh, as soon as I got it, I shot him a text and obviously he was happy for me. But, um, you know, if that, if that, if I could choose, I would, I would have, I would have chosen, uh, co co-player of the years for Mike and myself. Um, unfortunately I don't get to choose and, and coach Richie couldn't vote that, but, uh, yeah, to, um, I would say that's what it is. You know, our team as a whole has gotten better. Um, everybody, you know, Marcus foster bank, huge shots today, Garrett he's ability stretch the floor, give, give Mike and I space as drivers. Um, you know, the guys who bring off the bench, Ben van der wall, uh, you know, he can really shoot it. Um, so, you know, the team as a whole, the team as a whole, just getting better, um, has allowed me to play in more space and, you know, those guys definitely helped my assistant. I may definitely help share assist numbers that throw to elite shooters when they're wide open, one more, and then we'll let you run.

Jalen's lost and really appreciate you doing this. Uh, I know how crazy this time of the year is, how chaotic it will be, and it will all look like a blur and hopefully it keeps on continuing for you guys. But when you get a moment tonight and you're in your bed and you're looking up at the ceiling, what do you think, uh, you're going to be thinking about tonight, right before you put that head on the pillow and go to sleep? Um, by then hopefully I'll be thinking about what I can do, what I can do Saturday to make sure we're playing again next week.

That's pretty much it. Um, you know, I'll, we'll relish in this for a couple more hours about to go eat a big time dinner, but you know, after that, we'll probably meet in here and start talking about San Diego state a little bit and get rolling. Well, eat well, enjoy it a heck of a story today and good luck coming up. Whatever time you guys will be playing on Saturday up against San Diego state. Really appreciate you jumping on board with us. Appreciate it, boss.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-16 20:37:18 / 2023-03-16 20:43:32 / 6

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