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Q&A: Gophers Maurice Walker is Healthy and Excited to Play Ball Again

11/08/2012, 9:30am CST
By Nadine Babu

A healthy Maurice Walker is a welcome addition to the Gophers rotation.

It didn't take long for Gophers fans to fall in love with Maurice Walker. At 6-10, 295lbs, the Canadian-native briefly showed a rare combination of great size, touch, passing and shooting ability. His role was increasing his freshman year before a knee injury ended his freshman year in 2010 which led to a redshirt season in 2011-12. Here we are 23 months later and Big Mo is back and healthy and Gopher fans are excited.

Nadine Babu caught up with Walker at the Gophers media day:

GH: How is your health right now?
MW: It's good, good, I am feeling really good right now.

GH: How come it took longer than you thought it would initially take?
MW: Just a few setbacks. Nothing really too major. Coaches took good care of me and wanted to make sure I was 100% and I appreciated that.

GH: You look like you've trimmed down. Where are you at right now?
MW: I am 6-10, 295lbs. I've lost about 10 pounds since last season.

GH: You haven't played in a real game in about 22 months. How has that impacted you physically and mentally?
MW: Our practices are really intense so that helps. Trevor is going through the same thing and we talk about it. We work together on and off the court. I'm just excited.

GH: What did you learn about yourself during the rehab process?
MW: I'm mentally stronger than I thought I was. The coaches and my teammates have really helped me out too.

GH: Gopher fans fell in love with the combination of your size, soft hands - what's the next step?
MW: Same things as before. Play hard, make the right plays, hit open shots and open teammates.

GH: How hard was it sitting on the sidelines?
MW: It was hard. We all keep each other up.

GH: How will you and Elliot share your role this year?
MW: Elliot showed a lot last year. He works hard. We'll share minutes but will help each other too. I'm excited to play with him.

GH: What strengths do you have that he doesn't have?
MW: I bring more of an outside touch and a little better passer and we can play high-low together.

GH: What player will surprise Gopher fans this year?
MW: Julian. He's a low-key player but he's really worked hard and improved.

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Tag(s): Gopher Basketball