Over the next few weeks, Hoops Rumors will be talking with some of the most intriguing prospects in the 2015 NBA Draft. Today, the Hoops Rumors Draft Prospect Q&A series continues with San Diego State forward Dwayne Polee.
A product of Los Angeles powerhouse Westchester High School, Dwayne Polee arrived at St. John’s in 2010 with a great deal of hype. The small forward thrived under first-year head coach Steve Lavin, but an illness at home prompted him to relocate back to the West Coast. Leaving St. John’s was a difficult decision for Polee, but he landed with another solid program in San Diego State, where he enjoyed multiple appearances in the NCAA tournament. The 23-year-old is now auditioning for teams in hopes of hearing his name called later this month. Recently, Polee took some time out of his schedule to chat with Hoops Rumors about his career going forward.
Zach Links: This year, San Diego State made the NCAA tournament and your first game was against St. John’s. Was it strange facing your old teammates in such a high stakes game?
Dwayne Polee: No it wasn’t awkward or anything because I still keep in touch with so many of those guys. I loved my time at St. John’s. I have a very close bond with my teammates that I played with in that year. Steve Lavin and that whole coaching staff was great to me. It was just a great experience all around.
ZL: Have you bumped into Phil Greene or any of your former Red Storm teammates on the draft workout circuit?
DP: Nope, not yet. Could happen over the next few weeks though.
ZL: What do you feel like your greatest strengths are on the court? What do you want to work on?
DP: I think my greatest strengths are probably my defense, athleticism, and length. With my wingspan I can clog the passing lanes and pressure ball handlers a lot more than other guys can. I want to become a more consistent shooter and a more consistent ball handler.
ZL: Your father played professionally and was drafted in the third round by the Clippers. What sort of advice has he given you about the draft process?
DP: He just told me just go out there and play like you’re in the backyard. He told me to play as though there are no GMs or scouts are watching me, because that can be a big distraction. I just go out there and play my hardest like nobody is watching.
ZL: What NBA player would you compare yourself to?
DP: I think I would compare myself to a Jeff Green or a Tony Allen type of player. They play great defense and they’re solid athletes. They can nail the open shots and they just bring their team a lot of energy.
ZL: What workouts have you had so far?
DP: Dallas and the Clippers.
ZL: What are you hearing about your chances of getting drafted?
DP: I haven’t really talked about that with my agent too much just yet, but [Jim Tanner] is just telling me to go out there and play hard. He’s pretty sure that I’ll be able to shock some teams.
ZL: Late last year in a game against UC-Riverside, you had a scary moment where you collapsed mid-game and had to be taken off the court on a gurney. I know that doctors held you out of practice for a while and you weren’t allowed to return to the court until February. We’ve heard players talk about their trepidation in cutting on a surgically-repaired knee or ankle for the first time – what was it like coming back from this incident?
DP: It was kind of weird mentally because you got to get back to the business of basketball. Being with your teammates, running the plays, the rhythm and everything…I would say that was the most challenging part for me. The rest of it didn’t stress me out too much. The way I play is that even if I don’t score a single point, I still go out there and play hard and give it my best.
ZL: What led you to choose Jim Tanner as your agent?
DP: For me, everything is just based on vibes, you know. Jim, when I met with him, he just gave me a great vibe and I just felt comfortable signing with [Tandem Sports and Entertainment]. Since then, everyone I’ve come across tells me that I picked the best agency. I’m very comfortable with the decision that I made.