Chapman Growing Into His Role

The Golden Eagles are back at practice and working hard preparing for the beginning of the season with a lot of expectations. Today we take a look at one of the Eagles who is growing into his role with the team, Jamie Chapman, sophomore guard. He talked with GoldenEaglePride.com after practice.

Sophomore guard Jamie Chapman has an entirely different outlook coming into the upcoming season.

A year of experience will certainly do that.

As a freshman, Chapman played sparingly, but he saw enough action to get his feet wet. The most important aspect of last season was the time spent in practice and learning and growing into Coach Donnie Tyndall's system.

"A lot different," the sophomore said point blank when asked about the difference between how he feels coming into this season compared to last.

"I feel like being under Coach Tyndall for a year and I just know what is coming. I'm prepared mentally and that is the biggest change for me. It was a tough adjustment to this level and new coaches.

"I really feel like I am prepared and from a confidence stand point I'm at such a higher level than I was last year because I know I can contribute."

A critical off-season was vital to the talented guard after his freshman season showed him where he needed to improve.

"Mainly in the off-season my focus was putting on weight and just getting stronger," he said.

"I needed to get a lot stronger and bigger. I went from 174 when we started in the summer to 184 as I weighed in today. I think that will help me a lot as we move into the season."

The coaches message to him has been simple at the start of the new season. Hailing from Mobile, Alabama's St. Paul's Episcopal HS, Chapman now has the chance to provide depth and see significant time.

"The coaches just tell me to keep competing and you'll get your shot just like everyone else," he added.

"They tell me to keep working and everyone has that chance to earn playing time and contribute. I have the confidence that I can be a real factor for the team this season."

It all starts in practice, where Chapman has seen the team with a lot of intensity from the get-go.

"We had a pretty good work-out today that was real competitive and just seeing ourselves get back into things," he added.

"We are focusing on defense and getting the new guys to learn the offense, what we do, and how we do things. What we are really focusing on and what Coach Tyndall really brings is the challenge to compete every day. That is his big thing."

In the trip to the Bahamas in August, Chapman was able to see significant time and gain valuable experience.

"It was a great time for everyone," he said. "Our team really bonded, and for me it was great because I got a lot of minutes. Being in that game setting was really helpful as I continue to gain experience that you can't get at practice."

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