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On the bench with Brian Swift

Leadership comes all too easily for USF men’s basketball team leader Brain Swift, and it can be seen on and off the court.

In his senior season, Swift is leading the team in assists (91), 3-point field goals made (42) and minutes played, at 583 out of a possible 640. He is also second in scoring with 239 points. In his four years at USF, he’s accumulated 732 points, and while his career average in points scored was only 5.6 coming into this season, his season average through 16 games us up to 14.9.

Before becoming the starting point guard who replaced the infamous Reggie Kohn, Swift worked tirelessly to become the player he is today and the indispensable asset he is to the team.

Oracle Sports Editor Mike Camunas sat down with the Warrensville, Ohio native to get his take on things.

Oracle: You had a less-than-typical game for yourself on Saturday against Houston, going 4-14 for field goals and 0-7 from the three-point line. How do you rebound from a game like that?

Swift: As far as (Tuesday’s) practice went, I’m optimistic. I’m still anxious to get out here and play, prove that we really belong at the top of the conference. Last game we really didn’t show that. We came out down, you know? I think we had a good practice today. Everybody was optimistic, energetic and I think we’re ready to go on Thursday.

O: What is that you felt the team was lacking?

S: Energy. We really didn’t have any energy. Nobody. I mean, it all starts with me. You know, being a leader? I blame myself for that game. I was down, a little frustrated, and it kind of affected the rest of the team. So, you know, I put that game on my shoulders.

O: Who’s the funniest player on the team?

S: I don’t know. To me, it’s a toss up between Terrence (Leather), Marlyn (Bryant) and me. It’s between those two guys.

O: What’s the funniest thing Terrence has ever said?

S: I can’t even say. There’s so many. It’s hard to pick one thing. He says something funny every single day, you know. It’s more of what he does than what he says. He is an all-around funny guy. Like, he’ll make a joke about coach (Robert McCullum) or act like coach in the locker room. Stuff like that. We he re-enacts coach, that will be real funny.

O: What about you? Do you have an impersonation of coach?

S: Nah. Well, a little bit, but everybody does it a little bit. When I do it, it’s more like what he says. But when (Terrence) does it, its more like what he looks like and (how) he talks, which makes it even more funny.

O: What’s the funniest thing McCullum has ever done in practice?

S: What our big men do, is they catch it in the middle of the floor and face up, and one thing Terrence can do is get the ball, face up and swing it around and go around a bigger guy. And one day in practice, coach got the ball and swung it real hard, went to the hole real hard and missed the lay-up. Then everybody at practice started laughing. It was real funny, though.

O: What’s a better basketball movie: Hoosiers or Blue Chips?

S: I would rather watch Blue Chips because it’s just newer. I mean, it’s up to date. Well, it’s an old movie now, but it’s a little newer.

O: Well, it’s got Shaq in it. He acts in it, sort of.

S: Yeah, and Penny Hardaway. And he’s not Gene Hackman, you know?

O: Who plays you in the movie of your life?

S: I think it has to be my boy, Adam Sandler. That’s my guy, right there. He’s just a laid-back dude. He’s always laid back in the movies, just a down-to-earth kind of guy. And I think he could probably play me better than anybody.

O: Do you think you could switch roles with him? Do a little acting, maybe swing a golf club like a baseball bat?

S: Yeah, I think I could. I do all of that. Me and Marlyn, in the locker room, we do some of his lines from his movies. And I’m like him a lot.

O: Which one of his movies do you like the best?

S: There’s three of them. It’s between Big Daddy, Mr. Deeds, and what’s that one he did with what’s his name? Damon Wayans?

O: Bulletproof.

S: Yeah. I love that movie.

O: Who’s in your stereo right now? Who you listening to?

S: Right now, The Game. He just came out last week., so he’s getting a lot of spin in there right now. But my favorite is Jay-Z, you know? He’s the man. That’s who I play more than anybody.

O: How are you going to finish up this season?

S: I’m trying to finish up by going to the conference tournament. I want to go to the postseason. That’s my first goal. I want to go to postseason play, whether it be the NCAA or the NIT. I’m confident enough that our team can get to postseason play and beyond the conference tournament. So I’m saying we can go to the NIT or the NCAA tournament.