Tuesday, March 7, 2017

CSO Q & A- DePaul guard Eli Cain

                                                        Photo Credit: DePaul Athletics

Welcome to the latest edition of CSO's Q & A, where I chat with athletes and media personalities about life on and off the playing surface.

This week's Q & A focuses on DePaul sophomore guard Eli Cain.

GG: What has been the biggest transition going from high school in New Jersey to playing in a big city like Chicago?

EC: Off the court, the weather can be real brutal (in Chicago) in the winter. Basketball wise, the speed of the game is a lot faster. You have to make faster reads and getting used to the flow of the college game.

GG: As a freshman, you were a role payer, but have become the primary scorer as a sophomore. How have you adjusted to the new role?

EC: Watching a lot of film to be honest and it feels like every move I make on the court, there are two to three defenders following. I have learned when to attack in specific spots, where to make the next pass and staying in the gym to work on my craft.

GG: In your time at DePaul, what is the one skill you have learned the most under coach Dave Leitao?

EC: He preaches trusting the process a lot and tells us that you have to go through things to get to the goal of winning. We have not won as much as we would want, but in the years to come, we can win as much as we want as long as we stick to the plan.

GG: Billy Garrett Jr. has been a starter for DePaul over the last four seasons. What is the impact Billy has had on you in terms of growth?

EC: Similar to coach Leitao, Bill has been through everything more than any of us. He is level headed every day and doesn’t get too high or too low. He will hit a buzzer-beater one game and then the next day at practice, he would be even keeled. If we lost by 50, it would be the same demeanor.

GG: On or off the court, who has impacted you the most in your two seasons at DePaul?

EC: Darrick Wood. He’s like my big brother and we played for the same AAU team in  New Jersey and our connection was one of the reasons why I came here, along with Billy Garrett, Sr. and Jr. If you see me, you see Darrick lurking right behind.

GG: You will be a part of DePaul history next season as you move from playing at Allstate Arena in Rosemont to a brand new facility at Wintrust Arena in Chicago’s South Loop, how important will it be not only for the team, but for the students and alumni to be within a reasonable distance?

EC: It will help a lot, given we will have new players coming in and more students in the area. When you go to other arenas, their student sections are very loud and involved in the game.

GG: Does the team have a particular song to get motivated by before a game?

EC: R.J. (Curington) usually brings the speaker into the locker room and before we run out to the court, Billy gives us a freestyle to get us going a little bit. On the court, obviously there is the playlist in the arena and that gets Billy to do more freestyling, along with Darrick (Wood).

GG: You have gone up against the likes of Kris Dunn and Ryan Arcidiacono in your time at DePaul, who is the toughest opposing player you have guarded?

EC: I would say Maurice Watson Jr. from Creighton because he is so fast and watched him play in high school and took that as a challenge once I came to DePaul. He gets into the lane with ease and is a constant guard at all times.

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