Photo Credit: Virginia Tech Athletics (Darius Maddox is on the left, Joe Bamisile on the right).
Virginia Tech basketball has put together a strong recruiting class for Mike Young's first full recruiting cycle signing four-star guards Darius Maddox and Joe Bamisile in the fall, and recently gaining a commitment from three-star PF David N'Guessan.
On February 1st at the Adam Ward Classic, we had the chance to interview Darius Maddox as his Oak Hill team was participating in the two-day Adam Ward Classic in Salem, VA. Maddox was unable to play in the game as a precaution due to a very minor injury suffered the night before, but could have played as he told us.
We are very thankful to Darius, Oak Hill, and the Adam Ward Classic for setting this interview up and I'm thankful for one of our writers Andy Loce for doing the hard work of transcribing this interview for you.
With that said, here's our recent interview with Darius Maddox.
Tim: What led you to choosing Virginia Tech?
Darius: Just the relationship with the coaching staff over the years I was being recruited, and Mike Young is a great coach. Me being the shooter and him liking playing through shooters, it was really working for me; and it’s close to home.
Tim: You mentioned Mike Young and his love for shooters. How much did that make a difference and how much has that been validated from what you have seen from Virginia Tech this season?
Darius: It made a big difference because shooting the three really gets me going, just shooting jump shots and me just working on my game is going to make me a better player. Then watching them play, they play fast, they like to guard, and they like to shoot a lot too. I really think they are playing well and will get even better when me and Joe (Bamisile) come here next year.
Tim: And you mentioned that you are not too far away, where is home for you originally?
Darius: Maryland right now, so that’s about probably four to four and half hours.
Tim: Is it up in the Baltimore area?
Darius: D.C area
Tim: I know one of the assistants in Chester Frazier is up from the Maryland area. Christian Webster has some DMV roots as well. How much did that impact your interest in Virginia Tech given that there’s a lot of staff from your home region?
Darius: With Coach Frazier, he recruited me when he was at Kansas State. He really liked my game and he told me, and any team with Webster is really a no-brainer. And along with Coach Jackson, he recruited me at Cincinnati. It was really just all three coaches that I had a good connection with, so it was an easy decision.
Tim: First off, if you don’t mind me asking, I know weren’t able to play, was it some sort of injury?
Darius: So in yesterday’s game in the first quarter, there was something wrong in my groin, nothing serious but they just wanted me to rest especially because this was an exhibition game and just icing, and tomorrow I’ll get up some shots. Nothing serious.
Tim: How have you done so far this season and how do you feel your game has developed, because if I’m not mistaken, it’s your first year at Oak Hill. How do you think being here at Oak Hill has helped develop your game?
Darius: For one, (in regards to) my body, I feel like I am getting more athletic and stronger. Everyday, we actually lift as a class so there's no way around it. And in the gym, the gym access, the managers getting the rebounds, so I feel like overall, I’m getting better even without playing the game. And when games come around, we play the best competition and then when we play the lower competition teams, it gives you a chance work on your game. It’s really fun.
Tim: And then you get to play for a guy like Coach Steve Smith, who is kind of one of the legends in high school basketball coaches. What’s it like to play for him?
Darius: I’m really just soaking everything in, everything he tells us, everything, I’m just taking everything at this point and just making me a better basketball player. I’m really thankful to have a chance to play under him.
Tim: How would you describe to Tech fans your style of game, what would you say is your style of play?
Darius: I'd say I like to get out in transition a lot since I’m getting more athletic here at Oak Hill, and I really like to shoot a lot. Just expect a lot of energy on both ends of the floor, always.
Tim: What are the strengths of your game, I know you may have mentioned that before, and some areas that you really want to grow in, and feel you have the most room for improvement?
Darius: I’m going to start with the weaknesses, I feel like my rebounding all around, I can definitely work on that more to affect the game. And then me being, even though this sounds crazy, is me being a little more selfish at times cause I can pass up shots I take. (Coach) Smith tells me all the time sometimes I’m passing up shots. Me being a good shooter and taking an extra shot or getting into the paint. I feel like my strength is obviously my shooting, my ability to score and create for others.
Tim: You are highly regarded nationally, but you got a bunch of other guys, Cam Thomas, K.K. Robinson, and all these other guys (who are also highly regarded). What’s it like to play against them (in practice) and how has that helped your development as well?
Darius: I mean, it’s great. Just meeting new people first of all. Just getting to connect with different players and on the court, it just makes you go even harder. In practices, when you know you got to step up on the court, you're not just guarding anybody and they aren’t just guarding anybody when I have the ball. It is really fun and I like to compete at the end of the day so it’s just getting everybody better.
Tim: What are you most looking forward to going to Virginia Tech?
Darius: A new lifestyle. At Oak Hill, there’s not too much to do and not too many places to go so I’m looking forward to that and then also college basketball, I want to see the hype. I think I’m ready for it.
Once again, we appreciate and thank Darius Maddox for taking part in our interview along with the Oak Hill and Adam Ward Classic staff for setting this up. I also thank Andy Loce for doing the hard work of transcribing this interview for your reading enjoyment.