January 16, 2009

Postin' Up with Toney McCray

In this week's edition of Postin' Up, we sit down with redshirt freshman guard Toney McCray. McCray has already worked his way into Nebraska's starting lineup several times this season, but he's also gotten an earful from head coach Doc Sadler on more than one occasion in practice along the way. A native from Missouri City, Texas, McCray is also getting his first real taste of a Midwestern winter. Needless to say, he's not wearing shorts outside in January anymore.

HI:Being from the South, you had to have loved the -20 degree temperatures up in Ames, Iowa, on Wednesday?

TM: "Yeah, that was cold. I told the trainer, I ain't never been that cold. That was below zero. I was surprised. I didn't think it was going to be that cold. I mean, I was like, it's not that far from Nebraska, so it's not going to be that cold. But I walked off the bus with shorts on, and that was a big mistake."

HI:Before that, what was the coldest city you've ever played a game in?

TM: "Maybe Atlantic City (N.J.). It probably wasn't nowhere near what it was (in Ames). It was probably like, 30. Maybe 20s, 30s."

HI:So when you're getting recruited to come play for a Midwestern school like Nebraska, do they let you know just how cold it can get here in the winter?

TM: "They told me how cold it could get in Nebraska and everything, but I never like felt how it was going to be. So I figured you'd just go and put a jacket on and you'd be alright. I didn't know how really irritating it was to be in this cold weather. I had no idea. I've been handling it alright, though. Just learning how to dress in layers and stuff."

HI:I won't say who, but I've been told that you've earned the reputation as the one of the loudest guys on the team off the court, especially in the locker room. Your thoughts?

TM: "(Laughs) See, I don't think that's true, man. I don't think if I'm the loudest. I might be. I don't know, whoever said that. I don't know, maybe I'm the loudest guy. I don't know why I've got that reputation. I've just always been like that. I've always got a lot to say."

HI:I've been to quite a few of your guys' practices, and it seems like Doc has the tendency to pick out a guy at the beginning of practice and just ride him the entire day. I've also noticed you've been that guy on more than one occasion. What's it feel like when Doc singles you out and gets in your ear for three straight hours?

TM: "It usually starts off in like a regular drill that we do at the beginning of practice. If he finds somebody, you know, not going as hard or making mental mistakes at the beginning, then he might start eyeballing you the whole practice. You've got to do good in the beginning so he won't be on you like that. But if he's on you, you've just got to take it as constructive criticism and just move on. You can't really stress about it."

HI:Can that almost be a complement in the sense that Doc thinks that you're worth all that effort of yelling and screaming at you? That maybe he does it because he knows what you're capable of?

TM: "Maybe after the fact, after practice is over with and you've had time to think about it. But during it, it's not really something where you're like, 'Great! He's yelling at me!' It ain't nothing like that. Most of the time you're trying to get him off your back instead of trying to encourage him to yell at you. Maybe afterwards when you sit down and think about it, that probably comes to mind."

HI:I've heard you talk about a certain face Doc makes that lets you know when he's really getting angry. Care to share?

TM: "Coach's eyebrows go in when he gets really mad, like when you're making stupid mistakes out there. That means he's going to lay into you. I think everybody does that, but Coach is like the first person I ever really looked at, because he gets right into you and starts hollering and screaming. You've just got to be ready for it."

HI:Now that you've played in your first Big 12 road game, where's the one league arena you want to play in the most?

TM: "Probably Oklahoma State. For some reason I like their arena. When I was a redshirt and we went there, it was pretty loud in there. It was a really good crowd.

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