Tyrese Maxey spoke with the media after Monday’s game. The USA thumped Panama 118-26 and Maxey finished with 14 points, three assists and three steals.
Maxey was asked about playing for Bill Self (his USA coach), his relationship with John Calipari, playing with Cole Anthony and plenty more.
On what Bill Self said at halftime when leading 70-8: Coach was just telling us to work on our stuff, work on our half court defense and stuff that we’re going to have to do down the road.
On college coaches watching: They’re just showing their face. They have to show some interest in guys they need to see.
On recruiting Cole Anthony and Matthew Hurt: I always talk to them. I joke with them about Kentucky but it comes down to their decision.
On not having to worry about his recruitment: I’m happy. I’m probably the most happy person in the world. I know when I committed I was at peace with my decision. I know that’s where I wanted to go. I’m at peace.
On possibly reclassifying: I talked with my family a lot about it. A lot of long nights, and we just came to the conclusion that it would be best for me to keep progression of my game and get a little bit stronger before I head out to college.
On playing with other good guards on team USA: It helped a lot because of course Coach Cal likes to be guard heavy, which is also really good. If you have a lot of guards on the floor, a lot of good guards that can make good decisions that’s always good. Just playing with these guys helps me a lot.
On wanting to play in all-star games as another reason to stay in high school: Of course. You work so hard all your life to play in certain games and certain all-star games and have certain experiences. That’s one thing I wanted to do.
On playing for Self, who will be a rival when he’s in college: It’s great. I mess with him all the time about it. He’s really cool. He really pushed us today and gave us a long speech just talking about playing for USA and how he would be happy everyday. I think that’s one reason why we came out here so strong and started so fast today.
On how often he talks with Calipari: He just tries to help me get better always. He tells me little things I need to work on and he checks in and says hello all the time. He asks me how I’m doing.
On if he thought it was going to be a shutout: We were just trying to get better honestly. I was just trying to work on my stuff. The real competition starts tomorrow. We have Puerto Rico and they’re 2-0 as well, so we’re trying to win this pool.
On his relationship with Cole Anthony: We see each other a lot at camps. All of us actually see each other a lot at camps but I first talked to him at NextGen USA and down at the Final Four we talked a lot then. He’s really cool. He’s high energy. He’s very high energy and he’s always up. He’s a good friend to be around.
On if they text: We talk sometimes.
On if he’s looking ahead to playing Canada: No sir, I’m looking ahead to playing Puerto Rico tomorrow.
On if he was surprised to see P.J. Washington return to UK: A little bit. I was kinda surprised. I’m glad he came back and did what was best for him and I think he’s going to have a great year this year.
On if he looks ahead to what the roster could look like when he gets to UK: It’s just pretty much who’s there is there. I like to compete, but either way I hope we have a lot of really good players to make me better and we can win a national championship.
On UK fans: Kentucky fans keep going. They mean business. That’s one thing I really like. I like when the fan base is behind you and it brings the best out of me.
On Calipari’s personality when he’s not talking recruiting: He’s not gonna tell you no bluff. I call it bluff. If someone comes in tells you they like you and you’re gonna do this and do that with the ball in your hands. If he says it he means it. He’s gonna tell you what you need to get better at. That’s one reason I wanted to go to Kentucky. I feel like he’s gonna push me to get better and help me get to the next level.
On if he’d be able to reclassify if UK asked: Yes sir, I would. I think I have to take a certain class. Maybe two classes, but I haven’t thought about it so far.