The Washington Times - April 16, 2011, 12:44PM

Wizards rookie point guard John Wall had a stellar season, averaging 16.4 points, 1.8 steals, 8.3 assists and 4.6 rebounds per game, and showed real leadership skills at the tender age of 20. The one negative in the stat category was turnovers, at nearly four per game.

Wall will likely be second in the Rookie of the Year voting; the consensus pick is “Bad” Blake Griffin of the L.A. Clippers, but Wall’s performance this year was nothing short of outstanding. As Wall looks back on his rookie campaign, he shared his thoughts on what he took away from this season, and what he looks forward to next year.


On how to improve for next year:

“We just need to get better as a whole team, making sure than everybody works out this whole summer; take time off and study the game more. Just come back and be in better shape, get in the weight room, get stronger and come in as a better team next year.”

On his expectations for his rookie year:

“It was everything I expected and even more; just trying to figure out how teams are going to guard you, and things you’re going to work on, so I’ve just got a whole lot of things to do this summer.”

On how the season ended:

“We fought hard this last month, and that’s something we’ve got to try and build on for this summer. We’ve got to work out, get better and take it on to training camp or whenever the season starts next year.”

On the continuing roster changes:

“When some of the new guys came in, Mo [Evans] and Jordan [Crawford] they really helped us out caused we lost some guys like Josh [Howard] and Dray [Andray Blatche] and Rashard [Lewis] and Nick [Young], so we needed another scorer and a defensive person and someone who could make shots. Mo came in a did a great job for us at the three-spot and everybody else that came on and played through the last month and through the time when guys were hurt really helped us out.”

On being a leader:

“It’s been good. I learned a whole lot about leading. You really have to step up more and you have to put your foot down. These are grown men that you’re talking to so it’s different than in college. You really don’t spend too much time together unless you go on a long road trip or go out to eat or something on the road, so it’s a lot I learned about being a leader and being a point guard on the NBA level.”

“I think I did a decent job. I think next year I’ll do a better job. I have a year under my belt and I feel like I can say more and lead the team more.”

On pushing his teammates when needed:

“I think I did that; I think I did it good. That’s how we have to hold each other accountable. I think this year we were really kind of scared of saying something to one another without them getting mad, but we have to use it as motivation to help the team and help themselves do better on the court.”

On what the Wizards need to improve next year:

“We really can’t help what happened with injuries, but hopefully everybody can stay healthy, then just add another guard or a wing player or a post player who can really help us out and give us more depth. You have to have two or three pieces to really go far. You can’t win it with one player. That’s what a lot of teams do, they have three guys and everybody else knows their roles.”

On teaching next year’s rookies:

“They’ve got to understand that it’s a learning process for them, and they’re going to have their ups and downs, but that’s something I can really help them with since I just got through my first year.”

On his summer plans:

“Rest and take a vacation, and get back into the gym as soon as possible to work on my weaknesses and come back and have a better year.”  

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