I have been fortunate enough to be able to interview Buffalo Guard Jayvon Graves. This was a very special interview for me, because Jayvon was the first college hooper to follow me and reach out to me last summer. Since then, I have been able to interact with many players and grow at an insane rate, so I just wanted to take a minute in this to thank Jayvon for motivating me to keep grinding.
Javon Graves is coming off a very impressive season, where he averaged 17.1 PPG, 5.5 RPG, and 2.5 APG.
He was a top player not only in the MAC, but also in the entire country. Graves used that leverage and declared for the 2020 NBA Draft, while also maintaining his eligibility. If he returns, he will be a senior and try to get to his 3rd NCAA Tournament.
1-You declared for the NBA Draft after a great season. How has that process been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
-It’s been affected a lot as in not being able to workout for teams at the moment which is important in the process but it still has been great to get some good feedback on my game and participate in zoom calls with teams.
2-Your Freshman year, you were part of a 13 seeded Buffalo team that not only beat Arizona, but blew them out. Describe that experience. Did the tournament live up to your expectations?
– That experience was one I’ll never forget, they were a very talented team and we showed how good we were. The NCAA tournament is what everybody wants to play in growing up so it has been great to get that experience and have family and friends all tuned in during our games.
3-How did that tournament experience affect the mindset going into the 2018-19 season? The win over Arizona let everyone know who Buffalo was! What was the reaction and hype on campus heading into the next year?
– It made us go into the following season with the expectation of getting back to the NCAA tourney and even further than we went the past year. That win gave us the momentum heading into the season which ultimately was a record setting season. Our fans were excited.
4-The 2018-19 Buffalo team went 32-4 and was ranked 14th in the country. How did it feel to finally gain the respect of the college hoops world? That season started with an “upset” win at 13th ranked West Virginia. You had 14 points in that game, including some monster dunks. How did it feel to suck the life out of that West Virginia crowd and how did that win set the tone for the season?
-Being ranked in the country was something we knew we could do by taking it game by game. WVU is a great place to play, they were well coached so we knew it would be a dog fight but everyone on our team played poised like we belonged there and we pulled off the win. That definitely set the tone.
5-CJ Massinburg drooped 43 points in that game and hit a deep 3 to send it into overtime. Is that the greatest performance you have ever seen from a teammate?
– CJ had a great game, one that went down in school history so that was exciting to experience that with him it was one of the best performances from a teammate for sure.
6-CJ graduated, and you were left to step into the role of the team leader this year. You averaged 17.1 PPG, 5.4 RPG, and 2.5 APG and were undoubtedly one of the top players in the country. Was it difficult to step into that role, or did it come naturally?
-It wasn’t a big adjustment for me because I knew heading into the season that would be my role but there were definitely some learning curves.
7-Finally, can you say anything about the odds that you return to Buffalo for your senior season? If so, what are your goals for next year? Also, what are your goals in the NBA? Whatever happens, I wish you the best of luck and will be tuned in! I appreciate the support bro!
-Pretty good odds due to the virus but we’ll see soon. My main goal would be to win the conference tournament. Individual goals would be to pretty much improve in every aspect of my game and keep up the progression I’ve been at. I would want to be the MAC player of the year. Thanks, appreciate you for having me!
Big S/O to Jayvon for the interview. I can’t wait to see what he does next year!
Photo: Buffalo News