10 Questions With Cully Payne

Aug. 24, 2010

What are you looking forward to most this season?
Payne: “I am definitely looking forward to playing for Coach McCaffery in the new system and with the new freshmen we have coming in. I think we have great team chemistry so I am excited to see what happens on the court.”

What, if anything, has Coach McCaffery expressed to you that he would like to see you do more of this season?
Payne: “Look to score and be more aggressive. Looking to score as a point guard does not only mean shooting it, it means driving into the paint and looking to get other guys shots.”

Are you excited, anxious, eager to play with all the new guys on this year’s team this fall?
Payne: “Definitely. Playing with the new guys, they have been working hard all summer and in open gyms we have been looking great together. So I am definitely excited.”

Do you feel like you added the right amount of muscle, quickness and speed in off-season training?
Payne: “Without question. Rusty (Burney) has been doing more power lifting with us and we have been doing a lot of running which has slimmed us all down. I think we will be ready for the new system.”

Starting as a rookie point guard in the Big Ten last year, what were the challenges you faced and how did that prepare you for this year?
Payne: “The biggest challenge was the speed of the game. Playing against real good players, such as Evan Turner. Having that experience and knowing how the game is and how to control it as a point guard.”

Other than Carver, where is your favorite place on campus?
Payne: “I would probably just say my house. That is kind of our `chill’ place and the place for us to all hang out. I also have to be honest; I like The Vine (Coralville). That is one of my favorite places to eat. “

As a team, you guys do a number of different community service activities throughout the year. What does it mean to give something back and personally, how much do you get out of it?
Payne: “I think it is huge. I have been to the hospital a few times with (John) Streif. Stuff like that I think it is huge. People look at us as role models and look up to all that we have which is cool. To give back and see how they are living life is huge. It’s enjoyable for us.”

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Do you have any embarrassing moment(s) from your freshman year that you can share?
Payne: “I would probably say my most embarrassing moment I have had was probably wedging a free throw on the side of the rim, which I did not know was possible. Anytime I shoot a free throw now all the guys remind me of that. It is pretty embarrassing.”

You grew up in the Chicago suburbs, but your family has since moved to Florida. What’s that been like and how many times have you been able to visit?
Payne: “I think I have been to my Florida house three times since they have been there for a few days at time. I haven’t been there a ton, but I’m not complaining about going to Florida from Iowa in the winter.”

What’s it like having a younger brother attempting to follow in your footsteps?
Payne: “I think it’s awesome. My brother is pretty good. I know people like him. He works hard and is always asking me for advice. I think he is doing the right things.”

How did you get into the flying small planes as a hobby?
Payne: “Ever since I was young my uncle flew fighter planes in the Air Force and then flew for United and he has always had small planes. So I have always been like, `Let’s Go Flying’. We go flying around the country. We flew to Georgia earlier this summer. We have gone to Florida. So I have always just been around it.”