With the 2022 NBA Draft less than a month away,
BasketballNews.com will have you covered from top to bottom. The
NBA Draft Combine in Chicago began the pre-draft process for a
number of hopeful prospects as they try to break into the
I had the opportunity to catch up with Louisiana State wing
Darius Days, who averaged 13.7 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.5 steals
per game for the Tigers this past season. We discussed his path to
IMG Academy, his role on an NBA floor and his week at the
Prior to your time in LSU, you had deep Florida roots.
Could you start off with giving us an idea of what your childhood
was like growing up there?
Darius Days: "Honestly it was just really hot,
like anyone would think about Florida. I’m the youngest son of
three boys. I lived with my mother and father; we’re from the rural
area of Raleigh, Florida, probably the best place in Florida. There
isn’t much to the area where I’m from, nothing too much beyond
trees and nature."
When did you first start playing basketball, and when
did you realize you would have a serious future in the
Days: "I played youth leagues here and there
growing up, but I don’t think I started taking it super seriously
until around eighth or ninth grade. I didn’t really think I could
be really, really good until probably about 10th grade. That’s when
I thought, 'Oh I can really do something with this.' Being in the
gym constantly and playing for more and more prestigious teams on
the grassroots circuit and traveling around the country is when I
thought, 'I can take this to the next level.'"
You left Gainesville and moved to Bradenton to play at
IMG Academy, one of the premier programs in the country. How was
that transition for you? And what prompted you to make that
decision to transfer?
Days: "I felt like there was a certain ceiling
that you hit playing at that level. I felt like IMG, with their
national schedule, would definitely help me get ready for college.
The regimen helped too — I would eat breakfast in the morning and
then go right to practice, then to the weight room and then class.
That part really helped me get ready for the college life in
How do you feel the transfer to IMG helped your
preparation for the next level?
Days: "On the floor, I think it helped to play
with other high level players. That team had me, Jah’Mius Ramsey
(Texas Tech), Josh Green (Arizona), Silvio De Sousa
(Kansas/Chattanooga), Chol Marial (Maryland), etc. So being able to
compete with those guys and hold my own helped me get ready for the
You decided to play for coach Will Wade and LSU. What
was it about the program that enticed you to play
Days: "Baton Rouge is similar to Gainesville as
a college town. I fell in love with the campus, and I fell in love
with the people when I went on my official visit in October of
2017. They were playing Auburn (in a football game where LSU upset
No. 10 Auburn, 27-23). The game was insane, going there, sitting in
the box; seeing all the basketball players in the student section
cheering the football team on was an experience like no other. I
also wanted to play early as a freshman, and I think that LSU gave
me a better opportunity to do that than the other schools who were
For those who haven’t seen you play, how would you
describe your game?
Days: "I’m someone who will give 110% the whole
game, you know, play hard. I like to rebound out of area, shoot the
three-ball, and I like to mix it up with the trees and bang down
low. I think I’m a great team player, leading by example, helping
get people in the right spots and communicate on defense, I’m very
What did you focus on the most during your time in Baton
Rouge in terms of development? What are one or two skills that you
would like to focus on and improve on your game moving
Days: "Early on, I was an energy guy who would
come off the bench, give that spark and shoot threes. My sophomore
year, it kind of took a turn. I began to start more, but still
brought that same energy and shot-making. My junior year, I think I
began to focus on being more efficient, playing with guys like Cam
Thomas, Javonte Smart and Trendon Watford. I became the most
efficient I think I've been in my life. My senior year, I had the
ball in my hands a lot more; I got to the rim a lot more and got to
show my versatility more on both ends. Defensively, I switched a
bunch and switched 1-through-5. Going to the NBA, I want to get to
the rim a lot easier, be more consistent with my jump shot and
bring as much as I can to the table."
What role do you feel you can fulfill for an NBA team
early on in your career?
Days: "I think I can definitely be a
floor-spacer; I think thats what a lot of teams like about me. I
bring versatility on the defensive end, guarding 3-through-5. I’m
going to be able to shoot the three-ball at a consistent rate. I
bring 110% every night; I play hard for my guys, sacrificing my
body for the team. I do what I’m supposed to do, on and off the
What is one short-term and one long-term goal that you
have set for yourself?
Days: "Short-term, I want to stay in the gym as
much as possible. I want to get more comfortable with the ball, get
to the rim. Long-term, I want to play in the NBA at a high level
for as long as I can — 8, 9, 11-12 years. I want to play with the
best of the best every day for many years."
Could you take us through your daily routine currently
as you prepare for the NBA Draft?
Days: "I wake up in the morning, get a healthy
breakfast. From there, I go get a workout, I’ll go the track, run
some stadiums, work on my conditioning. Then, I go back to the gym
and shoot and work on ball-handling. In the afternoon it’s more
off-the-dribble, work, finishing, touch shots. Things like
Talk to me about how your week was in Chicago at the
Days: "I feel like I got to show people how
much I can play. In the G League Combine (Elite Camp), I played
mostly the 4 and sometimes a small-ball 5. I can play whatever my
team needs me to play. When I got the call up to the NBA Combine I
played primarily the 3. I feel like I got to show that I could play
multiple positions. I feel like in the NBA I’ll be playing mostly
the 4, so I’m very it excited. It was a fun opportunity for me. I
showcased a lot of things, and it helped build my confidence for my
workouts and the NBA Draft."
Who is one player you model your game after the
Days: "I’d say Draymond Green and P.J. Tucker.
Draymond because I’m a 6-foot-7 guy who can shoot the three-ball
and go out there and guard 1-through-5. He does all the little
things to help his team win. I feel like without Draymond a lot of
things wouldn’t move as smoothly. I think to live up to that
comparison there’s some things I have to work on; definitely
getting more comfortable bringing the ball up and making
split-second decisions. P.J. Tucker, it’s almost the same thing —
shooting and spacing the floor, he’s also very solid on the
defensive end as well. I like the way they carry themselves and the
heart that they play with."
Let's pretend that you've just entered an elevator with
a general manager of a team that's considering selecting you. What
is your elevator pitch as to why you're their
Days: "I’m telling them that I’m a hard worker,
whatever you need me to do I’m going to make sure I get it done.
Rain, sleet or snow I’m going to be at the gym."
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