In this series, we will be meeting the new additions to Scorers 1st who recently finished their respective college careers and now prepare to make the jump from college to the pros.
At 6-foot-10 and 230 pounds, Michael Bradley was a presence in the paint this season for Samford University after initially starting his college career at the University of Connecticut.
Bradley led Samford in rebounding (5.4 per game) and was the fourth-best scorer on the team (6.7 per game), while shooting 60% and playing 19 minutes per game.
Give us the scouting report on Mike Bradley. How would you best describe yourself as a player? I would best describe myself as a skilled, rebounding big man. Rebounding definitely gets me going in games and helps me set my own personal tone for the game. Also, I am more skilled than the average big man. My “go-to” shot on the low post is my hook shot. I think that it is very efficient. However, my midrange jump-shot is efficient as well. I can shoot out to the three as well as the common guard but have not taken 3-point shots in games because of the system I was in and simply because I was more effective on the post. I also think that I have a good, soft touch that isn’t found in a lot of big men. I am more of a power forward than a true center.
Looking back on your college career at Samford, what do you appreciate the most about that experience? The thing I enjoyed most was the journey and struggle of my college career. I had so many setbacks and obstacles come my way throughout my college career but through those experiences I learned a lot about myself. I learned that I was able to make through just about anything with God and hard work. What I liked best about Connecticut was the premier college atmosphere and being able to witness the great run that they had in the 2010-2011 season which ultimately led to an NCAA championship. What I liked most about Samford was the camaraderie amongst my teammates and brothers and the responsibility and expectations that the coaches had for me.
What goal/goals have you set as you consider your first year playing professionally? My main goal in my first year is to show people my full potential. I had so many setbacks in my college career that my true potential and skill-set was never really showcased all at once. One key aspect of my game that I think will really have a chance to be showcased at the next level is my jump-shot. I believe that my jump-shot is as good or better than the average guard. One of my primary focuses in my first year is to do anything to help the team that chooses me to win, whatever it takes. Also, I believe that my game would be more suited for a halfcourt type of game than the fullcourt/pressing system that we ran on my college team. I do not feel like my stats fully highlight the type of player I can be and I want to prove myself offensively.
Can you break down your offseason training schedule and routine? I’m taking this offseason very serious. To start off my days, every morning I run at least 2 miles, every day of the week. Next, I schedule a basketball workout with a trainer or I join a workout from various coaches around the Nashville area. If I join a workout it is to work on various parts of my game; I may join a guard workout or I may join a shooting or dribbling workout. Next, I play pickup, in Nashville there are many good colleges around so pickup games are much better than a lot of other places. I do not play pickup every day of the week because there aren’t good runs everyday but I play at least 4 days out of the week. Next, I lift 5 days out of the week, I am working to gain my weight back. I was down to 220 pounds last season but I am currently back up to 235 pounds. Then lastly, I spend time in the gym going half-speed to work on certain skills such as my touch and form.
In your life, who has helped influence you as a person/player and what words of advice have they shared?Along my journey there have been many people that have influenced me such as the people at UConn, Samford, TBCH, Tyner, my family and many more. However, the person with the biggest influence has definitely been my dad, Bob Smith. He actually doesn’t really know anything about basketball but he does know a lot about being a man and working hard. Since we started this basketball journey he has always told me that, “ It’s not about if you’re going to become a man, it’s about what kind of man you’re going to become”. I’ve applied this quote to so many situations in my life and it has really helped me through many situations. Also, although he doesn’t know much about basketball, he’s been to most of my games supporting me from high school games, AAU games, and college games all around the country (even in the Bahamas).
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