Wednesday, September 30, 2009

JJ Hickson Healthy and Looking To Contribute

Former Wolfpack big man, JJ Hickson, has already faced quite a few ups and downs in his first NBA season. Hickson got plenty of opportunities early for the Cleveland Cavaliers, however, a back injury that he kept silent began to wear him down. Slowly but surely, the coaches lost confidence, and JJ lost playing time. Finally JJ talked to a team doctor about his aching back and was given a MRI that showed enough damage (stress reaction) to convince doctors to shut him down. Hickson missed 20 games, and when he did come back he wasn't the same as slight pain continued to linger.

"When it started giving me problems I didn't say anything, not because I was scared but more because I thought it was just a tweak and it would go away..."I'm not saying I took things for granted, but I was always just expected to have my athleticism and when my back started hurting it was tough to not be able to run and jump. It was hard for me." Hickson told The Cleveland Plain Dealer in an interview last week.

This summer JJ had hoped to get some run, and get back into playing shape while participating in the Cavs summer league. Those plans were scratched when JJ's back started acting up again. He was forced to rest and allow it to fully heal. Now, almost three months later, Hickson is all healed up and itching to get back on the floor this season. He is already participating in workouts and is says he is back to 100%.

"It's not giving me problems anymore, I feel really good," Hickson said. "I'm at the point where I am confident I'll be able to surpass what I did last year." he said.

The Cavs, obviously, are taking Hickson's words to heart, as they have left open a spot for Hickson to win minutes. The Cavs had the option to go out and sign a player that they know would come in healthy and with more experience that could give them one less worry, they opted against it. They believe in JJ Hickson and want to see him develop into a true rotation player for them this season, something JJ knows and is driven by, and motivating him to participate in extra workouts with Lebron James.

"To be with Bron working out and to see the high expectations he has of me is a real confidence builder," Hickson said. "Last year I felt like I was playing on pins and needles but this year I'm already feeling a lot more comfortable and my game is developing more."

quotes/photo courtesy of Cleveland Plain Dealer (


23 Responses to "JJ Hickson Healthy and Looking To Contribute"
  1. Anonymous said...
    September 30, 2009 at 1:14 PM

    I hope I am wrong but I don't think they will let him see enough time

  2. etoy said...
    September 30, 2009 at 1:51 PM

    I hope JJ does well ,but I don't see him making a splash I am afraid.

  3. backdpack said...
    September 30, 2009 at 1:52 PM

    Go get'em JJ. We are all pulling for you.

  4. Dof87 said...
    September 30, 2009 at 2:01 PM

    Good Luck JJ. Hope you have success and fun this year.

  5. primacyone said...
    September 30, 2009 at 2:29 PM

    If he stays healthy, he'll get there. No question. JJ's a BEAST.

  6. Bob Saffronetti said...
    September 30, 2009 at 2:45 PM

    JJ will be Shaq's Scottie Pippen and maybe that Bonbon kid will get some rebounds and technicals...

  7. morpheus647 said...
    September 30, 2009 at 2:55 PM

    Even if he doesn't make a splash (I personally think that he will because he was pretty dang good when he was healthy last year) he is still getting to play with Lebron AND Shaq everyday. That has to be awesome.

  8. Anonymous said...
    October 1, 2009 at 1:41 AM has a story about NC State Hoops adding a member??

    The way it's set up, I'm assuming it's not anyone huge or anything, but I was curious to know who it was.
    My gut is telling me it might not even be a player, but an assistant coach?? So what's up guys?

  9. Anonymous said...
    October 1, 2009 at 1:42 AM

    And just reread it, and it definitively says hoops staff adds new member...but still, wouldn't mind knowing what's up...

  10. Wolfpack Hoops said...
    October 1, 2009 at 8:22 AM

    We've had this information for a while but it hasn't been made official and we were told to not put it out there until it was, however, if other people are reporting it I guess it's fair game.

    When Justin Gainey left, we reported that Levi Watkins was going to take his job. Leaving the job of 'video coordinator' unfilled. They had a freeze on job hirings at NC State which is why the position has been unfilled for so long. There were rumbling about Ryan Harrow's brother in-law taking the job (he is now the W.O.G. head coach), but about a month ago we were told that former Pack PG Tony Bethel wold be next in line for the job. We ran into Bethel not too long ago and spoke with him for a bit. We'll have a story and more when it actually becomes "official"

  11. Eric said...
    October 1, 2009 at 8:46 AM

    Adam Zagoria...Zagsblog reports no NCSU for Leslie:

    I caught up briefly this morning with Raleigh (NC) Word of God forward C.J. Leslie before he headed into school.

    The 6-foot-8, 205-pound Leslie had an in-home visit Wednesday night with Seton Hall head coach Bobby Gonzalez and assistant Dermon Player.

    “It was good. It was real good,” Leslie said.

    Asked if he was planning an official visit to South Orange, N.J., Leslie said: “I don’t know yet. I haven’t scheduled any visits yet.”

    Leslie said he’s also considering Kentucky, Florida, Maryland and North Carolina.

  12. ppack3 said...
    October 1, 2009 at 9:48 AM

    This is turning into the John Wall Saga, all over again. I think Wall was a bit put off by all of the talk about NCSU, regardless of his feelings prior. Leslie will get the same press about his "hometown" school. We run the risk of doing more harm than good with the whole 'Leslie-watch-2009.'

    I'm not saying that he is even still thinking of coming to run with the Pack, but the speculation has to get old after a while.

    No matter. I wish C.J. well wherever he may chose to go to school (except UNC, obviously).

  13. Anonymous said...
    October 1, 2009 at 11:04 AM

    Looks like dan wiederer of the fayetteville observer strikes again. Ryan harrow truly committed?

  14. Anonymous said...
    October 1, 2009 at 12:20 PM

    From what you can read on this site, he is committed to NCSU.

  15. backdpack said...
    October 1, 2009 at 12:21 PM

    Pack Pride is reporting about Cothron. Any input?

  16. ppack3 said...
    October 1, 2009 at 1:11 PM

    Backdpack, What is PP reporting on Cothron?

  17. Anonymous said...
    October 1, 2009 at 1:54 PM

    Well yes but this site kept saying wall was coming when I told you all not going to happen!
    The Real Annon

  18. Anonymous said...
    October 1, 2009 at 1:57 PM

    I am from midwest read all cleveland papers hope I am wrong but jj is an afterthought at best.

  19. Dof87 said...
    October 1, 2009 at 2:07 PM

    NEWS! Cothron has not made a decision yet. (sorry, couldn't help myself)

  20. Wolfpack Hoops said...
    October 1, 2009 at 2:28 PM

    Pretty sure this site never claimed Wall was coming to NC State.

  21. Anonymous said...
    October 1, 2009 at 3:50 PM

    PP is saying that Cothron has a top 3. Bama, Tennessee and State. And he said those might not be his final 3 schools, and he has no leader.

  22. Anonymous said...
    October 2, 2009 at 8:45 AM

    Well thought we were talking JJ here?

  23. Wolfpack Hoops said...
    October 2, 2009 at 8:55 AM

    ^^ Cothron told us that NC State is his leader. He told Pack Pride that he has no leader. What does that mean? Well either he's changing his mind a lot, or he's keeping his options open. Look, the kid is at every single State home game, he's close w/ Coach Lowe, Ryan Harrow and with the NC State team. The staff has believed we've been leading for a while now, either Luke has completely changed his mind, or he's wants to keep his options open. Why, you ask?

    I think there is still a question about whether or not the staff lands Leslie, and if so, what does that mean with Cothron. Does Cothron want to be here if Leslie is here? He's already talked about wanting to play as a freshman. There is a lot of time left to decide but I think it won't be long until some pieces start falling into place, or the picture at least becomes a little more clear.


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