Oklahoma forward Andrew Fitzgerald has been a core contributor for the Sooners this season. The Baltimore native is averaging 13.4 points and 5 rebounds per game and his inside scoring has been the key to allowing leading scorer Steven Pledger more space on the perimeter.
Fitzgerald spoke with SoonerNation about OU’s recent struggles, his shooting ability and his hometown's most famous TV show.
SoonerNation: When you’re in the midst of a losing streak, how do you stay into it?
Fitzgerald: With me I just stay humble, stay who I am. I can’t get myself down or try to force things in the next game. Just stay calm and keep working hard. We have to eliminate the little things and we’ll have a better opportunity to win games.
SoonerNation: What are those little things?
Fitzgerald: Watching film today, it’s that one little breakdown we will have. One guy messes up and they’ll get a easy shot, we have to eliminate that, not let teams get easy shots and to just stay positive. We have plenty of games left.
SoonerNation: Do you feel like your mental toughness is being tested?
Fitzgerald: Yes, this is a big mental test for us the next seven games and how we react to the next seven games.
SoonerNation: How did you develop your ability to score?
Fitzgerald: Coming here during the summer, shooting around and getting a nice rhythm in the mid-range and inside.
SoonerNation: When did you realize that would have to be the bread and butter of your game?
Fitzgerald: Well a lot of guys are going to be taller than me, more athletic than me and I had to get into better positions for me, scoring-wise. I realized having a shot consistently would really help me out with my game.
SoonerNation: Tell me what it was like growing up in Baltimore?
Fitzgerald: It was interesting, saw a lot of good players, played with a lot of good players. Guys like Donte Greene (Syracuse, Sacramento Kings), Malcolm Delaney (Virginia Tech), Josh Selby (Kansas, Memphis Grizzlies), I played with a lot of good players. It was a great experience being around them.
SoonerNation: How often do people talk to you about The Wire?
Fitzgerald: (laughing) A lot of people come up to me and ask about The Wire. The school I went to, they were shooting The Wire right down the street so I saw a lot of actors from The Wire.
SoonerNation: What do you tell people about it? What is the No. 1 thing they want to know?
Fitzgerald: Is Baltimore really like that? And my response is, yeah. It can really get tough out there. I went to those areas mainly for basketball, I try to stay away from that area as much as I can. It can really get tough down there, in the areas they go, it’s real. I’m surprised they’d even send actors down there to shoot that stuff. I guess it is a way for people to understand people from Baltimore and people from The Wire so I guess they had no problem with it.
SoonerNation: Obviously you have the violence part of it but how accurate was the language?
Fitzgerald: The accent was great, they had great accents and a couple guys from [Washington] DC were in The Wire. It was a good mix, a perfect series, I wish they’d come out with another one.