PITTSBURGH, PA (WAFB) - LSU sophomore guard Henry Shortess has played a grand total of six minutes all season, but the walk-on and former University High School standout still plays a vital role to the Tigers' team chemistry and is living the dream at the NCAA tournament.
How much does it mean for you to be a part of this team?
"It's a tremendous experience," Shortess said. "I just really enjoyed sharing this with all the guys on the team and it means as much to everyone else as it does to me."
"We put a lot of hard work into this. We feel like we earned the right to be here and we're excited to take advantage of the opportunity that we have against NC State, who's a very good basketball team. We're going to have to play a very good game to have success against them," he added.
"I think I'm just a guy who can be a voice of positivity and encouragement. If I see a teammate who might be struggling with his shot or he doesn't look confident on the floor, then I think it's my job to maybe give him a pat on the back and offer some words of encouragement that might get them going. It's little things like that, like high-fiving everybody coming off the court, that I really love doing. That's my role on the team and I'm completely fine with that," Shortess explained.
When Hornsby hit the shot to beat Arkansas, I don't think anyone jumped higher off the bench than you and then when you guys loss to Auburn, I don't think I saw anyone more depressed in that locker room than you. Why?
"I guess I'm an emotional guy. I hurt because I know all the hard work that the coaches have put into the scouting, all the hard work that my teammates have put in. I just want to see them have success. It does hurt when you lose, I'm not going to lie," he said.
Did you notice that NC State has a Henry Shortess twin?
"Do they really? I did not know that. Are we of a similar size? Cool. Maybe we can arrange a shooting contest or something like that after the game. Have some fun with it. That's awesome," Shortess replied.
"It's the NCAA tournament and this is what you dream about ever since you started playing basketball and to be here, to have these experiences, it's something I'll remember forever, without a doubt," he added.
Tipoff is scheduled for 8:20 p.m. The game will be televised on TBS.