Jesse Newell: I read for a while you had a 4.0 GPA in high school.
Royce Woolridge: Oh yeah. JN: Did you continue that? Was it 4.0 at the end?
RW: Well, see what happened was, senior year came and you start to get a little bit lazy. So I would say toward the end, it might not have been a 4.0.
JN: We can’t prove that, though.
RW: No, there’s no proof. But word on the street is that it might not be a 4.0.
JN: So senior-itis may or may not have hit Royce Woolridge.
RW: (laughs) You never know. We’ll never know what happened.
JN: I read also that part of the reason you came to KU is you watched KU play Arizona in a game on TV and saw Mario Chalmers playing against Jerryd Bayless. Do you remember that?
RW: Yeah, I remember that. I had already really liked Kansas because of my family, but I watched them play Arizona. And Jerryd Bayless, of course, where I’m from is a big name. Everybody knows Jerryd where I’m from. I remember it was Russell Robinson and Mario Chalmers just killing him on defense. It was just exciting to see that. That just made me even more like, ‘Wow, Kansas is the place that I need to be.’
JN: What’s the earliest memory you have of remembering something Kansas? Obviously, you grew up in Arizona.
RW: I probably started watching Kansas when I was a freshman in high school, seeing the championship team and the years leading up to that were my biggest memories.
JN: Who would play you in a movie?
RW: I think looks-wise, Denzel Washington would be the one to play me. But I don’t know who else. Maybe Will Ferrell?
JN: Will Ferrell?
RW: Yeah, one of those two.
JN: Is there a little bit of resemblance there?
RW: Yeah, I think the hair. I think our hair is really close. You can see it a little bit?
JN: Yeah, I can kind of see it. Do your friends say it, too?
RW: Yeah, all the time. I get it all the time. It’s weird.
JN: (laughing) That’s what I wondered, too.
JN: What did you want to be when you were 10 years old?
RW: I think I wanted to be a singer. But I couldn’t sing. But I wanted to be a singer. That’s what I wanted to do when I was 10. I made these little tapes and everything.
JN: You made tapes? Tell me about that.
RW: I was little, and my mom bought me a little recording thing, and I thought I could sing, but it didn’t go well.
JN: Did your parents, after they heard you sing, tell you, ‘Hey ... ’
RW: Yeah, ‘Maybe you should stick to basketball.’ So that’s what I did.
JN: It all turned out well, right?
RW: Yeah, it turned out well.
JN: What’s a TV show that I might be surprised that you watch?
RW: The Nanny. I love The Nanny.
[Ed. note — Not sure if it's this one of this one. Probably the top one.]
JN: Any reason for that?
RW: Because ... I don’t know. I just love The Nanny. That’s my show. It’s weird, I know.
JN: People make fun of you for that?
RW: Oh yeah, I get it for that?
JN: Who makes fun of you?
RW: My friends. They’re like, ‘Why do you watch The Nanny?’ I don’t know. It’s just intriguing to me.
JN: If you had to live in one TV show, which one would it be.
RW: The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. For sure.
JN: Why’s that?
RW: Because he’s awesome. And he just lives the life. I don’t know. I just think that’s be a really cool life to live.
JN: What’s the first thing you remember about meeting Bill Self?
RW: He’s really smooth. He’s a really smooth, like suave guy. I’ll always remember that. Like how he talks and everything about him is real smooth — how he walks and everything.
JN: Can you give me an example? When you first saw him, did you notice that?
RW: You can just tell. He has like an aura, like he’s the man. You can tell, just by the way he walks and he talks, you already know, ‘That’s the man.’ That’s another reason why I came here, because when you get a certain aura from a coach like that, I knew, ‘OK, that’s who I want to coach me.’
JN: From Day One, you knew he was the man?
RW: Yeah. He just had that sense, the way he presents himself.
JN: What’s a food you can’t live without?
RW: Actually, coming from Phoenix, we have really good Mexican food, so I love me some Mexican food. Like a good burrito every now and then. I couldn’t live without that.
JN: Found anything good in Lawrence yet? Anything good to fill in?
RW: Not really. There’s this place called Julioberto's (in Phoenix). It’s amazing. Here, there’s really no good Mexican food.
JN: What’s the best thing they make?
RW: They make these things called California Burritos.
JN: It doesn’t sound authentic.
RW: (laughs) It doesn’t, but it is. It’s like carne asada and they put a little bit of potatoes in there and other stuff. I don’t even know what’s in there. All I know is it’s delicious.
JN: What’s the worst screwup you’ve had in a basketball game?
RW: That’s a good question. I’m usually good. I’m sure there’s been games where I’ve missed the game-winning free throw or the game-winning shot or fouled somebody at the wrong time, but I try to forget about those. (laughs)
JN: What’s something not many people know about you?
RW: That’s a good question. What is something that people don’t know about me? I like to dance a lot. I like to get jiggy all the time. No matter what, I’m always dancing. Sometimes I’m in my room all by myself dancing. Don’t know why. Sometimes, you just feel it.
JN: What’s your best dance?
RW: I do a pretty mean Running Man. It’s pretty mean.
JN: How does that go?
RW: Oh, I can’t tell you. You’re going to have to see it.
JN: Is it on YouTube or something?
RW: No, you can’t look it up. You’re just going to have to find me one day.
JN: Where did you learn the Running Man from? Is it something you’re taught?
RW: You just watch TV. The Fresh Prince does it a lot.
JN: Oh OK. I’ll look up Fresh Prince. This could be a YouTube thing here.
RW: Maybe it could.
JN: Have people made fun of you for dancing by yourself?
RW: Oh yeah, I get made fun of all the time for dancing by myself. But, you know, sometimes you just get that urge to get jiggy, and that’s what I do.
JN: Keeping it real, huh?
RW: (smiles) Keeping it real.