Denver Nuggets guard Emmanuel Mudiay had an up-and-down rookie season, but the “Congo Kid” says the lessons he learned in during his first year in the NBA will jumpstart his sophomore campaign.

“There’s no surprises,” Mudiay said in reference to his second season.

Emmanuel admitted that he learned some things in his rookie year. He said he learned how to pace himself, touching specifically on the fact that he now knows how to work hard while making sure his body is in check.

The organization expects big things from Mudiay this year, especially after he showed so much progress in the second half of last season. He told media that he is ready to live up to those expectations.

“I worked on everything really,” Mudiay said during media day on Monday. “I’m trying to become more efficient.”

He then when on to talk about how his rookie season allowed him to become more comfortable socially around his teammates.

“That’s one thing I’m really going to have to do this year is being more vocal,” Mudiay said. “Being more of a leader. You know, challenging guys, challenging myself; that’s one thing I’m going to have to really do this year to get to the next level.”

Mudiay has seemed to really take more responsibility on his shoulders coming into the new year, saying he wants to be a leader for the boys.

“We need a voice on this team,” Mudiay said, “and I’m going to try to speak up.”

Emmanuel gave off that “new kid on the block” vibe last year. He was always pretty quiet and kept to himself; however, this year, from the sample size I’ve seen, there is a big difference.

He was smiling and excited about the coming year, making it seem like he ‘s finally settled into his home in the Mile High City.

Mudiay got better as the season progressed last season, and hopefully that progression will carry on into the 2016-17 season, a season with high expectations for both the Nuggets and Mudiay.

While he didn’t light up the stat sheet in his rookie year, he learned a lot about both success and failure, which will hopefully make for impressive play in his second season.