Jan. 12, 2005
Q & A with Lawrence Carrier
By Eric Lipschutz, Media Relations Student Assistant
Q : You were recruited by some of college basketballs premiere programs including Arizona State, Texas and USC. What made you decide to attend UMass over all of these other schools?
A: It was the right fit for me, with the right coach and the right environment. I went to high school in Connecticut, so I knew I liked the area.
Q: You're originally from Southern California, but as you said, you went to high school in Connecticut prior to UMass. What are the biggest differences between the two regions and how has it been adjusting to these notoriously cold and snowy New England winters?
A: The weather is definitely the biggest difference. Back at home it is eighty degrees year round. During the winters out here I am like a bear. I try to stay indoors as much as I possibly can. The only time I come outside during the winter is when I absolutely have to!
Q: Who were some of the people who first influenced you to play basketball?
A: My brothers have had the biggest influence on my career. I have four older brothers who all played basketball. I pretty much picked up the game because of them.
Q: Growing up, besides basketball were there any other sports you enjoyed playing?
A: When I was young I was involved in many other sports besides basketball. I played football, baseball, soccer, basically any sport that I could get my hands on. As I got older, I began to concentrate more and more on basketball. However, I did also play football in as well as basketball while I was in high school. On the Salisbury football team I played both quarterback and wide receiver.
Q: You have a versatile game with the size and strength to play inside, but you can also step out to the perimeter. How much does this versatility benefit your overall game and what do you think is the biggest attribute you bring to the UMass basketball team?
A: I always try to provide the team with a spark coming off the bench. When the starters are not playing up to their potential, I try to come in and give them a little boost. Hopefully, my teammates will thrive off my energy. As to playing on the inside or outside, I just try to do the things which will get the job done and help the team. If they need me to rebound, then I will rebound. If they need me to play outside so that I can step out and hit a three, then that is what I will do. If I ever decide or ever get the opportunity to take my game to the next level, then hopefully people can see that I can play multiple positions and that will serve beneficially to me in the future.
Q: Much has been made about how your game has steadily improved since the beginning of the season. What are some of things you need to do in order to become an even better player in the future?
A: Everybody needs to work on their game. No basketball player should ever be totally satisfied with themselves. In terms of my particular game, the main thing I have to work on is continuing to improve my overall conditioning. Practice has really helped me to better all aspects of my game. Going out there everyday, working with all of my coaches, and developing chemistry with my teammates has really helped me a lot.
Q: Is there any professional or college basketball player past or present that you believe has a similar game to your own? Do you model your game after any particular person?
A: Not really. There can only be one of me, so I don't really try to sit around and mimic parts of my game off of anybody else.
Q: Did you set any personal or team goals going into this season? Six games into the year, do you feel as if you and your teammates are on the way to accomplishing any of these objectives?
A: Personally, going into this season, I wanted to get into much better shape. The overall goal of the team was to make it into the NCAA tournament. In terms of progress so far, getting into better shape is something I have and will continue to work hard at. And concerning the team's goal, yeah, we're going to make it to the tournament.
Q: Outside of playing basketball, what is your favorite thing about being a student at UMass?
A: I've really enjoyed getting to experience all that is involved within life on campus. Also, the opportunity the school is giving me to eventually earn a degree.
Q: What was it like playing in front of the crowd at the Mullins Center against UConn? Have you ever played in an atmosphere like that before?
A: That was probably the best game I have ever been involved in ever. Beating UConn was one of the best feelings I have ever had in my entire life. I can't remember ever playing in a game with that type of atmosphere and excitement ever before. That game was definitely one of the highlights of my career.
Q: Now that you have had some experience playing on this level, what is the biggest difference between playing high school and college basketball?
A: The competition is the probably the biggest difference. It is relentless. To be successful on this level you have to come out and play hard every single day.
Q: You suffered through various knee and ankle injuries during your high school career. How difficult was it dealing with these ailments and how were you able to overcome them to now be playing Division I basketball?
A: I always knew I would be playing in Division I. I just had to find it within myself to go through with it. I did that by never letting any of my past injuries put me down.
Q: Despite missing a number of games due to injury, you are the Salisbury School's all-time scoring leader with 1,355 career points. How much pride do you take in this accomplishment?
A: It was a lot of fun playing at Salisbury. I take a lot of pride in being the school's all-time leading scorer. But now I am playing on a different level and I am trying to help my team make it to the NCAA tournament.
Q: NCAA rules prohibited you from playing last season. What was the most difficult part about having to sit out all of last year?
A: The hardest part of that was not being able to be out there with my teammates. It was difficult knowing that I could not help the team when they were struggling or celebrate with them following a win.
Q: The UMass basketball team has already traveled to both Seattle and Miami this season. Do you personably enjoy traveling long distances from Amherst to play away games? What are some of the things that both the players and coaches do while on the on the road?
A: Overall traveling on the road is often pretty boring when considering long plane rides and sitting around the hotel all day long. However, all of that becomes worth it once we step on the court. For us going on the road is strictly business. We know we have to do.
Q: Are there any teams within the Atlantic 10 conference that you are especially looking forward to playing this season?
A: Probably George Washington because so far they have established themselves as one of the premiere teams within our league. We are eager to prove that our team has the ability to hold our own against quality opponents within our conference.