Jan. 12, 2005
Q: You were #13 last year, why the switch to # 2 in your senior season?
A: I really wanted to wear #2 last year, but Gabe Lee had it before I got here. I have always worn number two growing up. So for the first season I had to pick a number and I just chose 13.
Q: As a senior, what kind of leadership role do you have this year?
A: We have a lot of young guys this year. I've got a lot of experience and I feel like I know how to win. So, I feel its my job to help my teammates learn how to win.
Q: After winning your first two games this season, what is the biggest key to keeping the momentum going throughout the year?
A: We have to continue to play hard and play defense. Those were two things we didn't do well last year. It's both intensity and technical stuff like being in the right places on the court. Being a good defender isn't always about being on the ball; it's also about things off the ball. We've been working on that a lot in practice. If we play good defense, we'll win games because we've got enough players who can score.
Q: Obviously every player loves playing in front of the home fans, but what's you're favorite place to play outside of the Mullins Center?
A: I'd have to say St. Joes. It's a small gym, always sold out and packed. There's always a lot of excitement with those games.
Q: How would you describe your role on the floor this year? What things in particular has coach Lappas asked you to do?
A: I just go out and play hard every game. My role is to be a leader defensively. Coach Lappas hasn't told me to do one specific thing. I think it's more about working hard together as a team.
Q: Sometimes a player acts differently when they get out on the court. Maybe they're more active or intense than in real life, others may get quiet and focused while they are more animated off the court? Are you the same person on and off the court?
A: I'm very different on and off the court. Off the court I like to joke around and have fun. When I'm on the court, I don't like to joke around - I like to stay focused on the game. So yeah, I'm a totally different person on and off the court
Q: People often say that chemistry is one of the biggest factors for success in athletics. Do you agree and how would you describe the chemistry on this team?
A: I believe chemistry is very important in what we are trying to accomplish here. Every practice, every game, every day, the chemistry is getting better. We hang out a lot off the court as well so that helps.
Q: How did your time at Cecil Community College prepare you for life not only as a basketball player, but as a person?
A: I matured faster. Coming out of high school, I didn't take work seriously so I had to go to junior college. Cecil helped me to realize how important school work is because if you don't do your work, you don't play. So when I came here, I already understood that. As a basketball player, I'd have to say shooting from three-point range. In high school I never shot three pointers, I only drove to the lane. At Cecil we shot a lot of threes, so my shot improved.
Q: What drew you to UMass after you graduated from Cecil?
A: I took a visit and I felt with the players on this team, in two years we could turn things around and do big things in the Atlantic 10. That's why I chose Umass.
Q: The ESPN College Basketball 2005 video game rates you a 69 overall. Do you think that's a fair rating and if not what would you rate yourself? Have you ever played the game?
A: No, it's a terrible rating. If I had to rate myself, I'd be a 100. I've never played the game, but I've watched my teammates play it. I don't really know how to play the games and when I do, I rather play against the computer.
Q: Did you play any other sports in high school. If so, was basketball your favorite and or best sport?
I used to play football too. As far as what I was better at, I don't know. People had different opinions about that. I played basketball longer than I played football, so basketball was defiantly my favorite.
Q: Where did you develop most of your skills?
A: Actually, my game developed the most at community college. In high school there wasn't another scoring threat on my team, so my coach turned me loose and let me do whatever I wanted. Going through junior college I got some discipline and some serious coaching, and my skills really developed.
Q: Who has made the biggest impact on your life either on or off the basketball court?
A: I'd have to say my mother. She did everything for me. She worked two jobs and wasn't home a lot. She was a single parent and raised two kids. It wasn't easy. Coaches also made an impact, but mainly just my mother.
Q: If you have the pick of the movies for the team bus ride, what are you putting in and why?
A: That's hard because I like a lot of movies. I'd probably put in the movie "Friday" because I know everybody on the team likes that one.
Q: What would like to do when you graduate from UMass in the spring?
A: Hopefully, I can continue to play basketball, maybe go overseas to play. I'm majoring in sociology right now, but I'm not sure what I'd like to do with that yet. I'd be interested in coaching. With coaching though, it's a long process. You've got to start at the bottom with only a little pay. I may just want to go out and work.
Q: Was it a tough adjustment coming to a new school as a junior and how did you adapt to your new surroundings?
A: It was a big adjustment. I was far away from home, but playing basketball helped me get through it. I did a lot of things with the team. I had a lot in common with the guys and soon, I felt right at home.
Q: On average, how much free time down you have and what do you with it?
A: I really don't have any free time and if I did have some it would probably be used to sleep. I don't get any sleep during the season.