Feb. 10, 2005
Q: Where did your nickname "Big Deli" come from?
A: It's from when I was at basketball camp in the sixth grade back in Bristol Conn. My dad had made me a grinder and I was eating it at lunchtime when the coach asked me if I was going to finish that big deli sandwich. The name has been with me ever since.
Q: Who calls you "Big Deli"?
A: Everyone around calls me that now: friends, family, teammates, and the fans.
Q: How was the transition from high school to college?
A: It was tough. Playing in college is a whole different ball game. You can't even compare the way a high school game is played to how a college game is played.
Q: How do you feel playing so many minutes in these high-pressure games?
A: It's awesome. It gives me all sorts of confidence. Ever since the first game against Birmingham Southern when I went in with under a minute left and had to hit a big foul shot. For a freshman's first game, it was unbelievable. Since then, I have gotten a lot more comfortable in the offense and with my teammates, so it has been awesome.
Q: The atmosphere at the UConn game was incredible. What was it like playing in that game? Have you even played in an environment like that before?
A: That was the first time I have played in something like that and I'll never forget that experience for the rest of my life. Being from Connecticut, it was extra special to beat UConn.
Q: The fans seem to love you and you have your own cheer. How does that make you feel?
A: It's awesome. When you're out on the court and you hear everybody chanting your name it gets you right into the flow of the game and gives you so much more confidence out there. If you're rattled out there and everyone's chanting your name, it goes right away.
Q: Do the fans impact the game?
A: Oh definitely. Every little bit helps - whether it's the fans or your teammates rooting you on. Whatever you can get is inspiration to go out there and play even harder than you possibly can. It does wonders for your game.
Q: Do you have any superstitions or pre-game rituals?
A: After we go through our warm up, with about 48 minutes left, I'll go back to the locker room and just sit there by myself and try to get my mind right for the game.
Q: What would you like to see the Minutemen accomplish this year?
A: I would like to see us make the NCAA tournament. It's going to be hard work to get there and we know what we have to do. We have to keep working hard in practice like we have been doing and sooner or later we'll get there.
Q: What are you career goals?
A: Of course to win a championship, not only an A-10, but also we'd like to get to the Final Four, make our team nationally known and show every one what UMass is all about.
Q: Obviously you are a big guy and everyone is curious about one thing. How many wings from The Hangar can you eat?
A: Probably more than I can count.