Men's Basketball

Q&A With Jeff Viggiano

Junior Jeff Viggiano talks about life on and off the court.

Junior Jeff Viggiano talks about life on and off the court.

Dec. 2, 2004

Q: What are your pre-game rituals or superstitions?
A: I try to get here pretty early. I'm usually one of the first guys here. I just like to get here, relax and get ready for the game. I think I try to do something different before each game. I think my biggest superstition is not doing the same thing before every game.

Q: Who are you most looking forward to playing this season?
A: For me, UConn is always a big game. I grew up a UConn fan and they are one of the best teams in the country every year. This season, though, we play a lot of great teams this year.

Q: Since you grew up a UConn fan, what drew you to UMass?
A: I liked what the coaches had to say when they recruited me. They were trying to turn the program around and I wanted to be a part of that. I think that this year we have a great chance to do that.

Q: Who is the best player you've played against?
A: I've played against quite a few good players. I played against Ben Gordon (UConn) my freshman year and guarded him a few times. Over the summer, I played against Luol Dang (Duke) in pick-up games. Also, I played against Andre Emmett from Texas Tech last season.

Q: What is the best part about campus life at UMass?
A: Watching the World Series was one of the best things so far. Connecticut is kind of split between the Yankees and Sox and a lot of my friends from home are Sox fans. When I came up here, it was like nothing I'd ever experienced before. It's crazy how die-hard the fans are and when the Red Sox score the dorms would just rumble and you could hear people all over campus.

Q: Are you a fan of the Yankees or Sox?
A: I'm a Sox fan. You kind of have to be up here.

Q: What would you like to do with your degree in Sport Management and what do you like about the major?
A: I think I'd like to be an athletic director or something along those lines. You can't really complain when you're taking sport classes. They're all fun and they're all interesting. When you've been around sports all of your life, it's great just to go to college and learn more about things like the history of sports.

Q: Team-wise, what is the biggest difference between this year and last?
A: Probably our maturity and we just kind of picked up where we left off from last year. But our defense, we can tell already, is a lot better than it was last year.

Q: How does the freshman class look?
A: Very good. Everybody can play and that's a great asset to have. There's no drop-off from the starters to whoever is going to come off of the bench. All three of the freshmen coming in, I think are over 6-foot-8, and we have Stephan (Lasme) and Rashaun (Freeman) back, so it's a big team.

Q: How does the Mullins Center compare to other A-10 arenas?
A: It's one of the nicest arenas in the A-10, I think. These locker rooms are awesome and they have everything you could ask for in them. The court is really nice. It's big; you can fit a lot of people. Of course, we want to fill it up as much as we can this year and I think we're going to be able to do that if we can get out to a good start and we have a lot of good teams coming in, too. It's a great place to play. It has a fun atmosphere.

Q: Who are the toughest fans to play in front of?
A: Saint Joseph's last year was tough because their gym is so small that it's kind of like a high school gym. They packed it with wild students and they had a great team last year, so they were all hyped up before every game.

Q: Who is your favorite athlete?
A: Michael Jordan, of course. I watched him growing up and it's just amazing the things that he did when he was playing.

Q: How important is it to have Anderson back this season?
A: He's been here for a long time and he knows everything about what we're trying to do. He knows the program and the motion we're running and he's just a leader. He comes ready everyday to practice and games and he's ready for everything. We just feed off of him because he's our leader.

Q: What is your favorite food?
A: I'll eat pretty much anything. I like all kinds of different foods. I like seafood and steak and surf and turf.

Q: What is your favorite movie?
A: I like action movies and war movies. I'd have to say the Patriot

Q: What kind of music do you listen to?
A: I listen to everything. I'm not really picky about music. I don't have a favorite band. I'll listen to whatever can get me pumped up. Before games, the guys put in a lot of different rap CD's and that's fine with me

Q: What is your favorite TV show?
A: When it was on, I really enjoyed Seinfeld, but now the only TV I really watch is sports.




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