Friday, October 29, 2010

Meet Matt Ballard (again)

SpartanHoops published an interview with Matt, the new Spartan big, back in late June and we thought it was time to re-connect. So here's more on and from Matt:

SH - Witnessing Sunday's scrimmage, the play appeared more physical (especially on drives into the paint but also just in the paint itself) than previously. Is there a philosophy along the lines this season of 'no easy baskets'?

MB - We do not want to allow any easy baskets ever during the course of the game. Whichever team creates easier shots will usually win the game so our defense is geared towards no shots in the paint and to contest jumpshots.

SH - Do you feel you have any 'rust' because of your layoff or are you pretty much where you want to be with your performance at this point?

MB - I took some time off once I was not playing anymore but throughout last year I still played regularly in the mini gym 3-4 times a week. I worked really hard this summer to get back into college basketball shape as well as work on my offensive ability. I will never be satisfied with where I'm at but I feel I'm in a good position to help out the team this year.

SH - What will be your 'role' on the team this season?

MB - I will be a player with a lot of defensive energy and rebounding. I will also be expected to score in the post and hit open jump shots that will be created from our guards.

SH - What do see as your best basketball skills?

MB - Defense and rebounding have always been a strong point. I take a lot of pride in not letting an opposing player score on me. On the offensive end, I can face up a larger, quicker defender or I can score down on the block against a small defender.

SH - Is there anyone currently in the WAC who you played against either in high school or community college? Anyone who is an acquaintance or friend?

MB - I was teammates with Jeff Ledbetter at Irvine Valley College. I am excited to play against him in the same conference.

SH - Will your family be able to make it to any San Jose State games this season (they reside in Orange County)?

MB - My family will travel up to San Jose to watch us play in the Event Center a couple times and will possibly come on the road for a few away games. They love watching me play and I love having their support at my games.

SH - If for one day, you could assume the identity of any NBA basketballer, who would that be and why?

MB - I have always been a fan of Kevin Garnett growing up. His defensive energy and leadership drives his team. I like to face up in the post just as he does also.

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