Sept. 9, 2011
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -
Matt Roth is entering his senior season with the Hoosiers and is one of best three-point shooters in the Big Ten Conference. He boasts a career three-point field goal percentage of 37.2 percent and tied an Assembly Hall record by making nine triples against Ohio State during his freshman season.
Roth sat down with IUHoosiers.com to talk about basketball and things enjoys off the court.
On his mentality when he gets on the court?
MR: "Depends on what position we are in; depending on the practice or game; what is the situation? Are we up or are we down? all that kind of stuff. Who is on the court with me? And making sure that I know exactly what's going on to make our team successful when I'm on the court."
You have a very even keel personality, have you ever played angry before when your out on the floor?
"I think I have played angry at times but even though I am considered to be even keel I believe is what you had said. It doesn't take anything for me to be a competitor. And I am all about winning, that's the bottom line. It's not necessarily an anger situation, it's that fire that's lit inside of me to compete and do whatever is necessary for us to win."
On adding aspects to his game:
"That has always been a thing in his mind that I need to continue to work on since day one when I got here and I've continued to work on it. Its just a matter of stepping out on the court in situations where I'm confident in what I can do and my teammates are confident in what I can do. And I feel like I've worked really hard to do that in the offseason not just this year, but building up to it."
Who are some of the guys either in the NBA or who are in college before you got to college that you really try to watch and emulate?
On when he realized he could play Division I basketball:
"Well growing up in central Illinois I saw a lot of Bradley games. I saw Kyle Krover come through and play many times along with his brother. I have always been a big Ray Allen fan, just the way he carries himself and the way he approaches his work ethic and how he approaches what he is going to be doing in the game. That's always been something that I kind of always admired about him."
"After my freshmen year I started to get a lot of interest from smaller Division I schools and that really just kind of opened the door for it. And it really took off from there followed by another good sophomore season and then joining Indiana Elite. At that point, it really became clear that I could play at the top level and really had an opportunity to make something of myself."
On playing with good players day in and day out to help yourself improve:
"I think at the high school level it makes a huge difference who you are working with, who you are playing with. I was very blessed to have a group of guys that I've played with basically my entire life. Growing up and playing with them, we didn't necessarily have the talent, the size and all that stuff to beat everybody that we played, but we had something else that they maybe didn't have or they lacked at all times, that was just the heart and how we played the game, and the way we understood the game. That was something that, from an early age, carried all the way through my playing time here. It's something that stuck with me and kind of made me the player that I am today."
On playing against Verdell Jones III in high school:
"We only played one time in high school. It was for the third and fourth place game. We both felt our teams should have been playing in the championship game. I believe Verdell fouled out in his earlier game and both of us saw late leads slip away. So we got to play each other. At the time, we both knew each other through basketball for quite some time. It was fun getting to compete against him and at that point, I had no idea how our relationship would blossom from there to going to the same school and playing together for four years. It has been another great opportunity to play with a great player like Verdell."
On what college team he followed growing up as a kid:
"I was not stuck or tied down on one team. Now, I have my pro teams I am die hard for including the Bulls, the Bears, the Blackhawks, and the Red Sox. I'm out there with Boston, but every other team is from Chicago. My dad wasn't the kind of guy who would not watch a specific team because they were not playing well. I don't think I really stuck with one team or a specific set of players. It was simply a matter of wanting to watch good basketball."
On whether he followed Indiana when he was really young:
"Yeah I definitely did. I grew up in the heart of Big Ten country and watched Indiana's games when they were on CBS. I watched them at least once a year when they played Kentucky and a few other games here or there. Once I got to high school and schools began to recruit me, I obviously started paying more attention to each of those schools when possible."
On what the support of his parents means to him and how they have helped him as a young adult:
"My parents have been there literally since day one. They never have pushed me to do anything except be the most successful person I can be in life. They want to see me do well in basketball, but the bottom line is they want to see me do well in life. Something they have instilled in me through sports is how to work hard. I was blessed not only with my parents, but with a group of guys I played with from second grade on. It wasn't just my parents I had looking out for me. I had guys on my team whose parents were parenting me as well. My team was such a unique situation. As I continue to progress, my parents were there for me. They thought of the questions I did not necessarily think to ask when I was recruited or in situations in life when it comes to losing a loved one or something like that. They were right there when they knew I was in pain. My parents taught me how to handle tough situations to the best of my ability."
On his siblings and the support they have showed him throughout his basketball career:
"I can't remember many of my games where at least one if not all three of my siblings were in attendance. They have been a huge part of my life and are my number one fans along with my parents. It is fun talking to them. One of my sisters is a year behind me in college and she always tells me when IU is playing, her and her roommates watch the game. She goes to school at Bradley in Peoria, Ill. To see my siblings' support grow as they grow as people and can express their support more really makes our childhood stand out.
"Seeing my brother following in my footsteps by loving sports and working so hard at basketball to where he now is starting is freshman year at Augustana College really means a lot to me. To see him living out his dreams the same way I am and to see how big of a role model I was to him means a lot, especially with the success he has had and the success he will have in years to come.
"My youngest sister is still in high school and my parents will be the ones to tell you she gives them their gray hair. Her energy and her passion is something you can't take away from her. It is unique to her. She plays a couple different sports in high school and loves coming down to Bloomington to see me play. She loves being around me when I am able to go home. She will complain, but she will get up at five in the morning and go fishing with me. It is great to see how close we really are as a family. That closeness extends to my entire family and not just my parents and siblings. My grandparents have supported me in every decision I have made my entire life. I could not ask for a better family."
On his hobbies:
"I am an avid sports fan. I have grown to like baseball and hockey. A couple of my friends in graduate school are trying to get me to follow USA soccer. If I am sitting at home or here with a few friends, there is nothing better than going fishing. I love taking my boat out with my dad, my brother, or anyone I can get to go with me. Fishing is my number one hobby. My girlfriend plays volleyball, so I guess that is becoming a hobby of mine."
On who on the team he has fished with:
"A lot of the guys want to go out and go fishing. They guy I have probably fished with the most is Tom Pritchard. He is a character when he is fishing. All the parents can relate to this: Tom only fishes with the kid's poles with animations on them. All six foot nine of him and he is using a two-foot fishing pole and bobber, but he is catching fish. I have been on the lake with Derek Elston, Verdell Jones, and Will Sheehey. It's fun when we go because it is not just a bunch of guys fishing, it is a competition. We trash talk and it is fun to see how truly competitive we are. Nothing beats going out on the lake with my mom or dad and being able to sit back and relax on the water with them."
On the three guests he would take to dinner:
"I would have to go with my grampa Maley. My next guest would be my cousin Brian Munz who was a firefighter I lost my freshman year in a fire. My final guest would be one my really good friend Evan Knovlauchm, who I lost my senior year in a car accident during basketball season. That was really the first time I had lost anyone who was close to me. Those three, along with Steve Kerr who hit that game winning free-throw line jumper to clinch against the Jazz in the 1997 playoffs would be three good guests. I can never say I simply would not love to have dinner with my family either."
On his favorite movie:
"I like a lot of movies, especially action movies. But I will have to say the classic Tommy Boy is my favorite movie."
On his favorite actor:
"Either Chris Farley or Denzel Washington is my favorite actor."
On his favorite meal:
"Just about anything my mom cooks. My dad grills out often and he makes grilled fish or chicken. Potato casserole or green bean casserole at home is probably my favorite."
On how he graduated in three years:
"I do not think I did anything special. I was here in Bloomington working out and taking classes during the summer. Then all of sudden they told me I had a semester left and I could take 15 hours and graduate in three years. I said let's do it! I knew I was ahead of schedule, but I did not realize I was a full year ahead of schedule. It was the opportunity of a lifetime to graduate in three years, work on a master's, and play my fourth and final season here at Indiana. I know my parents, family, and friends are proud of me."
On what kind of impact he hopes to make this season:
"Anything I can do to make the team and everyone around me better, I hope to see through. I am ready to go out on the court and play in front of 17,000 fans in Assembly Hall, win some basketball games, and have some fun while doing it."