Ask Tony!

Feb. 21, 2001

Rhett Reese (Los Angeles, CA)
Tony, whom do you match up against most often in practice, and what weaknesses have you been able to strengthen as a result?

Tony: Most of the time I match up against Mike McDonald in practice. He isreally quick so it helps me to handle and distribute the ball against him.Sometimes, I play the 2 position and match up against any of the wingplayers. This is good for me as it helps me defend shooters getting throughscreens.

A.J. Gokcek (Chicago, IL)
Tony, I noticed during your last series against the LA schools, you guys only had one full day to prepare against UCLA's full court press, and it showed. In fact, in three weeks, you will face UCLA again on a Saturday - with one day to prepare. Do you think you will have more success against UCLA's press than you had last time? And if so, why? Good luck the rest of the way. Beat Cal!!! A.J.

Tony: We have the same amount of prep time for every Saturday game we play andthe coaches spend much more than one day getting ready. We never change ourrules or concepts to play a certain team. It is just a matter of how weexecute our sets. We did turn the ball over some against the press, but wealso created a lot of good offensive situations against it that we justdidn't convert. The press just got us playing a little bit faster than weare used to and we didn't convert some easy buckets as a result of that. Ithink we will be more successful against the press in LA because we have abetter feeling of the kind of game it will be. We need to minimize theeffect their pressure has on the tempo of the game.

Jim Willis (Northfield, VT)
Hi Tony, I have become a serious Cardinal fan since my daughter Amy has been atStanford (soph). I have seen the tremendous workload that she carries. My question to you is 2 fold. 1) What are you studying/major? 2) With the time required of you to play for a major hoop program, how do you manage to keep up with your studies, especially during the season? I understand that the Farm is academic first and atheletic second. How was the transition of school work for you when you first went to Stanford and played ball. Thanks for your time in answering these questions. Jim in Vermont. U of Maine '66.

Tony: First of all, thanks for the acknowledgement that we as student athleteshave more going on in our lives than just what you see on game night.Truthfully, it is very difficult to stay on top of your academiccommitments, especially during the season and I had my share of sub-pargrades my freshman year. Since then, I have learned to manage my time muchmore efficiently and my GPA seems to be slowly coming around as a result. Iam majoring in the Science, Technology, and Society program at Stanford andthat is great for me because it allows some freedom as to what field youwant to focus your studies in. I have chosen Public Policy and ComputerScience as my areas of interest. The hardest part about academics during theseason is missing class. When we travel, it is very difficult to stay ontrack. Something has to give a little bit and that is usually our sociallives.

Peter Tovar (Los Angeles, CA)
Compared to your play as a sophomore, you seem so much more aggressive at driving to the basket and confident in handling the ball. Do you think you've become more aggressive because you're more confident? What other areas do you still need to work on? Good luck in the remainder of the year!

Tony: For me, playing aggressive basketball is very important. At times I getso caught up in running the offense I forget to be a threat myself. Thismentality is one of the things I need to improve upon. Confidence is alsovery important and that, too is rising. My play will improve if I constantlylook to make the aggressive plays I can make. In addition, being left-handedis an advantage because it is awkward for the defender. That is something Ican exploit.

John Chevola (Clearwater, FL)
What do you think of your chances in the tournament! P.S. I really like watching you bring the ball down. You are a great point guard. P.S.S. I am also related to Matt Lottich (uncle).

Tony: I think we have the ability to win it all. However, we need the mentalityto match and we need to begin to develop that now so it peaks during thetournament. I really think the way we defend and the way we rebound will behuge for us down the stretch of the Pac-10 and into the tournament.

George 'Jigga' Downing (Menlo Park, CA)
What up TG - I was wondering Tony, besides all of your basketball talent, what other sports do you feel you are good at? Rumor has it that you were once a great baseball player and that you could hit Mike Gosling, a fellow SAE brother and current Stanford pitcher, any day of the week. Also it is said and that you are an unusually good ping pong player and you are a great golfer and have beaten members of the Stanford golf team (James Lee). Are these rumors true? Plus you manage to fit in time to enjoy your favorite hobbies like writing House Minutes for SAE, surfing the web, and reading. Wow Tony! How do you manage your time so well? Being a student athlete at Stanford myself and an SAE member I need to know how you do it! Thanks for your help TG and Five Apples to you Bro! :-)-Jigga

Tony: Where do I start here. I have played just about every sport there is atsome point with the exceptions of swimming (although I am very underrated inthe pool). I got to be pretty good at some of them so I'd compete in asports decathlon with anybody. I will be honest and say that I did takeGosling to the gap in left-center a couple of times in high school and I didmake a few 3 foot puts to get Jimmy Lee. The next challenge is winning theStanford Cup. Men's hoops vs. women's soccer in yes, a soccer match. Don'tworry about it, we got them. I am also working on my Virtual Tennis skillsso I never leave room 210 on the losing end.

Alison Connell (Livermore, CA)
Hello? How are you? What is the most important thing you have learned asa result of playing basketball for so long? How long have you been playing?Did you play other sports when you were younger? What do you want to do?Can you dunk? Have you ever had a Jamba Juice? If so what is your favorite kind? Good luck the rest of the season! Thank you! Lots of love - Alison

Tony: The most important thing I have learned playing hoop for so long is that you always need to believe in yourself and be proud of who you are. There will always be critics and skeptics out there but they only bother you if you let them. I played all kinds of other sports growing up and I can dunk easily. Also, I like all the Jamba Juices except those with coconut in them.

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