Five minutes with IU guard Matt Roth

  • 08/06/2010 6:36 am in

INDIANAPOLIS - MARCH 12:  Matt Roth #2 of the Indiana Hoosiers drives against Danny Morrissey #33 of the Penn State Nittany Lions during the first round of the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament at Conseco Fieldhouse on March 12, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)After missing the majority of the 2009-2010 season with a broken fifth metatarsal in his right foot, Matt Roth, arguably Indiana’s best pure shooter, is 100 percent healthy.

Inside the Hall went one-on-one with the junior guard on Thursday about a variety of topics including offseason workouts, Cook Hall, competitiveness for playing time and more. The transcript of our Q & A is below:

On his individual progress this offseason and the team’s offseason progress:

“It’s been a real good summer. I took classes both summer sessions. I’ve been working out, trying to get back to playing like I did before my injury and playing much better. It’s been a good summer for me and a great summer for the team. We’ve really made a lot of strides and built a lot of good relationships within the team. That’s something you definitely need going into the season.”

On the competitiveness for playing time in the backcourt:

“I think it’s going to be very competitive and I think everybody kind of knows what they bring to the table and what they’re going to have to bring every day to practice. And that’s going to be a great challenge coming into practice knowing that we’re going to be as competitive as we are both in practice and certainly on the court when the games come around.”

On what he learned last season missing time with an injury:

“It was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever gone through with basketball. It’s been such a huge part of my life and not to have it be something I could physically do was very difficult for me. But it also opened up a lot of great opportunities for me to learn and take different aspects and outlooks on life. It really made me cherish the game would be a way to put it. It means just as much now as ever, but it just kind of revamped my love for the game. I was able to learn a lot of things. It was very difficult, but it’s something I’m going to look back on someday and be grateful that I had the opportunity to recover, learn and move forward.”

On the impact of Cook Hall for player development and for the program:

“It’s an outstanding thing to have and it’s a great asset to the program. The resources that we’ve added with Cook Hall with the brand new weight room, the basketball court that we have access to all day and all night, a great locker room and everything like that, it’s going to be a great opportunity to build this program and take steps in the right direction. It’s been a lot of fun working out over there all summer.”

On the incoming recruiting class and what they’ll bring to the program:

“They’ve all come in and done a great job. They work extremely hard and that’s one thing you can’t teach is how hard somebody’s willing to work and try to improve for the upcoming season. They’ve done a great job of not only coming in and working hard, but they jumped right in and became part of this team. It’s been a lot of fun having them around and I think it’s a great group of guys. Each one of them brings a little bit something else to the program. Guy brings a lot of size and rebounding as well as a great post presence. Victor and Will bring a lot of flash and rebounding and getting to the rim and athleticism, which is something you can never have enough of. I think they’re going to have great opportunities in this program. It’s going to be a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to the season with the new guys as well as all of the guys that are back.”

On stepping up as a leader in the program entering his third season:

“I think last year was probably something that allowed me to get used to it. My freshman year, everything went so fast as I look back on it. Last year, I was able to be off to the side unfortunately, but at the same time I had to find a way to make that opportunity worthwhile. I learned a lot of things about leadership, learned a lot of things about teamwork and what it takes to win at this level as well. I learned a lot of things about watching film and breaking down scouting reports and things that you may know how to do, but at the same time, you learn more and more the more time you spend with the coaches and the more time you spend watching film.”

On the biggest on-court differences between Matt Roth as a freshman to Matt Roth as a junior:

“You can look for a lot of the same things. Obviously, I’ve gotten a lot stronger and I feel a lot quicker coming back from this injury. My doctors and my trainers did a great job with making sure I did all of my rehab and all of my strength and rehabilitation and stuff like that. I’m looking forward to getting out there and playing a fun style of basketball and making sure the fans are just as energetic watching us play as they are when we’re winning. It’s going to be a great opportunity and I’m looking forward to getting out there.”

Filed to:

  • 93 grad

    I’m very proud of the kids that we have in the program now. All seem to be class acts and represent the school and state well. A huge part of the rebuilding process at IU is getting back to having kids we can be proud of OFF the court as well as on it, and it appears the program is doing a great job in that respect.

  • 93 grad

    I’m very proud of the kids that we have in the program now. All seem to be class acts and represent the school and state well. A huge part of the rebuilding process at IU is getting back to having kids we can be proud of OFF the court as well as on it, and it appears the program is doing a great job in that respect.

  • JerryCT

    I was not much of a fan of Roth when KS recruited him. I thought Jones was the much better player. WHile that still may be true I now see things differently.

    I have said before and will say again I think Roth is bigger and stronger than most of us realize. I also think he is better defensively and rebounding than most of us realize. If he can stroke the ball as good or better than Hulls then he will take minutes from Hulls when CTC is tempted to play Hulls at the wing.

    I think this will be one of the team surprises this year , the success of Roth and the minutes Hulls plays at his more natural position at the top of the arc.

  • millzy32

    Having another option for the kickout 3 pointer in the Dribble Drive will be a huge asset. Lets hope he can stay healthy all year.

    Here's to all IU players regaining and maintaining full health this year. This program is rebuilding and if everyone is healthy we will be able to see just how far the program has come and how far it needs to go to be where we want them to be. Health is such a key, no injuries this year, knock on wood.

  • OhioHoosier

    From the last question, can we glean that Roth will be a junior and not a sophomore?

  • He will be listed as a junior, but can still apply for a medical redshirt season after his senior season.

  • Kelin Blab

    I am rooting for Matt Roth. I know sitting out a full season sucked and I could identify plenty of games where he would have helped us big time. I like the fact that he talks about the competition on the team now which will probably be the biggest improvement we will never see.

    I agree with Jerry, him and hulls on the court together will be huge but not just for their shooting prowness but for the 'threat' of them knocking down threes. If you include Mo Creek, it is one thing to not leave one shooter but to not leave three…..Pritchard will be so much more effective this year and Christian.

  • Uncle Joey

    I don't foresee Roth AND Hulls in the backcourt at the same time… I think they would get burned defensively.

  • GFDave

    Roth has a great stroke and as a spot up shooter I think he has something to contribute. I was impressed with how into the games he was last year even from the bench. But I remain unconvinced that he can do anything offensively off the dribble or that he can stay in front of his man on defense. I hope he proves me wrong as that means the team is just that much stronger.

  • Hardwood83

    Yeah- probably not an ideal defensive back-court, but hopefully they'll both improve their 'd' to a solid level. Other then Rivers & possibly Oladipo do any of the guards have a rep of shutting people down? I think defense is a lot like rebounding, some skill & ability required but mostly desire.

  • JerryCT

    I talked to Roth in PR after his injury and came away a bit shocked at how big he looked ie taller, wider, stronger than I had imagined . Now looking at the picture of him from 2 seasons ago I notice that his arms/shoulders looked pretty stong then.

    I get what you all are saying …… but that is why I think Roth will be a “surprise” to fans.

  • dale11

    There is always room on the floor for a guy that can knock down nine 3's in a game.

  • Anonymous

    Does anyone know the hours that Cook Hall is open to the public or is the public part open 24 hours a day like the player part ? Have heard there is no charge to get in and was wondering if somebody knew if that was correct or if there is a charge how much it is.

    Anybody ?

  • Anonymous

    Try 6 with Jeff Howard.

  • Anonymous

    My bad, I typed before I read further.

  • Anonymous

    I think that Coach Crean will find a way to put Roth in the game in the first half. He must take at least 3 X 3-pt shots, and hit 2 to earn more PT. That is tough but not impossible. I am rooting for you Matt!

  • Blackgtstang05

    Roth will make us worse on the court, every guard on our roster is better than him at everthing but shooting. He is probably only our 3rd best shooter. Rivers and Roth will be the least played guards.

  • eph521

    Yeah, even if he just comes in and bangs down a few 3's, then goes back to the bench.

  • Anonymous

    This year when they “blow by” Roth, they run into big Guy in the middle and they face help defense from Maurice, Christian, Derek, Victor, Will, and Jeremiah. IU is now a very deep team. No one is stuck defensively on an island now.

  • Anonymous

    Oladipo and Sheehey are really good, long, tall, athletic, good vertical leaping perimeter defenders, who can run. We need to find a way to put Victor, Will and Jeremiah on the court together to attack attack attack on defense and run run run on offense!

  • GFDave

    I hope I am surprised.

  • stonaroni

    Matt had all the right answers, and seems like a high character kid. I hope he can contribute this year. He will definitely be able to add a spark off the bench against zones with his shooting. But after he hits a 3 or jump shot, he still has to play defense. In the Big 10, 90% of the time, he will be undersized to who he is guarding. This doesn't bode well for Roth spending long minutes on the floor.

    Also something to consider, Will Sheehey is taller, quicker and has a better all around game. He is a CTC recruit. VO could be the best defender on the team this year. He has great speed and quickness and can cause havoc in passing lanes. He is about the same height as Roth but has a better physique. To me he will see playing time before Roth and he too is a CTC recruit.

    Then there is Hulls, Creek, and VJIII all in spots ahead of Roth. He is anywhere between #3 and #5 on the shooting guard depth chart.

  • stonaroni

    But, he did that on a team that had no offense in 2008-09 and against a team that left him wide open because they didn't take him seriously. The Hoosier still lost by 20.

    If an offensive player makes 3 3's in a game, but the guy he is defending scores as many points or blows past him and gets you bigs in foul trouble, he is not much of an asset to your team.

    He is a 3 point specialist and one of the best.

    He will see even less time next year when AE comes to IU and when Sheehey and VO are improved.

  • Scott Dyer1988

    I've been singing this tune for a year and still believe it. I think people see a white shooting guard and assume he sucks defensively. I don't remember it that way. I hope he has a tremendous year and believe he will.

  • cooper

    He is good for about 10 min a game. he can’t get his own shot and can’t guard anyone. Put him in and if he is hot let him shoot until he isn’t. Otherwise, he doesn’t bring much to the table

  • Jcopey

    I keep forgetting to think of it this way, but you must realize, we have an 'incoming' group of five (5) players, not just 3. We played all of last season without Roth, and only 12+ games with Creek (although we still managed to lose to Loyola at home with him.)

    This team will be *very* different from last year. Dumes and his chaotic 18 minutes per game are now available, Rivers and his 28 mpg will be reduced drastically and split with the new competition. We've replaced / consolidated Jobe & Muniru with Guy-Marc. Roth, Sheehey, Oladipo and Hulls will be fighting over those new minutes, with Creek taking back his starter role.

    I'm very excited about the prospects. Just seems like our depth is so much better – now instead of throwing in DMoore or Finkelmeier, we may now go with the above listed and even Rivers will probably come off the bench this year. Depth is king.

  • GFDave

    Pretty much the point I was trying to make.

  • marcusgresham

    He does kind of appear to have long arms though (or is it just because he's so thin?) He might not be totally ineffective in a zone.

  • marcusgresham

    and 6 if you count Howard

  • Q95

    its great having this kid back. trust me, whatever he may lack defensively is not enough to keep him on the bench for to long. nothing whips an assembly hall crowd into frenzy like a couple of long range bombs. and to think we will have this long range threat for three more years…

  • walton

    “It’s been a lot of fun working out over there all summer”

    Here is another quote that proofs the chemistry the team is having and how important it is. I mean these guys are having fun working out? I've wondered how college athletes are able to put so much time and effort into a collegiate sport and still enjoy college life. I guess when you have a certain bond between players and a common goal they all strive to achieve then that much work can be fun.

  • Q95

    its great having this kid back. trust me, whatever he may lack defensively is not enough to keep him on the bench for to long. nothing whips an assembly hall crowd into frenzy like a couple of long range bombs. and to think we will have this long range threat for three more years…

  • IULineman

    2 years if we get half the recruits we are after he wont keep scholly tied up if the recruits start lining up to get on the ” Road to Recovery” band wagon like we are all hoping for Like the kid but dont see him playing a whole lot except in situational spots

  • BaseballBuc

    Can we get a Q and A with Tijan, please?

  • Bpritch

    Happy 21st birthday Matt!!