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.”

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