January 21, 2003

One-on-One With Jim Howell

Jan. 17, 2003

By Josh Griffin
The Santa Clara Sports Editor

Junior center Jim Howell is a co-captain of the men's basketball team and has helped lead the team to its impressive 10-4 start. He is averaging 9.6 points per game on 56 percent shooting, along with 5.6 rebounds per game. He took a few minutes out of his time to talk with Sports Editor Josh Griffin about the team's hot start, Head Coach Dick Davey and the best big men that he has ever played against.

JG: Are you surprised by the team's solid start, or have you expected this all along?
JH: Yeah, we expected to play like this, but we didn't expect to lose to San Jose State like we did. That was disappointing, but inside the locker room we were always confident. We've been real confident since our scrimmage with Stanford.

JG: How do you look at preseason prognastications? They obviously were not flattering this year. Do you use that as motivation?
JH: It's just fuel for the fire. As a team, we like to make references to some of those negative quotes as motivation.

JG: Did any of those quotes come from The Santa Clara?
JH: No. I'll just leave it at that.

JG: What kind of an influence has Dick Davey been on you as a player?
JH: I'm a horrible player, honestly. He has been such a good teacher, mainly because he's so precise. Our excellent play so far is definitely a reflection of how well we're doing compared to all of the predictions. Our record so far is indicative of the work that he has done with [freshman guard] Brandon Rohe and the other freshmen.

JG: What type of motivation tactics does Coach Davey use?
JH: That's the main difference between Coach Davey and my high school coach. Coach Davey really motivates you to play hard. He doesn't stand there and try to motivate you at every play, but he makes you have your own confidence. That makes all of us better.

JG: What motivation tactics do you use for yourself before games?
JH: For me, I just imagine what the opponent's scouts are saying about me.

JG: What kinds of things do these scouts say while you are motivating yourself?
JH: Well, if I was writing a scouting report on me, it wouldn't be that great.

JG: Any other types of things you like to do before games - music or anything?
JH: I have this country CD that I like to listen to. It is a mix.

JG: Who is the best big man you've ever faced?
JH: Probably either Jason Collins or Melvin Ely. Jason Keep was pretty tough at San Diego last weekend. He transferred from Oklahoma State.

JG: You played for Nike Oregon as a high school player. Who were your teammates up there?
JH: [San Diego point guard] Mike McGrain, Blake Stepp from Gonzaga, Matt Simonson, Bill Swanka, who is a defensive end at Oregon State and Ryan Michaelson, who also plays at Gonzaga.

JG: What kind of competition did you face on that team?
JH: I really wasn't that good in high school, but I got some playing time. JG: Give yourself some credit man.

JG: I'm sure you're busy with basketball and school, but what do you like to do in your off time?
JH: Sleep. I take random trips to Panda Express up on Stevens Creek.

JG: How about listening to that country music?
JH: We sure do listen to a lot of country music over at the Playground.