As part of the NCAA tournament interview series CHN writer Jon Teitel has also been able to catch up with some familiar names from tournaments past. One such player is former VCU point guard Joey Rodriguez, who helped lead the Rams from the First Four to the Final Four last year.
Jon Teitel: You played for Coach Shaka Smart at VCU. What makes him such a good coach, and what is the most important thing you ever learned from him?
Recently CHN writer Jon Teitel was able to spend some time with Long Beach State forward T.J. Robinson, currently the all-time leading rebounder in Big West history. Robinson and the 49ers are the 12-seed in the West Region, where they will begin play on Thursday against 5-seed New Mexico.
Recently CHN writer Jon Teitel caught up with Southern Miss guard LaShay Page as part of his NCAA tournament interview series. Page, who 11.5 points and 3.3 rebounds per game for the Golden Eagles, who take on Kansas State in an 8/9 game in the East Region on Thursday.
Jon Teitel: Coach Larry Eustachy was recently named Conference USA Coach of the Year. What makes him such a great coach, and what is the most important thing you ever learned from him?
Recently CHN writer Jon Teitel was able to catch up with Colorado guard Carlon Brown, who helped lead the Buffaloes to the Pac-12 tournament title last weekend and was named tournament MVP. Next up for the Buffaloes is a matchup with six-seed UNLV in a South Region matchup.
But before you read you probably should watch this.
Recently CHN writer Jon Teitel was able to spend some time talking with Iowa State point forward Royce White, one of the best players in America. The Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, White runs the point for the Cyclones despite bing 6'9", 270 pounds. Iowa State takes on Connecticut in the 8/9 matchup in the South Region.
Jon Teitel: You transferred from Minnesota to Iowa State. Why did you decide to transfer, and how close did you come to going to Kentucky (ISU's possible opponent in the round of 32)?
With the Big 12 holding it's pre-tournament teleconference on Monday morning, CHN writer Jon Teitel took some notes of what a few coaches had to say about their teams and matchups. Below are Baylor's Scott Drew, Missouri's Frank Haith and Kansas State's Frank Martin.
Baylor's Scott Drew (3-seed, South Region)
On the role league played in their preparation: "The Big 12 tournament helps us prepare for the NCAA tournament. I joke that the new uniforms are helping us win because now we know who we are passing to!"
On Monday morning the Ivy League champion Harvard Crimson held a teleconference ahead of their NCAA tournament matchup with Vanderbilt, the five-seed in the East Region. Led by forwards Kyle Casey and Keith Wright, Tommy Amaker's Crimson are making the school's first NCAA appearance since 1946.
Harvard head coach Tommy Amaker
On being a part of the field: "We are incredibly excited and honored to represent our great conference."
On Sunday the Iona Gaels were a surprise addition to the field of 68, earning a 14-seed in the West Region and a date with BYU on Tuesday in Dayton. The winner plays three-seed Marquette on Thursday afternoon in Dayton, and with the school holding a teleconference on Sunday night CHN writer Jon Teitel took notes of their comments.
Recently as part of his NCAA Tournament interview series CHN writer Jon Teitel caught up with Detroit sophomore guard Ray McCallum Jr., who helped lead the Titans to their first NCAA appearance since 1998. The McDonald's All-American turned some heads when he committed to play for his father at Detroit, and the move has paid off.
Jon Teitel: You scored four points for the West team in a three-point win in the 2010 McDonald's All-American Game. Which of your fellow All-Americans impressed you the most?
In the next installment in his NCAA Tournament interviews series CHN writer caught up with two players for the Montana Grizzlies, guards Will Cherry and Kareem Jamar. Cherry is one of the best defenders in the country and was named Big Sky Defensive Player of the Year this season, while Jamar was named conference tournament MVP.
Jon Teitel: In high school you lost a state title to Kareem Jamar's team. Could you ever imagine that only a few years later you two would be teammates in the NCAA tournament?