Q&A with VCU junior forward Jaime Skeen:
The Skeen: File
Weight: 245 pounds
Hometown: Charlotte, N.C.
High School/Previous School: North Mecklenburg/Wake Forest University
2009-2010 season statistics as of 2/3/10: Has played in 12 games, starting in seven of them. Averaging: 7.0 points, 4.8 rebounds and 18.8 minutes per game
Howsmon: Twelve games into your career here at VCU, how is it going so far?
Skeen: “It’s going good. It started off like a blast but now I’ve been dwindling down a little bit and got to pick it up a little bit. Sometimes I get down on myself, but I got to pick it up.”
Howsmon: Why VCU? What was the process involved in transferring here?
Skeen: “I knew Anthony Grant was a good coach. He recruited me with coach (John) Brannen. They came down to Charlotte and convinced me that this was a winning school and I looked and saw that VCU was a winning school. I like winning.”
Howsmon: You became a contributor very quickly down at Wake Forest. What was your favorite memory down there?
Skeen: “When we beat Duke my sophomore year at Wake. That was a big-time game and all the students toilet tissued the whole campus.”
Howsmon: What made the late Skip Prosser such a respected coach?
Skeen: “He had so much wisdom and passion for the game.”
Howsmon: In your time in college, whether at VCU or Wake, who is the best player you’ve faced?
Skeen: “Al Thornton from Florida State. He was so quick in everything he did.”
Howsmon: Talk about Shaka Smart. What has it been like playing for him?
Skeen: “It has been really good. He gives you a lot of freedom, it’s not like he has you on a string. He’s not a really strict coach, he lets you play. You can make mistakes and its not like you have to look over your shoulder to see somebody coming off the bench to come get you, that’s how old-fashioned coaches are.”
Howsmon: What do you think is your best quality on the basketball court?
Skeen: “Offensive rebounding”
Howsmon: How would your teammates describe your personality off the court?
Skeen: “Goofy. Sometimes I can get serious, but most of the time I am goofy.”
Howsmon: You were named “Mr. Basketball” in the state of North Carolina in high school. What kind of honor is that?
Skeen: “It is a big-time honor. I got some of my friends who think they should have got it, so sometimes I rub it in their face. I don’t brag about it too much, but it was a big time honor.”
Howsmon: How does playing in a packed Siegel Center compare with playing in Lawrence-Joel (Wake Forest’s arena)?
Skeen: A packed place is a packed place to me. Cameron Indoor Stadium (Duke) is loud but it is very small. I think the Siegel Center is bigger than Cameron, but as long as it is packed it doesn’t really matter to me.”
Howsmon: Who on this team is the easiest to get along with? Who was the first teammate you became friends with?
Skeen: “David Hinton because he is from Winston-Salem and I played there. Him or Larry (Sanders), Larry is easy to get along with.”
Howsmon: Who is the best teammate here? Who is the most fun to play with on game day?
Skeen: “Larry or Joey (Rodriguez).”
Howsmon: How smooth has the transition been? What has been the toughest and easiest part of acclimating yourself to CAA play?
Skeen: “The toughest has been blending in and getting to know my teammates’ tendencies on the court, but I had a whole year off to learn that. The easiest is just playing basketball because at the end of the day, it’s still just basketball.”
Howsmon: You started only five games into your career here. Did you expect to be a starter quickly, and how much does that matter to you?
Skeen: “It really doesn’t matter, I just wanted to play. I just really wanted to play and contribute to the team.”
Howsmon: I hear a lot of talk from people about your role on this team. At Wake Forest you got to play a lot more on the wing, where now you play a lot more down low. Which do you prefer? And how has that transition been?
Skeen: “Here I get to do a little of both. I like how coach Smart lets me play a little of both and gives me a lot of freedom.”
Howsmon: What is your plan once you leave here? Are you looking to play in the NBA or something outside of basketball?
Skeen: “Anyone would say they want to play in the NBA, that‘s a big-time dream. As of right now I don’t think that I’m doing well enough to get into the NBA or even play overseas, I’m the type of person that’s hard on myself. I got to step up and do better though, because it is what I want to do.”
Howsmon: What is your favorite food?
Howsmon: Favorite non-basketball sport?
Howsmon: Favorite TV show?
Howsmon: What is one thing about you that most people don’t know?
Skeen: I watch NASCAR
Howsmon: Who is your favorite pro sports team?
Skeen: Carolina Panthers
Howsmon: Which NBA player, current or former, do you model your game after?
Skeen: Al Thornton
Howsmon: What is your least favorite class?
Skeen: Religion and Sociology
Howsmon: What is your favorite class?
Skeen: Sex and Gender
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