Q&A With Justin Benson
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  01/03/2004
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Jan. 3, 2004

Throughout the 2003-04 basketball season, GoLobos.com will be conducting "Ask the Coach/Player" sessions with different Lobo men's basketball coaches and players.

Below are answers to some of the questions you submitted to Lobo freshman Justin Benson over the last two weeks. Don't forget the Lobos face San Diego on Tuesday, January 6 at 7:00 p.m. (M.S.T.) in The Pit. Tickets are still available and can be purchased at the UNM Ticket Office or by calling (505) 925-LOBO (5626).

Justin, who is your favorite NBA player? (Ben, Cedar Crest, N.M.)

JB: Kobe. I just like his game. He is not just all offense like a lot of players today. He does it on both ends of the court and I like that.

Justin, I was interested in how difficult the adjustment has been from playing in high school to facing college players and playing in The Pit. Has it been tougher than you thought it would be? (Mark Harris, Albuquerque, N.M.)

JB: It's been a lot tougher than I thought. I didn't realize it was going to be like this. I thought it was just going to be another game. The level of competition has picked up a lot and it has been harder than I thought, but I am adjusting.

Justin, what part of your game are you looking to improve? (Mike Silva)

JB: In the post, I want to be able to have two or three post moves I can go to and use on the block like David Chiotti and Danny Granger.

Justin, I was really glad to hear you became a Lobo. I followed your High School career a little. Tell me, what is the biggest difference between high school and Division I basketball and what are you doing to adjust? (Skip, San Diego, Calif.)

JB: The competition is much tougher and you have to work all the time. Practices are harder, lifting weights is harder, the whole atmosphere is much tougher than in high school. In order to adjust I've had to just keep working, asking questions, learning and trying to improve.

Have you heard the comparisons of your game and body type to Kenny Thomas yet and how do you interpret that? (It's a good thing by the way...) (Rodrigo, Albuquerque, N.M.)

JB: A couple people have said that to me, but I can't compare myself to Kenny Thomas. He was a great Lobo and I am still working to get to his level. I just want to be able to become a great player like him.

Justin, I watched you play and I think you have a good game. Are you liking it hear in NM & is your mother going to come to see you play? (Albuquerque, N.M.)

JB: Oh I love it here in New Mexico. I like the atmosphere here and everything else. My mom is supposed to come see me play in a conference game. I just want to keep playing here and get my degree from here.

i>Justin, I'm Glad to see you in Silver and Cherry, What part of your game, in your eyes is your strongest and weakest points? (Cameron, Albuquerque, N.M.)

JB: My strongest point is the fact that I've gotten a lot stronger. I've also gotten a lost faster this year than I've ever been. My weak point is that I just need some confidence and experience. I know I can play on the block I've just got to get my confidence up.

What do think is the single most important thing that most be done to win the MWC and how do you plan to contribute. (Albuquerque, N.M.)

JB: We've just got to keep playing like a team. Our chemistry is our biggest strength and as long as we stay unselfish we will continue to get better. As far as what I can contribute, I'll do what ever coach wants me to. I'll get in there and score, rebounds, set screens, blocks shots, take a charge, anything that will help us win. That's all I'm worried about, winning.

Justin, do you feel that you can learn a lot from Danny and David this year to help you in the next 3 years as a Lobo? Are you where you want to be as a freshman and do you have any goals set for the future? (Ken, Las Vegas, N.M.)

JB: Absolutely. I think I learn something from Danny and Dave everyday. Going against them in practice I see the moves they use on me and I try to use those moves on them and against other players. In the future, over the next few years, I want to become a great player. I never thought I could get my body to look like it does now, so I'm going to just keep hitting the weights, getting stronger and getting better.