Dec. 19, 2003
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 Sean Phaler over the last week. Don't forget the Lobos face Coppin State on Sunday, December 21 at 1:00 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).
Q&A With Sean Phaler
Sean, I look forward to watching you play next year. Have you set a goal as far as what your playing weight should be by this time next year? (Russell Morris, Albuquerque, N.M.)
SP: Mr. Morris I appreciate your support. As for my weight there is not an exact weight that I have set for myself next year. If I continue to work hard in the weight room every day, and get stronger the weight will someday come. I have already almost gained 10 pounds since I came here, but people are different when it comes to gaining weight. So by this time next year if I can tell myself that I did all I could do to become stronger and gain more weight then there is nothing more I could do.
Has the car accident you were involved in contributed to any negative impacts on your game that you can tell so far? (Gabe, Albuquerque, N.M.)
SP: Well, when I the car accident first happened I was pretty scared that it would have some negative impacts. Now that time has elapsed my back is not a problem at all. All I need to do is get my confidence up, and my game is becoming better than it ever was before.
It's too bad you aren't playing this year, everyone was looking forward to seeing you play. So, what's with the nice suites you wear at games? You are probably the best-dressed player on the bench ever. =) (Erin, Albuquerque, N.M.)
SP: Thanks, a huge reason why I am so glad I came to UNM is fans like you. Hopefully in the long run it will pay off. As for the suits, I have always been huge on if you aren't playing then you have to wear a suit. It was that way all through high school. Also I have always been a huge fan of wearing suits and nice clothes.
Do you think the Lobos will make it to the NCAA Tournament (Matthew, Belen, N.M.)
SP: Man, I hope so! We as a team have worked so hard this year that we won't be satisfied unless that is the result. We are so close as a team that I feel the best has yet to come.
Sean, now that all is said and done, how do you feel about UCLA taking away your scholarship and you ending up at UNM? (Albuquerque, N.M.)
SP: I couldn't be happier. That is the best thing that has happened to me in my life. Being here at UNM is so much better than it would have been at UCLA. People have no idea how close this team is, and how well we get along as a whole. I have no complaints or worries. I enjoy it so much that I am not even going home for Christmas.
Sean, what other schools did you consider after UCLA took away your scholarships? (Albuquerque, N.M.)
SP: For some reason I was recruited by a lot of high Division 1 schools. After the whole UCLA thing I still somehow managed to get the attention of schools. Some of the schools included: Kansas, San Diego State, Pepperdine, Oregon, Northwestern, and of course New Mexico. As soon as I made the official visit to UNM I was almost positive that I was going end up here.
Sean, how serious is the injury you suffered form this summer's accident, and can you see yourself making an immediate impact next year? (Estevan, Albuquerque, N.M.)
SP: The injury was pretty serious, but now that time has passed it's just another injury that happened. I have no pains or soreness from the injury, so it's all in the past. As far as making an immediate impact it's just something that will come with time. I have no idea on where I will be a year from now. Only time will tell and answer those questions.
Are you prepared to handle the pressure and expectations of being one of the most anticipated UNM Basketball recruits in many years? Also, what was your determining factor in choosing UNM over other D-1 schools. (Agnes, Sacramento, Calif.)
SP: Good question! I love the challenge of anything. I don't see myself as such a high caliber recruit, so that pressure doesn't really bother me at all. There wasn't relay one determining factor that led me to choose UNM. So many things were such a perfect fit that I knew as soon as I came on my visit that I was destine to come here. First off the coaching staff is unbelievable. From the first time they recruited me when they were at Oregon State I built a relationship with them. Second, the guys on the team are amazing, and how close we are doesn't compare with any other college team. Thirdly, the fans, I can't believe how supportive the fans are. It is amazing to have the support of so many fans. I love each and every one of you.
Thanks a lot everyone for your support. I look forward to every game, and I appreciate everything that you guys do for this team.