Q&A With Mikal Monette
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  12/15/2003
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Dec. 15, 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 sophomore Mikal Monette 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 Mikal Monette

Mikal, do you think you have a better team this year than last year? (Jesse, Abiquiu, N.M.)

MM: Yeah, I think so. I think we have a lot more depth this year. We have more athletic guys and just a lot more guys that know what it takes to win. So I think we're a lot better than we were last year.

What was your most memorable high school basketball moment? (Gabe, Albuquerque, N.M.)

MM: I don't know. I have a lot of them, but I'd probably say scoring 39 points and 18 rebounds against Valley because that was my high scoring game. Either that or the times I got to play against Serge and Giovanni (Rio Grande HS) because there were so many big crowds out there.

Mikal, My Westside friends tell me that Wyoming and Rutgers wanted you to walk on. And that you had numerous DII and JC offers. What made you decide on UNM? (Scott, Rio Rancho, N.M.)

MM: Having the opportunity to play in my hometown, in front of people that have seen me play all of my life, and to play in front of such great fans. Just being able to have the opportunity to earn minutes is the main thing that made me want to go here.

Mikal, What is the strongest and weakest parts of your game? (Phil, Albuquerque, N.M.)

MM: The strongest part would probably be my rebounding at the defensive end, and my weakest, I'd have to say is my ball handling. I need to get better at ball handling.

How do you see your role developing on this team by the time your senior year rolls around? (Rob, Albuquerque, N.M.)

MM: Hopefully I'll be able to be one of those guys that can get in there and just do a little bit of everything and can contribute by doing some little things, getting some points, rebound and getting some stops on defense. I really just want to turn into an all-around player by my senior year. That's the kind of roll I think I'd like to have when I'm a senior.

Do you see yourself moving more towards the 3?

MM: I'd like to. I think that's more my natural position. I think I can do a lot more from that position and still be able to rebound and defend. I think I could go onto do that.

That's where the improvement in ball handling will help you out?

MM: Yeah. I'll need to work on my ball handling to be able to play the 3.

What do you contribute to Lobo men's Basketball? (Skip, Rio Rancho, N.M.)

MM: I come out here and work. I don't just come out and go through the motions. I come out here and try to get better every day and help my teammates get better. Just pushing people in practice and doing what it takes to make other people get better. When I get into the game, I just try to do some of the little things to help our team win.

Mike, what advice would you give to young, 8 to 15 year old, boys and girls, on playing basketball? (Ray, Albuquerque Westside)

MM: The first thing you have to do is set goals. You have to know what you are trying to accomplish before you can achieve it. It doesn't matter what kind of goals you set, just make sure you are making progress. If you're a kid playing on the freshman team and you're not getting much time, maybe your goal should be to just get on the floor. Once you get in the game your goals change to being able to do some other things. You have to keep setting goals and trying to achieve them.

I really like your toughness and hard work. What do you think do you think made you such a tough, hard-nosed player? (Owen, Las Vegas, N.M.)

MM: I'd say just battling all the time. During AAU practices, we always had this thing where it would be 3-on-3 and they wouldn't call any fouls and you just had to play through everything. You could get offensive rebounds and take it up to score. I think that really helped a lot. And just going through tough situations too, and knowing that you can be successful, I think that's what makes you real tough.

Who have been some of your biggest role models in life on and off the court? (Aaron, Albuquerque, N.M.)

MM: On the court I always looked up to guys like Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and all the great players. Off the court, I'd say my brother and my parents. They were really big role models and they've always been real supportive and have really helped me out in a lot of situations.

Do you ever play against any of your old teammates from Cibola? (Sam, Rio Rancho, N.M.)

MM: Yeah, I played against Chris Lange just the other day against Sacrament State. We won the game, so it was kind of fun.

Did you think it was weird when you first came on the team that some of your old enemies were on the same team as you, such as Jeff Hart and Mark Walters. (Sam, Rio Rancho, N.M.)

MM: At first it was kind of weird because they were guys that I went up against in high school and it's a little different, but I don't find it too difficult. We easily got over that. It was a little different at the beginning but I've had no problems with it. They are great guys and it's been fun.

Hey Mikal, what do hope to accomplish this year? Do you have any goals for yourself? (Tammy, Rio Rancho, N.M.)

MM: My big goal right now is to keep getting playing time and getting out there and being able to contribute. I want to help the team win doing whatever I can, whether it's playing good defense, rebounding or maybe coming back on offense and setting screens. I really just want us to win this year. The main thing I want us to accomplish is to have a winning record and do as best as we can do as team.