Daily Egyptian:What got you started in basketball?
Blake Shoen:Probably watching TV. In the third and fourth grade, just playing basketball. Growing up in Indiana, you’re not too far from basketball courts. My dad played a little basketball when he was young. My friends played basketball. That’s where it started.
DE:Were you a Bobby Knight fan?
BS:I never was a Bobby Knight fan. I was for Purdue. All the way for Purdue. I lived close to Purdue, went to a lot of Purdue games. Never was a Hoosier fan at all. It’s just one of those things.
DE:How do you get prepared before a game?
BS:I usually just relax. Some guys get up and listen to music, but I try to stay relaxed. It’s best for me. Take a little nap. Get my mind away. Just focus on the task at hand.
DE:Has Coach Weber talked to you about your role this year?
BS:Yeah. He just told me to go in and let the game come to you. Play defense. Get the rebounds. Get the steals. You don’t have to worry about scoring because we have great guys that can shoot on the team. Just get them the ball and do what you can do.
DE:Are you expecting to have a lot of playing time?
BS:You really don’t know that. You have to go and practice everyday and give the effort. If the coaches are comfortable and feel confident in your production in practice, then you’ll get the minutes. If not, you have to work more in practice.
DE:How does your personality differ from being out with your friends and being out on the court?
BS:My personality is way different. Out with my friends, I’m real laid back. A lot of things don’t bother me. When I step on the court, little things bother me. I don’t like to get pushed around. If someone pushes me, I’m going to get up and do a little shoving too. I’m not laid back when I’m a player. I’m ready to go and I’m fired up and I’m ready to play.
DE:You’re a freshman. How do you like SIU so far?
BS:It’s really nice. I’m not a big fan of the climate with it raining every day. It’s real friendly. A lot of people seem to care about you and they do. The campus is real nice with the lake and everything. It’s real homey for me.
DE:You were in Sports Illustrated?
BS:Yeah. For Faces in the Crowd for being in the football/basketball All-Star Game back in Indiana. It was an honor. Jermaine was in it too. Another guy from Indiana was in it a long time ago. They just called up one day. Said it was an honor. I was surprised about that one. I didn’t expect that to happen at all.
DE:Why did you choose SIU?
BS:Mainly because I like an up-tempo game. I’ve seen Coach Weber through Purdue since I’ve been growing up. The coaching staff is great. They know what they are talking about and they really care about the person on and off the court. The campus is great. It’s five hours from home, but that’s not too bad. The away games will be easy for my parents to get to. They’re located by Chicago. That’s the big reason.
DE:Let’s get away from basketball. Where do you like to hang out in Carbondale? And your friends’ houses don’t count.
BS:Wherever everyone else is heading. The mall. Just try to get out of campus mostly. Go around and try to meet as many people as you can. Just kick it and have a good time.
DE:How does Carbondale compare to your hometown of Oxford, Ind.?
BS:There’s no comparison. In Oxford, I knew everybody. Everybody was friendly just like Carbondale. Carbondale is four times bigger than Oxford. Oxford has like 1,500 people. This is a big town for me. There’s a lot more people. There’s a lot more things to do in Carbondale than in Oxford.
DE:You’re majoring in health education. What do you plan to do with that?
BS:I’m doing health education and get a minor in physical education so I can teach P.E. I really like young kids. I like the interaction with sports. That’s what I want to stay around.
DE:Do you have a sports idol?
BS:Not really. I like Michael Jordan. He was the best. Whoever is winning, that’s who I like.
DE:Short answers. Favorite TV show?
DE:Favorite character from “Friends?”
DE:What was the last CD you bought?
BS:Sisqo. You don’t pay for CDs anymore. You burn them.
BS:Michael Jordan’s biography. I was at that age that I wanted to be like Mike. I just read it and saw what his adversities were and what he went through and just try to work as hard as he did.
Reporter Christopher Morrical can be reached at [email protected]