This is another exclusive Gaucho Hoops interview, this time with Nate Garth, a junior-to-be point guard next season for the UCSB men's basketball team. Nate redshirted last season after transferring in from the University of New Mexico, where he was a member of the 09-10 Lobos team which advanced to the second round of the NCAA playoffs.
Gaucho Hoops (GH): Nate, how's the spring quarter going? How are your classes?
Nate Garth (NG): Spring quarter is good. I'm finishing up ge [general education] courses so I can get into my major, which is anthropology. I'm on track for a 3.0 [gpa], so I'm crossing my fingers hoping I do well on my finals.
GH: That's great to hear that you're on track academically, Nate. On to basketball, Coach Williams said offseason workouts are going well, and that your game has picked up, and that you are physically stronger. Also, that your hip is good. Can you comment further on what Coach has observed?
NG: Spring quarter has been awesome. Everyone has progressed on the court and in the weight room. We were challenged this spring to work hard and we succeeded. Greg [Somogyi] and Kyle [Boswell] have made huge gains; Troy's [Leaf] body has changed and his athleticism is coming around. Will's [Brew] jumpshot has improved, and yes--I'm fully healthy.
GH: What skill sets are you personally focusing on?
NG: This offseason I've focused alot on catch-and-shoot. My off-the-dribble shot is solid, but getting my shot quicker off the catch is one of my focuses. The other is my footwork and inside game. Guards in this league [Big West Conference] are small so I've been working on my back-to-the-basket game as well.
GH: Sounds like you're expanding your overall game--that's great to hear. Nate, describe your typical weekly schedule with workouts and in the classroom.
NG: I have classes 10-1 Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I have my weight workouts Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. We have open gyms Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I get in and shoot with Coach Bromley when I can. I also shoot on my own or with OJ [Orlando Johnson] whenever I find time. I'm a gym rat; I don't miss an opportunity to workout.
GH: Where do you believe you've improved the most? What area is still a work-in-progress?
NG: I think I've improved physically; my body is noticeably different. I've always been naturally skinny but now I'm more cut and with added strength, it has allowed me to get to the basket easier.
GH: Who on the team has the best vertical jump? Who is the fastest sprinter? Who's the biggest jokester?
NG: Tony Williams is definitely the best jumper we have. I think I'm the fastest, and as for the jokester, it's a toss up between Orlando, Will and me. haha.
GH: As a point guard, what do you try to achieve on offense and defense?
NG: As a up 'n down pg [point guard], I like to get out and run, get easy baskets and open looks. I like NBA-style offense that includes misdirection plays, isos [isolations], and ball screens. On defense, I like to get up in people and play contain d [defense] with the other 4 guys in help [defense]. With this team, I think we can press too.
GH: Recognized as one of the team leaders, who hasn't played in an official Gaucho game yet, what kind of leader are you? Are you vocal, or do you quietly lead by example?
NG: I'm a vocal guy. I'm a tough leader though, because I'm thick-skinned and hard-nosed. I have worked on being more positive too. lol.
GH: You roomed with seniors JJ [Justin Joyner] and Jon [Pastorek] last year. Who are your roomies next year?
NG: This upcoming year I'm looking for a solo studio and if not, I expect to be roomates with Will.
GH: How is this team different than last year's, based on your observations?
NG: This year's team will be much more athletic and be able to play faster. I think Coach is leaning toward an uptempo style offense and an aggressive attack defense. Right, Coach? lol
GH: What makes next year's team stand out?
NG: Next year's team will have depth at each position. We will have battles in practices and be alot more competitive, making everyone perform at the highest level.
GH: How would coaches describe your game? What about your game that most fans don't know about yet?
NG: I think coaches recognize my ability to make plays. They would say I'm aggressive and I take chances. High risk, high reward. Very unselfish, and I keep my teammates involved while getting my own [points]. Definitely a winner! Fans: just a heads up--I'm a flashy guy, so be ready to get off your chairs.
GH: What's your favorite IV [Isla Vista] restaurant to grub tough?
NG: I like Deja Vu--they have my favorite shrimp basket, burgers and more. Sams To Go is good, too.
GH: What dish do you miss the most from home?
NG: I miss my mom's mac n cheese.
GH: Thanks for the interview, Nate, and best of luck to you.
NG: You're welcome, man, anytime...
To see Nate's blog, go to http://ngarth.blogspot.com/ .