Email This Page
TEN QUESTIONS WITH JERRELL DINKINS
Jerrell Dinkins has had a remarkable start to the 2005-06 season. From the depths of the depth chart before the season began, he rose into a starting role and is averaging nearly 11 points per game and doing a solid job as an undersized player in the paint. We recently sat down for our "Ten Questions" segment with the Bronx, New York native.
Q. You have obviously skyrocketed up the depth chart this year. As someone who may have been an afterthought before the season began, you are now a prominent player, a starter. How has this happened?
JD: I think my mindset and my goals have changed. I set my goals very high and I work very hard to achieve them. Every game, I set rebound goals or assist goals and all of my goals very high and I am able to achieve more every day.
Q: Was there ever a time over the past couple of years where you gave up hope?
JD: There were a few times where I felt, itís just not going to happen, Iím not going to play at UMBC. A big part of me coming back and changing my mindset was Coach Monroe noticing that I was down. He really pushed me to work hard. All the other coaches, including Coach Kehoe and Coach Presley coming inóas soon as they came in, they were pushing me. Coach Baggett told me if I worked on certain things, I would play.
Q: You guys right now are playing a very undersized frontcourt, with you, John (Zito) and Mike (Housman) getting most of the minutes. Yet, you are holding your own and outrebounding most opponents. How are you doing this, given the fact that the biggest guy is 6-foot-6?
JD: We work every day with Coach Baggett and his big man drills, especially rebounding drills. Coach Monroe emphasizes rebounding and Coach Baggett shows us how to deny and defend the low post. We work on that for twenty minutes before practice every day. We are very confident whether weíre going up against a great rebounding team or the poorest rebounding teamówe are going in with the same mindset that we are going to rebound as best as we can.
Q: How did it feel when at the banquet before the season began, Coach Monroe named you one of the tri-captains?
JD: It was indescribable. I knew I had worked hard, but I didnít see that coming. When he announced it, it just showed that hard work didnít go unnoticed. He noticed me working hard and the affect I had on my teammates. I am very appreciative of this honor.
Q: With you, Mike and John getting most of the minutes, the freshman post players must be experiencing some frustration. How have you tried to keep their spirits up in this time when they are frustrated?
JD: That goes with being a captain. I have been through it. I tell them that you have to be patient. I have talked to all the guys, and tell them to keep pushing because you never know when your time is going to come. Even with a veteran player like Mike Housman, when John Zito got hurt for the
Q: This year, the team is 3-1 at home. Talk about the affect the student section has had on the team at home.
JD: It is great. If people watch the games, they will see that I love running down that side of the court because the way they boost our confidence and get on the other teamís players. I can hear them telling me that they know I can beat my man. In a way, they are kind of like coaches because they are seeing things too. Most times, I listen to them and itís worked out.
Q: When recruits come to UMBC, what do you tell them about this place?
JD: The main thing I tell recruits is that UMBC is an upfront, honest place. There is no lying, no one tells you that you will definitely play. The atmosphere, besides basketball, is greatóall the people are very friendly. There has never been a time where I couldnít go to any individual on campus and talk to them about a problem. I also love the campus and downtown
Q: As a Philadelphia Eaglesí fan, put yourself in Andy Reidís shoes. How would you have handled the Terrell Owens situation?
JD: I think it was handled right. Itís something we talk about here. We donít want anybody that is going to disrupt our team unity or the university in any way. He was clearly disrupting the team and you canít have somebody that is going to bring the team down in any way.
Q: On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate this teamís attitude now and why?
JD: Iíd say about an eight. We have a great attitude and we are all willing to work. But we do have to avoid getting a negative attitude when Coach is telling us something to try to improve us or when we lose a game. You have to understand that Coach isnít yelling at me because he doesnít like meóhe is because he knows I can do it. Thatís when the level may drop, but we have guys like John Zito or Mike Housman or Chris Pugh to lift the spirits back up again to a nine or a ten.
Q: Last question, suppose you could look into a crystal ball and see yourself five years from now. What will you be doing?
JD: I was just talking to Rashad (Bilal) about this yesterday. I told him five years from now, I would like to have my Masterís degree and hopefully be a guidance counselor or be mentoring kids. I love to work with children. I told him that my plan was to take some time off, then get my Masterís and become a guidance counselor.