July 12, 2010
This is the third installment of a five-part series highlighting the 2010-11 Tennessee basketball newcomers. In this edition of "Hello My Name Is," UTsports.com chats it up with freshman forward Tobias Harris from Dix Hills, N.Y.
Q: Well you're finally here in Knoxville. How's it feel to be home on Rocky Top?
A: "It feels good. All of us new guys have been having good time. Everybody has been working really hard."
Q: Ever since you signed with Tennessee you've been feeling the love from the Vol Nation. What's the oddest or funniest thing a UT fan has said or Tweeted to you?
A: "Well probably the coolest thing that happened was when they painted The Rock with "The Future" and a picture of me on it when I came on my official visit. "A lot of people on Twitter send me messages telling me to stay in the gym, be a leader and try to get back to the Elite Eight--and further."
Q: What's something Tennessee fans don't know about you that they might find interesting?
A: "I like to cook. I can cook anything."
Q: Your known for maintaining an intense workout regimen, but the foot injury you suffered in the McDonald's All-America Game must have slowed that down a bit. How frustrating has that been, and have you been able to tweak your routine in ways to remain active and in shape?
A: "It is frustrating, but I still find ways to work out like going in the pool or working in the weight room a lot. I've been getting stronger, and I'm going to keep working hard."
Q: The Big Apple courted LeBron James for a couple years but he's now chosen Miami. As a New Yorker, what's your take on his decision and how he handled everything?
A: (shakes his head) "I think he built up way too much media hype. And I think he should have stayed in Cleveland with his hometown team."
Q: It's been said that folks used to compare you and your older sister, Tesia, to Reggie and Cheryl Miller. Tell us about Tesia's game.
A: "She can shoot it real well. She's also a hard worker. When we were younger she used to always beat me. Not anymore, though. But we'd go at it."
Q: For those who have never seen you play, what NBA player would you say has a style comparable to yours?
A: "Maybe a guy like Carmelo (Anthony) or Antawn Jamison. You know, tall forwards who can do a lot of things that guards can do."
Q: Rank the following power forwards: Karl Malone, Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan, Charles Barkley, Dirk Nowitzki
A: "Duncan, KG, Barkley, Dirk, Malone."
Q: Is there anyone else who you think should be mentioned alongside those guys?
A: "Wilt Chamberlain."
Q: Who would you pick to play you in a movie about your life?
A: "Probably one of my best friends, Aaron McCree or Chris Cox."
Q: Senior center Brian Williams is also a proud New Yorker. Has he taken you under his wing at all, or does he just crack jokes about you like he does everyone else?
A: "Well he's only been here for about two days since I've been here. He actually went back home to visit. So not really either, but Brian is really funny, though."
Q: What kind of toys did you play with when you were little? You were a Power angers kid, weren't you?
A: "Yeah, I was. I'm not gonna lie. I liked Buzz Lightyear, too."
Q: Who is your favorite pro athlete in a sport other than basketball and why?
A: (long pause) "Probably somebody like Lance Armstrong."
Q: What's your favorite restaurant and what's your favorite meal?
A: "My favorite restaurant is Roscoe's House of Chicken' N Waffles in California. My favorite plate is chicken fingers and fries--not from Roscoe's, just that plate in general."
Q: What three words would you use to describe head coach Bruce Pearl?
A: "Energetic. Passionate. Determined."
Q: When you think about your Tennessee debut at Thompson-Boling Arena this winter, what do you envision as your first big play?
A: "My first big play... maybe hitting a nice 3-ball to get everything going."
Q: Let's end with some quick word association. Name the first thing that comes to mind when you hear...
Sweet Tea: McDonald's.
Southeastern Conference: Tennessee.
Waffle House: The first thing I think of is Bobby (Maze) always Tweeting about eating there.
Pat Summitt: Winner.
World Cup: Spain.
YouTube: Funny videos that Jordan (McRae) and I watch.
One Shining Moment: Win a national championship.