playing in just 10 games during an injury-plagued freshman season,
junior Christian Hatch has started his last 35 games for the UC San
Diego Men's Basketball
team and is one of the key players for a program that appears to be on
the rise. The 6-foot-8 Henderson, NV native is averaging a team high
12.3 points and 5.3 rebounds per game and posted a double double of 24
points and 14 rebounds in an early December contest
at Cal State Monterey Bay. He's made an impression on Head Coach Chris
Carlson. "Christian is a hard worker who's done a really good job in the
weight room and committed himself to what we're trying to do here,"
said Carlson. "He's been through a lot and was
kind of thrown into the fire last year but he's really grown and has
turned into one of the better big men in our league." As the team headed
into the NCAA-mandated holiday break, Hatch took time to talk about his
progress and that of the team, as well as
the outlook for the future.
Q-Have you been surprised at all by the team's strong start this season?
am not at all surprised by our start this season because everyone on
our team did a great job in the summer and pre-season preparing
the upcoming year. Everyone's hard work has showed in the games up to
this point and I think we will only improve from here.
Q-In your mind, what elements have been the most responsible for the success the squad has had?
most striking thing that stands out to me is our team's balance. We
have three of four guys in double figures every game and anyone on our
the ability to have a big night, which makes it difficult for an
opposing team to plan their defense.
an 0-2 start, UCSD got its first CCAA win last week. In a pre-season
poll, the conference coaches picked the Tritons to finish 11th. Where
would you place
your team and is that prediction a motivator?
know everyone on our team believes we are better then the 11th spot,
but we don't let it bother us and just use it as motivation to go out
and try and
prove everyone wrong. As the old saying goes, "it's not where you start
it's where you finish."
missed much of your freshman season with a shoulder condition. Did
anything positive come out of the time you spent on the sidelines?
unfortunate as that shoulder injury was, I think in a way it was a
great learning experience because it gave me a better appreciation of
I am to be playing the sport that I love. I found out how quickly it
can be taken away, and I now try to have a sense of gratitude each time I
step on the court.
started all 25 games as a sophomore and every game so far this season.
Where did you feel you made the most improvement last year? At the end
of this season,
where do you expect you'll be able to say you've improved the most?
sophomore year was all about gaining experience with playing at a
higher level and gaining chemistry with my team. This year I'm hoping to
on my rebounding and defense, which are things that can always get
Q-When you're on the court, what are some of the things you try to concentrate on, offensively and defensively?
thing I always try and focus on is just playing as hard as I can at all
times. For the most part, a lot of little mistakes can be made up for
as you are going all out every play.
listed Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki as your favorite NBA player?
What is it you like about his game? Is there anything that he does that
you try to integrate
always respected Dirk for having an all-around game. He is a 7-footer
but can step outside and shoot, take guys off the dribble, and he grabs a
of rebounds, so he is difficult to guard. Any big guy, including myself
would benefit from being able to do those things.
Q-What are the things you like most about playing college basketball?
greatest thing I've experienced with college basketball is the
friendships I've made with my teammates. I consider each one of them
would be hard to find doing anything else.
average fan just sees the 40 minutes the team is on the court each
night. What are some of the behind-the-scenes facets of being a college
player that those
on the outside would be surprised to know?
people don't realize the time commitment that it takes to be a college
player, especially at a high-academic institution like UCSD. We have to
the workload of school with the time spent being a full-time athlete. I
think most athletes would agree though that it is more than worth it.
Q-What qualities do you look for in a good teammate? Who on the current team best exemplifies those traits?
a good teammate means being unselfish, willing to help each other out
at all times, and being able to forget about individual achievements for
good of the overall team. What is great about this year is I can't
think of a single guy on our team that doesn't display these qualities.
Q-If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
thing that I am always trying to work on is to not let things get to me
as much while I am playing. Sometimes I let things like a missed shot
foul call bother me, and I need to be able to just forget about it and
focus on the next play.
Q-Besides simply teaching the X's and O's, what impact does Head Coach Chris Carlson have with his players?
Carlson as well as Coach Olen and Coach Allard are great at motivating
the team and pushing us to do our best. You can tell they want to win
as much as we do and it is rewarding to play for coaches like that.
from Henderson, NV. What attracted you to UC San Diego and how does the
lifestyle here differ from what you were used to?
actually lived about 15 minutes away from the UCSD campus until I was
about 11 years old so it was sort of like coming home when I decided to
school here. Also, the coaches and players that I met while being
recruited were more welcoming then any other place that I encountered so
it was an easy decision when I was given the opportunity to go to
Q-Off the court, what are some of the things you enjoy doing?
am pretty much your average college-aged kid when it comes to hobbies
and interests. Most of my roommates would probably tell you that my
favorite thing to do is take a good
nap, and they would probably be right.
Q-You lived in the dorms as a freshman. What was the most unusual thing that happened there during the year?
in Asia Hall 300 my freshman year was, without a doubt, the most
eventful year of my life, so it's very difficult to pick one thing out
about. There was always something going on. I would wake up to go to
practice and there would still be people up from the night before
playing video games. There was always something to do in the dorms.
Q-You're a psychology major at Roosevelt College. Where do you hope to go with that?
I am still relatively undecided when it comes to life after college, I
do hope to go to graduate school of some kind. Business or law school
currently my top two choices, but based on my history it is very
possible that could change by the time I graduate.
Previous Q & A Articles
Blake Langland (Men's Swimming & Diving) November 27, 2011
Sarah McTigue (Women's Soccer) November 8, 2010
Brandon Yee (Men's Soccer) October 11, 2010
Bryce Madsen (Men's Water Polo) September 23, 2010
Annette Ilg (Women's Soccer) September 9, 2010
Ricci Luyties (Women's Volleyball Head Coach) August 24, 2010
Kevin Messey (Head Athletics Trainer) July 7, 2010
Dan O'Brien (Baseball Head Coach) June 18, 2010
Merrill (Women's Track & Field) June 14, 2010
Vance Albitz (Baseball) May 11, 2010
Erik Elliott (Men's Tennis) May 3, 2010
Kelly Fogarty (Women's Track & Field) April 23, 2010
Liz LaPlante (Women's Tennis Head Coach) April 15, 2010
Kirby St. John (Baseball) March 24, 2010
Dan Perdew (Men's Swimming) February 28, 2010
Calvin Ross (Men's Volleyball) February 20, 2010
Nicole Saari (Softball) February 4, 2010
Brad Kreutzkamp (Women's Water Polo Head Coach) January 18, 2010
Tyler Acevedo (Men's Basketball) January 4, 2010
Dr. Cliff Kubiak (UCSD's Faculty Athletic Rep) December 18, 2009
Chelsea Carlisle (Women's Basketball) December 9, 2009
Carianne Cunningham (Women's Swimming) November 23, 2009
Elena Inouye (Cross Country) November 6, 2009
David Morton (Men's Water Polo) October 28, 2009
Juan Pablo Carillo (Men's Swimming) October 19, 2009
Sara Spaventa (Women's Soccer) October 10, 2009
Karen Reis (Women's Volleyball) October 2, 2009
Daniel Pavitt (Men's Soccer) September 23, 2009
Daniel Anderson (Cross Country) September 11, 2009
Peter Gresham (Men's Water Polo) September 2, 2009
Alexia Zatarain (Women's Soccer) August 24, 2009
Elaine Chen (Women's Volleyball) August 12, 2009
Jared Kukura (Men's Soccer) July 30, 2009
Dawn Lee (Former Women's Soccer Standout) July 8, 2009
Rob Mamula (Director of Athletic Performance) June 18, 2009
Garrett Imeson (Baseball) June 8, 2009
Leon Baham (Men's Track & Field) May 21, 2009
Kristyn Lesovsky (Softball) May 8, 2009
Kazumi Negishi (Men's Tennis) May 5, 2009
Laiah Blue (Women's Track & Field) April 16, 2009
Ryan Andre (Men's Crew) April 2, 2009
Josh Tanner (Baseball) March 24, 2009
Anju Shimura (Women's Swimming) March 7, 2009
Stephanie Bocian (Women's Water Polo) February 20, 2009
Lauren Chastain (Softball) February 5, 2009
A.J. Maulhardt (Men's Basketball) January 28, 2009
Annette Ilg (Women's Basketball) January 22, 2009
Steven Hardy (Men's Swimming) January 13, 2009
Frank Fritsch (Men's Volleyball) January 5, 2009