The UC San Diego men’s basketball team enters the weekend with a 10-6 record and a 7-3 mark in California Collegiate Athletic Association action, good for a second-place tie, just one-game out of first-place. The Tritons are in a difficult stretch of games, playing 8-of-10 on the road. Starting center A.J. Maulhardt has been a consistent starter for the Tritons, averaging 4.5 rebounds and shooting a team-high .634 percentage. The Ojai native recently took time to discuss the current season and life as a student-athlete at UCSD.
Q: What’s been the biggest improvement you have made this year?
MAULHARDT: Coach Carlson puts a big emphasis on boxing out and rebounding. I think I have been doing a better job rebounding than I have in past because so many of the teams in our conference depend on getting offensive rebounds to be successful.
Q: How important is home-court advantage in the first-round of the CCAA Tournament?
MAULHARDT: Having home court for the first round of the CCAA would be more fun as well as an advantage. We play better with the enthusiasm of our home fans behind us. So it could give us the extra boost we need to get passed the first round.
Q: What is your favorite pre-game song?
MAULHARDT: “Krazy” by Pitbull ft. Lil’Jon.
Q: What is your role as a starting center on the Tritons?
MAULHARDT: My role is to get rebounds, set good screens and get others open, keeping the opponents big man from scoring, and to bring energy.
Q: What has been your favorite road trip as a Triton?
MAULHARDT: I think my two favorite road trips were to Hawaii my freshman year and last year to Alaska.
Q: What other sports do you enjoy attending at UCSD?
MAULHARDT: Volleyball, baseball, soccer, and water polo.
Q: What are some of your top memories on the UCSD hoops team?
MAULHARDT: Winning the conference tournament last year was my favorite memory. But there are tons.
Q: After lettering in baseball in high school, do you miss baseball?
MAULHARDT: Yeah, I miss baseball, I try to play catch with my Dad when I go home, but both our arms get tired pretty quick.
Q: How are you related to New Orleans Saints’ linebacker Scott Fujita?
MAULHARDT: He is my cousin by marriage.
Q: The Tritons are in a stretch of playing 8-of-10 games on the road. Has the schedule been more difficult this season?
MAULHARDT: No, I don’t feel like it has been more difficult compared to other seasons. It is just a long stretch of games we have to work through one at a time.
Previous Q & A Articles
Annette Ilg (Women's Basketball) January 22, 2009
Steven Hardy (Men's Swimming) January 13, 2009
Frank Fritsch (Men's Volleyball) January 5, 2009
Kendall Bohn (Women's Swimming) December 22, 2008
Kelvin Kim (Men's Basketball) December 15, 2008
Michelle Osier (Women's Basketball) December 5, 2008
Sylvia Schmidt (Women's Volleyball) November 7, 2008
Denny Harper (Men’s Water Polo Head Coach) October 17, 2008
Ron Larsen (USA Volleyball Assistant Coach) October 13, 2008
Jessica McGovern (Women's Soccer) October 6, 2008
Bre Schofield (Cross Country) September 26, 2008
Tony Fernandez (Men's Soccer) September 18,2008
Kimberly Carpenter (Women's Volleyball) September 12, 2008
A.J. Kotanjian (Men’s Water Polo) September 2, 2008
Peter Akman (Men's Soccer) August 21, 2008
Natasha Belak-Berger (Women's Soccer) August 15, 2008
Jake LaVieux (Men's Cross Country) August 8, 2008
Dr. Penny Rue (Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs) July 30, 2008
Michelle Torres (Women's Volleyball) July 15, 2008
Jon Pascale (Men's Soccer Head Coach) July 1, 2008
Julie Ertel (Athletics) June 16, 2008
Clint Allard (Men's Basketball) June 9, 2008
Jen Myers (Women's Crew) May 27, 2008
Casey Ryan (Men's Track and Field and Men's Basketball) May 21, 2008
Keith Noe (Baseball) May 13, 2008
Liz LaPlante (Women's Tennis Head Coach) April 30, 2008
Sydney Gstettenbauer (Women's Water Polo) April 22, 2008
Sarah Hendy (Women's Track and Field) April 17, 2008
Eric Leserman (Men's Volleyball) April 9, 2008
Danielle Lukk (Softball) April 4, 2008
Chris Franco (Baseball) March 24, 2008
Dan Perdew (Swimming) March 18, 2008
Evan Hsiao (Swimming) March 9, 2008