College Player Insights Day 2: Goals, Ambitions and Education

With the 2013/14 NCAA college basketball season officially commencing on Saturday, 9 November 2013 (Australian time), The Pick and Roll will be providing a unique series that provides player insights daily!

Damian Arsenis has secured Australian's Jackson Aldridge of Butler and Matt Hancock of Lamar to provide their insights into the build up to and including their season opener against each other on 10 November 2013 (Australian time).

Day 2 | Tuesday (US time)

Butler opens their season against Lamar in 4 days' time. Jackson Aldridge (Butler) and Matt Hancock (Lamar) blog briefly about their daily activities, discuss both their individual and team goals for the season ahead, and share their area of study and how they tackle balancing their education with playing hoops.

Jackson Aldridge | Butler

Aldridge on a drive - Courtesy Butler University Sports Information

Our ultimate goal at the beginning of each season is to win a National Championship, which would also include winning our conference and having the best possible record throughout the year. For me my junior year is a big one for me; I have had some extremely good players (Ron Nored & Rotnei Clarke) go before me and I have learned a tremendous amount from them both. For me, I want to continue to improve as a player every single day, and furthermore, I want to be a valuable member on this team. I can only make that happen by doing whatever is needed of me to help the team win. As much as its easy to say you want to start, maybe average 15 points a game and the like, it's not the right mindset in order to win as many games as possible. Ultimately I want to win as many games possible and go as far as we can in the NCAA tournament.

In terms of after college, I still have a few ideas up in the air that I am interested in; I either want to own my own business and go down an entrepreneurial path, or to go into venture capitalism. Basically, I want Mark Cuban's job!

As of right now I am in the College of Business here at Butler, and this will lead me to graduate with a double degree in finance and entrepreneurship and innovation. Balancing basketball and class is tough and you have to be super organised. I once heard a theory about student athletes in college in that you can only have three of the four; sport, social, academics and sleep.

In all seriousness, there are times throughout the year that we go on the road, fly back in at 3:00am and then have to attend classes from 9:00am and I will have a pop quiz to do! So being organised and being able to set time aside to do the things you plan on rather than procrastinating is a key thing for being able to balance it all and thus being successful.

Matt Hancock | Lamar

Hancock in action against Alabama - Courtesy of Lamar Media Relations

Our team goal is likely the same as just about every other team; qualify for the Conference Tournament, make it to the Championship game and then win it to ensure a spot in the NCAA Tournament. Winning your conference is a huge goal and you over here if you manage to do that you receive a ring. This is an American thing however, after knowing what a championship ring symbolizes it is now something that I want so badly!Individually my goals this year surround as how best to help my team in any way possible to win. That’s all anyone wants. If that means I have low statistical averages and we win, then I’m happy. In my opinion, that's far better than boosting your averages only to lose.

Off the court I am pursuing a major in psychology with a minor in criminal justice. Psychology has always been a passion of mine since high school so this has continued into college. I’m currently taking psychology of social interaction that is quite interesting however, I wish to eventually make my way into the forensic psychology area or even working as a sleep psychologist! I have since signed up for lifespan development, which is a new area that has caught my attention. Hopefully it turns into something that I like and is worthwhile.

That 5:00am alarm this morning was almost the death of me this morning, especially after a late practice last night! However the weight session was great; I love lifting weights. Along with that, Coach had us do a lot of stretching which is aiding with our recovery which is so important with our season opener against Butler fast approaching.

My day today was made when I found out that my first class was cancelled! I was able to go back to bed for a quick nap before my second class and this has made the world of difference for me. After that class I had squeezed in a quick bite to eat at lunch time and then went to the training room to get some TLC! We followed up the weights in the morning with practice again today at 6.30pm. Practice today consisted of pretty much the same stuff as yesterday, including individual skills and a full 5-on-5 game. Some conditioning was thrown in for good measure and again to no surprise of anyone, we went for the full allotted time.

Now it's time to eat, study and sleep! It pays to be organised as much as possible, especially once the season starts otherwise your studies can suffer. Thankfully there is no early weights session tomorrow so I am most grateful for the sleep in.

Check back tomorrow for a further update from both Jackson and Matt in counting down to their season opener against each other. In the meantime, revisit their earlier blog:

College Player Insights Day 1: Meet Jackson Aldridge and Matt Hancock