I had a chance to speak with Calvin Hampton, who will be a fifth-year senior during the upcoming season, about the changes he’s seen in the program since Craig Robinson took over. Calvin’s coming into this season healthier than he’s been during his college career, and hopes to compete for big minutes as a senior. His average time on the court dropped last season from 12.7 minutes-per-game during his sophomore season to 5.3.
Montlake Madness: Tell me how things have changed in your time at Oregon State, with Coach Robinson running things now.
Calvin Hampton: It’s been a huge change, like night and day. We are a more disciplined, more focused unit. We actually have a goal this season, as opposed to others in the past.
MM: What do you think is a realistic goal for the Beavers, as far as a Pac-10 finish, post-season, etc?
CH: We actually feel like we have a chance to contend in the conference for a title, or an NCAA touney bid. The NCAA is our goal, but nothing less then the NIT. We have the talent – we just have to live up to the expectations. We have a target on our back now which makes it more of a challenge, but I think we are ready for it.
MM: Tell me about some of the new guys. Who’s made the biggest impression on you so far?
CH: I like the “Aussies.” Rhys Murphy and Angus Brandt are the most impressive. They have very mature games, and they are both dudes I can see starting soon. Dont get me wrong, all of the freshman are good. But, they’ve made the biggest impact so far.
MM: We hear the most about Roberto (Nelson).
CH: He’s a talented shooter. The hoop is like the ocean to him. He’s that good of a shooter.
MM: If you had to guess, which five start on opening night?
CH: Josh Tarver, Seth Tarver, Lathen Wallace, Omari Johnson, and, of course, Roeland Schaftenaar. And, Calvin Haynes is the sixth man.
MM: What about you — what’s your personal goal for this season? Role-wise and stat-wise?
CH: My goal is to bring the grit and toughness off the bench — post defense and presence. Five points and five rebounds per game would be nice. But, staying healthy would be my ultimate goal
MM: What are your post-college goals? I hear you’re a writer.
CH: I want to play a few years overseas, not too long. Then, come back and get my masters in New Media Communications. I do like creative writing.
MM: What kind of stuff do you write?
CH: I’m working on writing a story about my family history. I really like horror stories.
MM: Can you give me a quick scouting report on the Huskies?
CH: They are tough. They have become a big rival of ours over the past few seasons. They lost Jon Brockman, but they are still tough.
MM: There was some off-the-court stuff a couple years ago. Does any of that carry over to this time period?
CH: Naw, not really. I’ts in the past. I’m good friends with Justin Dentmon and we never even spoke about it. (laughs) Stuff like that happens all the time. It’s just the first time it was publicized.
MM: What doesn’t the average fan know about the life of a college baller?
CH: Time management is very important. You have to maximize your time in a day or your screwed. We get up at 4 am. By noon, we have done more than the average person. It gets rough, but it’s all worth it when you get positive results.
MM: Describe the experience playing for the president’s brother in law. Does coach ever bring up the president when he’s talking to you guys?
CH: Never. Not one time. Not even when he was elected. Hard to believe, but that’s how he is.
MM: And, players don’t ever mention it to him?
CH: No. It’s funny, but it’s almost like he’s blind to it. Or, he’s just really cool about it.
MM: Anything else you want to add or mention?
CH: Expect big things from us this season. We are gonna try and contend for the Pac-10 title.
Thanks for coming!