CSR: One-On-One With Justin Hamilton

The first games of the college basketball season are only a few weeks from beginning. Over the next few weeks, Cyclone Sports Report will be providing you with many in-depth interviews of players and coaches. We start today by talking with new Cyclone center Justin Hamilton.

Cyclone Sports Report: So I have to ask if you are still on the peanut butter and jelly sandwich diet?

Justin Hamilton: No, not anymore. I'm trying to eat healthy standard meals. On that diet I was consuming between 6-8,000 calorie a day and now I'm down to between 2-3,000 calories a day. About four weeks into the summer I made the change. The coaches wanted me to maintain weight but not to gain any more. Right now I'm at 6-foot-11, 255-pounds.

CSR: What has your experience been like at Iowa State so far?

JH: It's been great and the fan support is amazing. When I go to the football games or class a lot of people recognize me and they are all very accepting. It's really nice to have that support.

CSR: What have you improved on the most since you arrived at Iowa State?

JH: I've improved a lot on just concentrating on my part of the offense. I'm also getting better at everything like ball handling. The coaches really want us to be good at everything because the Big 12 is such a good conference.

CSR: What do you feel you still need to improve on going into the season?

JH: The two biggest things would be the understanding of all the offensive sets that Coach Mac has for us and my rebounding.

CSR: Some people feel that you might be one of the freshman surprises of the Big 12 conference this season. How does it feel to hear things like that?

JH: It's really nice to get some recognition after putting in all that work this summer. It also adds a little pressure but it's okay.

CSR: How much does it help you to practice against a guy like Craig Brackins each day?

JH: It helps me a lot. Especially on defense because it shows me that I need to be able to shift my body in different ways to guard a guy with his talent.

CSR: How has Coach McDermott helped you as a player since you arrived on campus this summer?

JH: I really think that he has helped me with the understanding of the game. He's also played my position so he knows what it takes to be successful. He constantly explains the things I need to do in order to get better.

CSR: You suffered a stress fracture to your right leg this summer. Are you completely healed?

JH: I would say pretty much. Our trainer Vic (Miller) has been helping a lot since it happened. The last two weeks I have been able to go full strength. The doctor told me that the problem shouldn't come back and that it has healed well.

CSR: Why do believe that Iowa State can make it to the postseason this year?

JH: Because we as a team are really determined and everybody can see what our potential is for this season. Now we just have to go out and show what we can do.

CSR: Besides your family, what do you miss most about Utah?

JH: The mountains.

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