Hansen Hoping to Block Away Inconsisent Play

In the past, Iowa center Erek Hansen carried every bad play with him like a backpack of rocks. The Texas native is focusing on letting the mistakes go and moving on in hopes that it results in consistent play. HN.com caught up with the big man before his PTL debut Monday and asked him about his offseason, trying to put on weight while everybody else is losing it, why he hit the wall last year in conference play and more in this premium Q&A.

What have you been doing since the end of the season?

I had a little break and went home and saw the family (after school got out). I got back a couple of weeks ago and have been working camps. I went and worked at Muscatine. I just got back from Storm Lake last week. Now I'm starting classes on Tuesday. I'm taking summer school.

What are you taking?

Two classes I need for my major (Sports Studies). Sports Culture and Psychological Aspects of Sport.

What did you focus on in your individual workouts?

I did a whole bunch of catching just so I could get down catching the ball better. I also did a lot of strength training and working on my shot and moves on the inside.

Everybody around here is losing weight during the offseason. I imagine that isn't your goal is it?

Oh no. They're going down. I have to go up.

Have you gone up at all?

Ah, I went home and usually I lose weight when I go home. I eat more, but I don't work out as much. I was able to maintain the same weight. I'm at about 215. Now that I'm back, I'm going to start lifting a lot heavier and drinking a lot of those protein shakes. Hopefully I can get back up and maybe go for the 220 range.

What weight did you come into Iowa at?

195.

Where do you feel like you'd be most comfortable?

I would say at around 220. That's probably where I'm going to top out at. I've still got to be able to move and run. I can't have too much weight on me.

What do expect out of yourself this season?

Hopefully I can pick up where I started last year and improve on that. I dropped off. I need to maintain it all the way through this year.

In retrospect, do you have an idea why things dropped off for you in the Big Ten season?

I just got nervous and worn out. I never played that many games or spent that much time on the floor. I think I just burned out. I have to pick myself back up.

Is there a way to combat that this year?

I'll be better just because I'm used to it. I know what it's like. I'm going to try not to fall off again.

Did it seem to snowball while you were going through it - one bad game led to another?

Yeah. You start to think about all the negativeness game to game.

Do you have statistical figures that you have to reach to know you're effective?

I'll know that I'm effective if I just get average numbers. If I can just get at least a couple of everything - points, blocks, rebounds. Whatever it takes to win.

Why do you think this team has such good chemistry maybe as opposed to some recent teams here?

We're going to have five seniors, and we've all been around each other for a long time. Brunner and Jeff have been playing together for years.

Do you feel like you're developing a few pet moves on offense?

I have a couple. I like to use my quick jumper or I try to do a little hook in the lane.

Did you learn anything from playing against some of the better big men in the Big Ten last year?

Just relax out there. That's the main thing they did. They used to playing out there. They weren't getting all stressed out and trying to rush their shot. They were comfortable.

Is it that you're a perfectionist that you have trouble relaxing if you make a mistake?

I get pissed off and I immediately think that I have to make up for it. That's the worse thing. I need to get over that.

When you look at where you were as a freshman to where you've come, how much have you grown both academically and athletically?

Well, I know that I've got to do in the class and the same on the court. I try not to push myself too hard but just enough that I can achieve everything that I want to.

When are you going to graduate?

Yes. I'm graduating in May.

What's more important to you, graduating or success in basketball?

It's probably 50-50. But if I do well in basketball and don't graduate, it's kind of pointless.


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