Big 10 Tourney Preview: Jeff Horner

Iowa Point Guard Jeff Horner met with the media Monday for the last time before heading to the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis this weekend. The Mason City native talked about the motivation to win the postseason league crown, his banged up body, who he things should win the conference MVP honor, the status of his shot and more in the HN.com Premium Quotebook.

JEFF HORNER

What's the feeling heading to Indianapolis?

We're very excited. We've never had a chance to have this high of a seed. We're playing on Friday. I think this is the third year in a row we're playing on Friday. It should be a lot of fun. Hopefully we can take advantage of our seed.

How much pressure does it take off of you guys that you're not fighting for an NCAA berth?

A lot. Michigan State got hurt last year not playing for a while. I guess last year we played on Thursday, did we? But they kind of got hurt not playing on Thursday. Our backs were kind of against the wall. But there's going to be a lot of pressure off of us. We can just go in and play. This team is a pretty good team in a neutral site. Hopefully we can take advantage of it.

Can you talk about having to prepare for an opponent that you don't know yet?

Yeah, it's tough. But everyone in this league knows everyone by now. We've been here for four years. We know what a lot of teams run. We've got everyone's scouting reports in our notebooks still. Nothing is going to chance that much. We're just lucky that we're a veteran team and we know a lot of stuff.

Has your shot returned?

The shot feels pretty good right now. I had a couple of good shooting games. It's just going to help everything out down low.

Any thoughts on if you'd prefer Minnesota or Michigan?

It doesn't really matter. Either one of them is fine. We played both of them pretty well throughout the year. They're two pretty comparable teams. It's going to be interesting to see who wins that game. We've just got to be ready for either one.

How are you health wise? Coach said you're a little banged up.

It's the end of the year. Everybody is banged up. We've got to get used to that. I'm a senior now. I know how to play through injuries. Everyone on this team is a little banged up right now. Coach is going to shorten up practice a little bit today and really go hard the two days going into it. Hopefully everyone can get their wind back and get healthy these last couple of days.

Can you talk about throwing it down with your left hand?

I stole the ball and that's probably the last chance I'm every going to get. So, I might as well go for it. A lot of people don't think I can dunk. A lot of people were talking about me doing it with my left hand. Well, that's the hand that I dunk with when I do dunk

Why is that?

I jump off my right leg. I don't know why. Most right handed people jump off their left leg. But it was kind of fun and everyone got a good kick out of it.

With all that you've accomplished this year, can you guys be hungry for this tournament?

Definitely. We didn't win the Big Ten. We want to show people that we're the best team in the conference. We didn't get to go to Ohio State. People think we just played them at home and that's why we won. We want to win the tournament and show that maybe we did deserve a bit of the Big Ten title.

Does Bru deserve the Big Ten MVP?

In my mind he does. I'm bias. It's going to be tough because a lot of the coaches in this league will pick it from the champion. It will be tough for a lot of coaches to take Bru just because we didn't win the Big Ten title. He's definitely deserving of it. I don't see how he can't be first-team all-Big Ten. He's going to be right up there in the talks for the MVP voting. Terence Dials might get a pretty good look. It will be tough. But Bru definitely deserves it.


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