MarquetteHoops.com's John Dodds sits down with "The Grimm Reaper", Marquette senior Chris Grimm, for this Q&A....
DOS: Your senior year, can you believe it?
Grimm: It's gone by so quick. I was driving down Wisconsin Avenue last night as a matter of fact, and I was just thinking about when Steve Novak and Scott Merritt and I were driving down Wisconsin Avenue the day before Midnight Madness my freshman year. I just could not believe where time has gone.
DOS: You've got an injury. What happened to your elbow?
Grimm: It stems back to last season against the Louisville game. I broke my elbow and I had to have surgery, so it set me back just a little bit.
DOS: Did it hold you back in pre-season workouts?
Grimm: It set me back as far as playing goes. I've been doing a lot of weights, just not a lot of up and down stuff playing against guys, just running and training.
DOS: You're a senior now and tell us about the newcomers. Is this one of the better classes you have seen here?
Grimm: Each class is different. This class obviously brings a lot to the table. It's a highly touted class. Obviously, the three guards Jerel, Wesley, and Dominic -- they're all athletic. Sometimes they'll do stuff in open gym and you say, wow! As a big guy, you want to play with athletic guards who will give you the ball, let you shoot it.
DOS: What about Burke? He's the one we probably know the least about.
Grimm: On his visit, I knew he was going to be successful because he can just be hanging out, doing whatever in the gym working on moves, he's just not shooting. It looks like he's actually working. You can tell the difference between guys who are just shooting, but he's out there working on his game, dribble moves. He's in great condition. He knows that college basketball is on a different level than high school, so I think he is going to be a good player.
DOS: Are the freshmen getting used to the Tom Crean system and to the college focus on films?. You just really have to focus, film study? There is a lot more to the college game. As a freshman, do you tire mentally by the end of the year? Do you have the highs and lows more as a freshman than you do as a junior or senior?
Grimm: As a junior and senior, you know what to expect from it. I think it's up to Joe Chapman and Steve Novak to help them prepare for it, kind of let them know that, hey, you know this is like having a full-time job. So, as a freshman, you don't really know what's coming and we've been trying to tell them but these guys are all mentally strong, mentally tough, and I think they are going to respond well to it.
DOS: No matter where you go in life you can always tell people you played with Dwyane Wade.
Grimm: That's awesome. Playing with Dwyane is something I can tell my grandkids. I've got a picture, a friend of mine took of Dwyane and me playing against DePaul. It's almost surreal seeing him on TV and on the cover of ESPN or SI. I'm so happy for him.
DOS: What's the one Dwyane Wade move that you still to this day say is "unbelievable"? There's probably about 100 of them, but was there one or two that you think just absolutely …. when did you know that, wow, this guy is good?
Grimm: That's a tough question. My senior year in high school, Coach Stephens kept telling me that he is almost like Jordan…I was skeptical..but after being dunked on a couple of times, I believed it.. I don't know if I can think of one move, but I can tell you my favorite play was against Kentucky when he dunked over Marquis Estill. I just watched that game the other night. We have a TV set up so we can watch other games, and I believe I had a smile on my face the whole time just watching the bench, watching the celebration. It was awesome. Stuff like that, once you've been there, you want to get back and keep going back. I think it's important that these young guys know that's how this program is built.
DOS: Probably the best college game I have ever seen was the Missouri game. If I remember correctly, you played a little bit the first half . MU shooting 100% in the overtime.
Grimm: That was awesome. I remember I had my family down there in Indianapolis and Arthur Johnson was a low post player for Missouri. At that point, I hadn't played against a stronger, wider individual. I have a picture when we came back to the hotel. Coach Crean gave an impromptu pep rally. There were MU fans up on five floors of the hotel (atrium). It's another one of those things where any of those games during the Final Four run, I can just watch, and cry and smile, and say those are the good tears you'll have.
DOS: Many Marquette alumns, including the older ones from the 60s, 70s, 80s, told me that the hotel pep rally after the Missouri game was one of the highlights of their Marquette experience.There were five floors of fans screaming down.
Grimm: Rob Jackson was my roommate. I'm getting goose bumps talking to you right now. Rob Jackson was my roommate on the road, and we were trying to take a nap before the game and the hotel was set up like that. We were on the top floors and we started hearing the fight song being played from below. It was like a domino affect. All the players started coming out of their rooms, looking down and seeing all the fans down there. You couldn't take a nap after that. It was awesome. It was one of those motivation factors that you just want to get back and play.
DOS: Missouri's Ricky Paulding made a tip jam at the beginning of the second half and it was maybe the best dunk I have ever seen against Marquette.. but the whole game, scoring over 100 points, beating a team, I would say that if you hadn't beaten Missouri, Missouri might have been a team that got to the Final Four.
Grimm: They were a great team. They had Paulding, Arthur Johnson from Detroit. I knew a lot about him. I kind of followed him, played against him in high school, so I knew the talent that they had. They had shooters there, so they definitely had the talent to make the Final Four.
DOS: You have great memories. It's hard to believe you're a senior. Good luck this year, your last year.
Grimm: Thank you very much.
The Reaper Checks in with MarquetteHoops.com
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