A Q&A With Jalen Steele

Gene's Page talks one-on-one with Mississippi State basketball newcomer freshman Jalen Steele.

Jalen Steele is one of three newcomers on this year's Mississippi State men's basketball squad. He talked one-on-one with Gene's Page about what it has been like his first few months on the basketball team.

What has the adjustment been like for you coming from high school to working out with Mississippi State men's basketball strength and conditioning coach Richard Akins?
"Man, it is a big difference. In high school we didn't really run that much. And the running part of it is boot camp basically. You have to get up early every day and get ready to run. In high school you usually go through a day, have a little break, then go run. There aren't any breaks here, so there's a big difference in the running here."

What benefits have you gotten from the running so far?
"It's helped me with my speed and my wind. My wind is up now, so I can run longer and jump faster. Now, I don't get that tired when we play pick-up games."

Has the weight-lifting been an adjustment for you?
"Oh yeah. When I got here I was 185. But I've gained a good 12 pounds. I gained it over the summer. After I lift, I drink the muscle milk. Now, I weigh 197. But I've been running it off. I've tried to drop it off so I can get my speed back."

When people talk about you they talk about how well you shoot the ball. Have you always been a great shooter or is it something that you have developed through the years?
"Yeah, I've been a shooter all my life. Ever since I was little, I used to shoot the ball. My grandmomma told me I was shooting on an official basketball goal with no backboard. So, I guess I'm a born shooter. But then again, I've been trying to work on other parts of my game, the driving part, the passing part, and especially the defensive part. I play good defense. Coming from my high school, where our coach teaches nothing from defense, you have to know defense. And that's going to help me out in the college game."

When Mississippi State fans see you play for the first time what will they see the first few games?
"Oh man, I'm going to bring excitement to the crowd. I'm not going to back down. I'm going to compete every game, and I'm going to help bring some wins to this team. Me, Brian (Bryant) and, hopefully, Arnett (Moultrie), whenever he gets cleared, are going to help this team win the SEC and, hopefully, get into the March Madness."

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.

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