One-on-One With Philip Jurick

Philip Jurick is currently finishing the spring semester at Chattanooga State (Tenn.) Community College, and anticipating his move to Oklahoma State to begin his Division I basketball career. We visited via telephone with the 6-foot-11, 270-pound center Friday for a story in an upcoming issue of Go Pokes Magazine. Here is part of that interview with the newest member of the OSU basketball team.

How are things going at Chattanooga State?
Jurick: I finish the semester May 10. I've got to take a few summer classes in the first semester of summer school (at Chattanooga State), but I think that gets over June 6. It's just two classes, six hours, to graduate. Then I'm heading to Stillwater for the summer semester.

Are you glad the recruiting is over and you made the decision to sign with Oklahoma State?
Jurick: Yeah, I'm glad.

Was it beginning to become a pain?
Jurick: Yeah, I was kind of stressed out with the season and with everything that was going on at Chatt State, and then with recruiting it was kind of getting crazy there toward the end.

Why was it so crazy?
Jurick: Phone calls and coaches coming (to Chattanooga State), especially right after we got back from the nationals.

Which were the schools that recruited you the hardest at the end of the season?
Jurick:Well really it just came down to Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, West Virginia, Cincinnati and a couple of other schools.

Why did you pick Oklahoma State?
Jurick: Really, when I got out there on the visit I just liked the players and the facilities. It's a good environment, and I love Coach (Travis) Ford and how he acted. I just really felt that I could do well there for two years, and really fit it and have a good impact on the program.

Did you have an idea that you were going to commit immediately after making your official visit to Oklahoma State?
Jurick: I had no clue. I didn't have any intentions but when I got up there and kind of looked around and really liked everything.

Who were some of the players you hung out with at Oklahoma State?
Jurick: Me and Keiton (Page) hung out a whole bunch, and then we hung out with some of the past players, like Nick (Sidorakis).

As someone who grew up in Tennessee, do you like the outdoors? Are you a hunter or fisherman?
Jurick: I like being out in the country. We fish a lot back here. I don't really hunt, though.

What was it that really impressed you the most about Oklahoma State?
Jurick: Really just how Coach Ford was with the players, and just being around them and getting the chance to interact. I just really felt comfortable, and then just the (Stillwater) area itself.

Where do you see yourself fitting in with this team next season?
Jurick: Well, right away I see myself fitting in on the defensive end, rebounding and blocking shots. I can see myself having an impact on the offensive end too. I just want to fit in with the team.

Some OSU fans seem to be concerned that with Coach Ford saying he wants to play a more up-tempo game next season that a 6-11, 270-pound big man doesn't fit that style of play. What is your response to those people?
Jurick: Even at Chattanooga State we played a pretty fast tempo. We had a couple of good guards who liked to run. I think I'll be all right.

Was part of your thought process in deciding on Oklahoma State involve getting away from Chattanooga?
Jurick: That was kind of my plan, to kinda get away and get around good people. It's probably a good idea to get away from here.

What do you expect from yourself the next two years at Oklahoma State?
Jurick: I just want to develop into an overall player and help the program out, and then we'll see where I go from there.

How much do you weigh?
Jurick: 270.

And 6-11 is correct, right?
Jurick: Yeah.

Everyone is going to have preconceived ideas of a 6-11, 270-pound basketball player but describe yourself as a player?
Jurick: (laughing) Really, as of now I like being a defensive player, grabbing a bunch of rebounds and blocking shots. I guess that's the best way to describe my game.

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