Meet Matt Haryasz - Part IV

You've learned as much as you can ask in the prior three parts of this Bootleg interview with incoming post Matt Haryasz, but this final edition takes a much lighter look at the personal side of this 6'10" desert diamond. Read on for talk of shaved heads, small town stereotypes, gaffes, foods he won't touch and much more.

The Bootleg: In a high-level game of h-o-r-s-e, what is your best killer shot?
Matt Haryasz:
I have played my fair share of h-o-r-s-e games in Page, and when push comes to shove, when I need to pull out a winning shot, I go for the eyes-closed, three point shot. That shot is almost impossible to make if you have never tried it before, so naturally I save it for the game winning "E" shot.

The Bootleg: What has been your most embarrassing moment or play in a game?
Matt Haryasz:
I think the most embarrassing thing that has happened to me in a game was when I went up lazily for a dunk, and unfortunately for me, I didn't jump high enough and I jammed the ball into the front of the rim - I Sprite'd it. We were on the road, so naturally the fans got on me big time. Since that well-learned lesson, I am sure to go up strong all the time.

The Bootleg: How about in a practice?
Matt Haryasz:
You know, I thought about it for a while and I really haven't had any embarrassing moments in practice.

The Bootleg: Do you have any nicknames? Any you'd like to carry over to Stanford?
Matt Haryasz:
As far as nicknames go, I really don't have any. At least nothing I want to share or carry over to Palo Alto. I realize that every one picks up a nickname now and then, but I don't really have one I like, or one that has ever stuck with me.

The Bootleg: Most people know that Page is a very small town, and thus label you as a "small town" guy. So what would be the top characteristic of you that goes against the grain of the "small town" stereotype - that might surprise people who don't know you?
Matt Haryasz:
I would imagine that most people would think that since I'm from a very remote, small town in Arizona that my tastes might run with a Western flavor. But I'm really not into Wranglers, country music, or cowboy hats. In fact my tastes run more toward rap, rock n' roll and backward baseball hats.

The Bootleg: When you play against Arizona and ASU, will there be a great natural rivalry for you against one or both of those schools? Or do you have a soft spot for the in-state schools where you grew up?
Matt Haryasz:
As a young kid, I grew up watching and pulling for both those teams so disliking them immediately would be hard to do – but Cal, now that's a different story! Seriously though, a good deal of my friends attend either UofA or ASU, and I would imagine that when we play those two schools I'll want the "W" a little more – not only for the conference standings but also for bragging rights with my friends.

The Bootleg: Do you have any burgeoning rivalry feelings toward any of the other Pac-10 schools? Any opponent or game you'll particularly look forward to this coming year?
Matt Haryasz:
Naturally I want to beat every Pac-10 school. That being said, I am really looking forward to playing USC. For some reason, there's just something about those guys. Maybe because they beat Stanford three times last year, and it's time for some revenge.

The Bootleg: If Coach Montgomery were to consult you while constructing the future non-conference schedules for Stanford, who would you tell him you most want to play?
Matt Haryasz:
The Dookies, baby, the Dookies! Growing up, I watched Duke on TV all the time and loved the way they played. Year after year they produce so many great players. To play and beat Duke would be the best!

The Bootleg: How about from the perspective of who you think Stanford should play? In other words, who would you put on the schedule in terms of attendance, recruiting, "political" considerations, and desired level of challenge for the team?
Matt Haryasz:
The Pac-10 has a great number of good teams and I think the league is one of the best if not the best, so conference play is pretty tough. But I do think it would be cool to play other high profile teams for all the reasons you mentioned. I'd like to see us play teams like Duke, Kansas, North Carolina, Kentucky and even a Notre Dame on a home and home basis. Those games would create a "buzz" not only around campus but also around the country, and "buzz" is what you want. The electricity in the arenas would be way cool. The national TV exposure would be great for recruiting. Besides, if you want to be the best, you play the best. The challenge and the growth of our team from playing those teams during the season would certainly help during tournament time.

The Bootleg: What food do you despise most?
Matt Haryasz:
Despise is a pretty strong word. Let me just say that I am not a big fan of seafood. I will eat an occasional tuna sub from Subway, but if it's my night to pick where we eat, I steer clear - way clear - of fish.

The Bootleg: Now, suppose you show up at the Montgomery household in October for a dinner with the family and the whole team. Mrs. Montgomery serves you some fish or seafood. What do you do?
Matt Haryasz:
Do they have a dog? Just kidding Coach Montgomery! Hey, I have no doubt that Mrs. Montgomery is a wonderful cook, and I honestly think I could chow down some fish and chips with a smile if I had to. If worse came to worst, I am sure Coach Rev could help me finish my plate.

The Bootleg: Do you have an idea what you might like to study at Stanford yet?
Matt Haryasz:
I am interested in communications, but I really want to get on campus, take some classes, and get a taste of all the wonderful educational opportunities that Stanford can provide.

The Bootleg: What would be a fun and totally different class you'd like to take at Stanford - outside communications or your planned area of study?
Matt Haryasz:
To be honest I haven't looked into any fun or different classes yet. That being said, I am sure that Stanford has a wide variety of classes that will appeal to me.

The Bootleg: If Curtis Borchardt does leave for the NBA Draft, you would be the tallest player on the roster this coming season. So how would you feel as the biggest of big men on the team carrying the bags around of some upper-class guard?
Matt Haryasz:
I wouldn't mind carrying the guards' bags at all. Listen, if that makes them happy, and if those happy guards feed the ball to the big guy who is carrying their bags, I'll carry their bags. I ain't no fool. It's always a great idea to get on the good side of the guys handling the ball.

The Bootleg: Josh, Chris and Rob get together with you, Dan and Jason upon your arrival at Stanford. They tell you that a new tradition is for the frosh to cook a dinner for the team the following Friday evening. Somehow, Dan and Jason convince you they are such awful cooks that the responsibility falls totally on you. What is the best meal you could cook or grill for the guys, assuming you have any ingredients at your disposal, plus a kitchen and/or grill?
Matt Haryasz:
Man, I would have to be pretty gullible to fall for that one. However if I did, I think I would grill up some steaks, chicken breasts for the white meat eating guys, along with baked potatoes and fresh salad. This isn't rocket science. If the guys on the team are anything like my friends, it's quantity not quality that counts!

The Bootleg: The Stanford Band has a very broad repertoire of modern and classic rock songs they play in Maples at games. If you could bring one song into the mix, what would it be?
Matt Haryasz:
One song that I love, and always gets me pumped up, is "The Eye of the Tiger." It may be old school but it was on my high school team's warm up tape and never failed to jack me up. To have a live band perform it would be awesome. Besides, it would be great to see the Tree try to dance to that tune!

The Bootleg: The guys on the team all get together in September and decide they want to get crazy. Everyone is either going to shave their head or dye their hair cardinal. Which would you go with?
Matt Haryasz:
I wouldn't have a problem doing either one. Heck, I'd be willing to dye my hair cardinal then shave it off if it would help the team's bonding.

The Bootleg: Who would you say absolutely should not go with the shaved look?
Matt Haryasz:
I think that the one guy that shouldn't shave his head would be Josh. His 'fro is way too cool to tamper with.

The Bootleg: Which coach on the Stanford staff would you most want to take the razor blade to the ol' scalp?
Matt Haryasz:
I think that we should shave Coach Rev's head so he and his new baby girl could sport the same look.


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