The Bootleg: You’re coming up on your final home game on
Sunday. What’s been your favorite moment or two during your career at Stanford -
and I do want a moment, not a “they’ve all been great.”
Jarrett Mann: I would put #1 as Washington - they were No. 15 in the country
last year when they came in here and they had been beating us for quite a
stretch. It was our junior year, and the guys decided “we’re going to take this
one,” and obviously I had a big play - the big dunk down the middle when it was
a tight game. And I think that dunk was probably my favorite
TB: What was that dunk like for
JM: It’s funny because during the Washington games
Coach knows that they get after you, and those are usually the games where Coach
gives me the freedom to break any offense, get to the hole. And we were setting
up a pick-and-roll, and I remember I crossed over and Venoy Overton reached and
the lane just opened up and I just finished it and the crowd went crazy. A lot
of my friends were here, and I was just filled with excitement. I was jumping up
and down, and I think they winded up calling a
TB: You mentioned being able getting to
the rack; you’re one of the best on the team in being able to do that. I’ve read
that a lot of that comes from being from the East Coast and playing out on the
playground. Tell me about your playground days.
grew up playing basketball on a playground. My mom - she used to tell me “you
don’t come home right after school; you go to the park, you get in the game with
some of the older guys. You play, and then you come home and do your homework.”
I think that really paid off - defensively, being gritty, getting to the basket.
You know on those double rims back on the East Coast, you can’t shoot too many
jumpers. *laughs* So everything’s gotta be a lay-up. So it definitely molded the
way I play.
TB: Who would you say was the best guy
you played back on the playground?
JM: It’s funny
because J.R. Smith and Earl Clark lived maybe about one town over from me and I
used to always go to this park in Plainfield, New Jersey. They would always be
out there, and it was right outside of my aunt’s house. Probably JR, but Earl
was pretty good back then also.
TB: Do you have a
play in particular against one of those guys where you showed them
JM: No, I have one where they showed me up. It was a
big pick-up game, a lot of people out there, and JR has the ball and I’m
guarding him and it’s game point and I’m sure guys are betting money on the side
and everything, and he pulls up from about half court and sinks it. *chuckles* I
was just like “hey, what can you do?” I think the year after he wound up getting
drafted, so it wasn’t too bad [Jarrett was 14 at the time, JR was 17 or
TB: What do you think has been the biggest
takeaway or two from your time here at Stanford?
would say not only on the court but off the court, just leadership. When I came
in, obviously every freshman is concerned about what are you going to do to help
the team, what can you do to build your legacy. And as I got older, I realized
it’s not so much about one individual - certain people are remembered more than
others - but it’s more about the team and the legacy you leave on that team. So
I would say leadership and maturity. I came in here, was a young gun, and didn’t
know much about responsibility or any of that stuff, and I feel like I really
matured in that area.
TB: What does it feel like,
knowing you’re going into your last home game?
JM: I was
telling people earlier - it’s the perfect scenario; it’s every scenario you
could want. You’re at home, a rivalry game, you’re last game here - it’s not
like one of those games where it’s your last game at home and then you go off to
play another road game; it’s our last game of the regular season. My family will
be here, I have other seniors along with me - JO, Z, Jack who have been along
with me. So it’s the perfect situation to get a win, and we also need momentum,
and at the same time, Cal’s title chances are on the line. So all the pieces are
kind of folding into the right place for us to get a
TB: What have you changed mechanically about
your free throw shot that has allowed you to enjoy a considerably more amount of
JM: A lot of it is with my wrist injury since
I’ve had since I was in high school, starting to cope with that a little better,
getting better therapy and things like that. And also taking the ball off my
palm has been big for me. But other than those two things, I would just say
going up there and shooting them and not thinking too much. I take a deep
breath, I kind of relax. Before I would go up there and rush them and not settle
myself. But now I kind of take a deep breath and set up and just shoot
TB: I won’t forget your clutch make at the line
to clinch the win over USC in your sophomore year, a game that wasn’t far
removed from the Kentucky game. How much of a motivating factor was the Kentucky
game as far as you going up there and sealing the victory against the
JM: It was huge. When I was shooting the free
throw, that’s all I was thinking about. Kentucky - I missed that free throw; I
played pretty well that game, it’s just that one free throw got away from me. So
as I’m shooting that free throw against USC, I hadn’t scored all game, I had
kind of been distributing and I was like “ok, I’m going to knock this one down.”
And I got up there and knocked it down and luckily we pulled out the
TB: Jeremy came over to you right after the
game and gave you a big pat and he was one of your best friends on the team. How
often do you still keep in contact with him?
speak almost every day. He’s travelling around and right now he’s in the
D-League, but we’ll always be friends. We were friends before we came to
Stanford; we decided to come together and any other school we would have
considered we were going to go together. So we were always good friends, and we
will always be friends.
TB: How was that for you to
deal with losing your best friend off the team?
tough, because we kind of viewed ourselves as the best backcourt in the Pac-12.
I think size-wise, strength-wise, as far as my passing ability, his scoring
ability; I think our 1-2 punch was great. Obviously you lose one-half of
your game, but he had to do what was best for himself, and I don’t blame him at
TB: Speaking of your passing ability, you have
the ninth most assists in school history. What does that mean to you - you just
passed up Todd Lichti a little while back!
JM: I had no
idea, but that was something I always pride myself in - court vision. Actually,
I can’t even credit myself, because in high school I wasn’t a big passer. I
think in one year, sitting back and watching Mitch Johnson really, really helped
my game. Just seeing him and he showed me so many things - so many
different angles and how people play defense, so I really give him a lot of
credit, just sitting back watching him my freshman
TB: You’re known for the defense you bring to
the line-up, drawing the opponent’s biggest threat usually. Who has been the
toughest player for you to guard this year, and who has been the toughest for
you to face throughout your whole four years?
Wow…*chuckles, ponders*…It’s tough. The toughest guard would
probably be Isaiah Thomas. Because style-wise, he’s a quick guard, but he’s also
smaller than me, which can give a bigger defender a lot of problems. You don’t
want to get into foul trouble, and sometimes he gets under you, so you can’t
really foul him. He’s quick, good with the ball, so he was probably the best
cover I’ve had. I thought the most impressive guy that I may not have
necessarily guarded was James Harden my freshman year. I didn’t really guard
him, but just from watching him, he was the most impressive guy I’ve ever
TB: You talked about the feel of shoes in
your gostanford.com student-athlete profile, and that being something you might
get into later on life from a sports marketing standpoint. To you, what’s the
most important quality of a shoe?
JM: I would
say…*thinking*…I couldn’t give you one; I could give you two - I would say
durability and movement. You want a shoe that isn’t going to rip and break every
two months, because people are paying good money for it, and you obviously want
them to hold up. But you also want a shoe that allows you to change direction
and it also allows you to jump in the air without too much weight. Obviously,
the weight in shoes is very, very small, but some people feel that some sneakers
are heavier than others.
TB: What would you like to
do in the future with the shoes and sports marketing kind of
JM: I want to be a product design manager, so I
want to focus certain ideas and certain visions into a shoe. So I want to come
up with ideas and a vision for a shoe and help people lay it out. For instance,
I feel like there’s a need in a lot of sports for a shoe with a running-style
cushion, a running-style sole, but could also adapt to something like
basketball. There’s no shoe out right out with say a Nike sole that can move
like a LeBron, because it’s either too heavy or the sole isn’t the same. So
comfort, but also durability and movement.
that something you want to try to get in right away, or are you still going to
try to play more?
JM: I definitely want to play overseas
and explore the culture over there; I really liked it when we went to Spain. But
down the line, I’d definitely be interested in doing
TB: Did Spain have a big impact on you
saying, “hey, I want to play in Europe?”
JM: Yeah, it
definitely did. Because obviously I didn’t know how it would be and didn’t know
how it was, but going over there and seeing it - a good supportive fan base and
the guys are in good gyms and everything is really nice and very scenic. It
would be great to go over there for a few years and just experience
TB: Any place in
JM: I would prefer Western Europe - like
Italy, Spain, France, Greece, England obviously, but anywhere that I would be
accepted would be fine.
TB: Who will be joining you
on the court Sunday?
JM: My father, my sister, my
brother, my grandmother, and I think two aunts are
TB: A full
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