Jordan Theodore was one of the top point guards in the Big East last season. (blogs.shu.edu)
By Michael Scotto
Saturday, May 12, 2012
Jordan Theodore spent his whole college career at Seton Hall overcoming adversity and doubts thanks to his hard work, confidence, and coach Kevin Willard. In his senior season, Theodore averaged a career-high 16 points and nearly seven assists per game. As Theodore gets ready to take his game to the next level professionally I caught up with him for an exclusive interview discussing everything from city hoop tournaments, his time at Seton Hall, the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, preparing for the draft and what the future holds for one of the top guards in the Big East last season.
Q1. Michael Scotto: Jordan, how did your time at Seton Hall help you become a better player on the court and a man off it?
A1. Jordan Theodore: Off the court, Seton Hall helped me become a man. They put me in places I never knew I'd be in like doing community service. In high school we did a little bit, but in college I didn't know it was going to be such a big responsibility from going to soup kitchens and greeting kids, going to donate clothes, and food banks. It really helped me mature as a man and really grow up. On the court, I was just able to change my game. From my freshman year going from a pass first point guard, even though I am a pass first point guard, and a guy who rarely shot the ball to a guy that can get you 16 points a game or more and get you eight to 10 plus assists a night and be able to get you five rebounds and play defense 90-feet.
Q2. MS: Can you talk about overcoming adversity at Seton Hall with your friend Herb Pope?
A2. JT: From losing my coach my freshman year to my sophomore year and then having to adjust to a new one that was definitely tough, especially with Herb going down and him almost dying. That was especially tough for me because Herb is my best friend at the Hall. He and I came in together and we hung out everyday, we played video games, we spent a lot of time together. It was tough to see him go out and down like that, but I was just happy that we were able to get through it together and be able to do some good things on the court this past season.
Q3. MS: How did coach Willard make you a better player, especially in your senior season?
A3. JT: Coach (Kevin) Willard just gave me the keys, he let me steer the ship. It was different playing under coach (Bobby) Gonzalez because I had another point guard in Eugene Harvey ahead of me. Under coach Willard I was able to show the world I can lead a team, I can score and rebound, I can dish out and also I can put guys in a position to score. He really let me mature as a man on and off the court. I was watching more film than I ever have learning how to pick my spots, what shot to take and what shot not to take, and especially learning my teammates and where they like the ball, where they like to take shots and what spots are good for them. Coach Willard really helped me out a lot and changed my game.
Q4. MS: What have you done to adequately prepare for the NBA Draft?
A4. MS: I'm working out with Larry Marshall Sports. Great guy, just unbelievable the things they're doing. I'm just getting back from a ten-mile run as we speak. I'm getting up about 1,500 shots a day, I'm running about six to 10 miles a week. We're working out in the weight room having me lift things I didn't know I could lift. I'm dead lifting about 800 pounds and I'm benching about 300 pounds. I'm putting my body in position to play at the next level. I'm pushing it to the next level that I know I can take it to. I'm working extremely hard, I'm staying humble, I'm staying positive, and I'm just ready to get in these workouts and show the world what I can do.
Q5. MS: You had a good tournament recently at Portsmouth, how do you feel you played against fellow seniors entering the draft?
A5. JT: I think I did pretty well, I think I had a good showing. I think I could have done better. There was a lot of opportunities I had to score and take over the games, but at the same time I didn't want to go out there and show teams that I'm a scoring point guard because that's not my game. My job is to lead number one, and get guys shots second, and play good defense, that's my job. Any team that's looking at me isn't asking me to score the basketball. Yes I can score, but that's not what they're going to ask of me, because the have superstars for that. I'm going to be a point guard that can come in who can play defense, lead the team, and get the ball club together. That's what I was able to show at Portsmouth. I was able to get seven to eight guys, including myself, who've never played with each other to gel and to look like one.
Q6. MS: What is one skill you feel you can bring to a team that is underrated in your game?
A6. JT: I think my speed and quickness. I don't think a lot of people know how fast I am. I think toughness and leadership. I'm not going to let anybody get the best of me. I'm going to come out there and hold my own every possession and I let guys know I'm here staying and I'm on the court.
Q7. MS: What is an area of improvement you need to work on to become a better player?
A7. JT: My main focus going into the draft was to knock down the three-point shot consistently because the NBA three-pointer is further than college and to get stronger. I've been working on my three-point shooting from the NBA line so that when it's time for me to step into that NBA three-pointer it's easy. I've also been in the weight room getting stronger and getting faster, really working on my body. I think I've done all the things to impress these scouts and general managers to get to workout. I know they're going to see a change in my game and body.
Q8. MS: What are your goals heading into individual workouts with NBA teams and how do you show a coach what you're all about?
A8. JT: First off you've got to stay humble. You've got to thank everybody for giving you the opportunity because without them you wouldn't be there. I just stay focused, I'm going to stay in the moment, I'm not going let this opportunity pass me by. You only get one shot with these teams to workout. If you impress them you get another workout and that's the goal. The goal is to go in there work extremely hard, not get tired, and show them that I could shoot the ball, I've gotten stronger, and that I'm just a great guy to be around. I'm going to be a great guy in the locker room that everyone is going to want to be around and play with.
Q9. MS: Have you heard anything about your draft stock?
A9. JT: I haven't really heard too much. I know teams have been calling my agent, but I try not to get involved with that. My only focus right now is getting better everyday. I try to improve on a weakness everyday and that's my main goal. I'm working my tail off. I was hoping what I did at Portsmouth got me an invite. Right now I'm playing, I'm waiting, and I'm getting better.
Q10. MS: Would you go overseas to play pro ball?
A10. JT: My main focus is the NBA it's been my childhood dream. I don't mind going overseas. If I have to go overseas then I have to and I'll go. My only focus is the NBA that's been my dream since I was a little boy. My mother named me Jordan because she knew one day I was going to play basketball. She actually named me after Michael Jordan because my middle name is Michael. Basketball has been my life since day one and the NBA is the goal and I won't stop until I get there.
Q11. MS: Is there any team you'd really like to play for or either the west or easy coast?