Hank Heeter, ’10, had a breakout game Saturday against Kenyon, scoring 19 points, nine of them from behind the arc. He also scored the first nine points of the game for the Gators and looks to continue his strong play in the final games leading up to the playoffs.
Charlie: Saturday seemed like a breakout game for you, are you comfortable with being a role player on the team?
Hank: Yeah, that’s how it’s been my whole career. I’ve always been a role player – play defense, rebound – stuff like that. Last year, I started to come along, especially with my three point shot. I can score if I need to but it’s not a priority.
CM: So what was it like to have the hot hand against Kenyon on Saturday?
HH: It was good. I know I can shoot but I had a couple games where I really struggled so it was nice to get back into a rhythm.
CM: So what was the game plan on Saturday?
HH: It was just to keep the pace up and get them running because they aren’t a very deep team. I think we did that for the most part at the beginning of the game but in the second half we kind of got away from that. The fast start really helped to get me going.
CM: You guys are eyeing a good NCAC tournament seed. What are you guys looking to improve upon as the postseason approaches?
HH: I know a couple games this year we have gotten good pressure with our full-court press, and we have kind of gotten away from that as far as intensity goes, so we are really trying to get our intensity back. Hopefully we can win all four of the remaining conference games so we can be in a good position to get a home playoff game.
CM: What kind of skills do you think you need to work on the most?
HH: Obviously keeping my shooting form and getting that rhythm going is always important, but also strength training and endurance, I have to keep that going too.
CM: What part of your game has improved the most since coming here?
HH: I would have to say my rebounding skills. In high school I played guard most of the time, but I got put straight into a forward position when I got here freshman year. So I’ve been working with the forwards and that’s helped me out down low. Also my mental toughness has been a big part [of my improvement]
CM: Which teams would you like to see in the NCAC tournament and which teams would give you problems?
HH: Well I think I would want to see Wooster, not in the second round, but in the championship game, because we played them tough at home and lost by one when we were ahead the whole game. Then we went out there and lost by 13. That’s the only team I haven’t beaten since I’ve been here, and it would be nice to see them in the championship game. But our team can beat anyone if we play our best, so we are confident going into any game that we can go in there and get a W.
For highlights of all Saturday’s hoops action at the Wise Center, along with the score of last night’s matchup at Oberlin, visit the sports section on www.alleghenycampus.com.