Dec. 2, 2004
This week's featured athlete is men's hockey freshman forward Matt Greene. A 2004 graduate of Boston College High School, Greene has played in all ten games and is one of eight freshmen on the team.
Q: What is it like to be able to contribute so early in your first season?
A: Well, I don't think I'm quite where I would like to be in terms of development. I'm learning something every day as far as defensive zone coverage, structure and learning how to be more patient with the puck in an extremely fast game. It's all been a learning experience for me so far. The leaders on the team have done a great job developing the younger guys. The freshmen defensemen have already stepped in and played a huge role. Obviously, [Dan] Bertram and [Cory] Schneider have done a great job too. I feel like I can contribute to the team, but as I said I'm still learning.
Q: Talk about your line, your linemates and some of the things you aim to do when you step on the ice.
A: My linemen are great. Ryan Murphy is about as good a defensive player as you are going to get, as well as providing a lot of offense. He just got a huge goal against Northeastern the other night. Joe Rooney is a great player who can play both ends of the ice. For me to the play in the middle of them makes my job a heck of a lot easier. The first thing I think about when I step on the ice is defense. I've been preached all my life that the offense stems from the defensive zone. When I step on the ice, it's about getting the defensive zone done first and then worrying about the offense.
Q: Having played your first 10 collegiate hockey games, what would you say has been the most difficult hockey adjustment (from the high school to the collegiate level)?
A: For me, it's having patience with the puck. You get the puck, and you try to pick your head up. It's a lot faster than what I was used to playing in high school. It's about getting your head up and looking for the open man and getting the puck there. When you rush it, the next thing you know, it's going the other way. So, that patience with the puck is huge. I've got to learn to find space and time to move the puck from there.
Q: What do you consider the strongest parts of your game?
A: The strongest part of my game is speed. I think I can start things up, get in there on the forecheck and basically just try to create space and time for my linemates by finding the open ice. My speed is my biggest asset.
Q: In what areas do you think you need to improve the most?
A: Like I said, patience. I think I can handle the physical part of the game. I'm not the biggest kid out there, but I think I can handle the tough part of the game. It's basically trying to adjust to the speed.
Q: Talk about fitting in as a freshman on a team full of veterans. In what ways have the upperclassmen assisted the newcomers?
A: Well, they just make you feel like you are not a freshman, and that's a big part of becoming a team and becoming a family. They treat you with respect, just like anybody else. On any team you are going to have the little jokes about being a freshman. We've talked about how the juniors not juniors anymore; they are seniors. The sophomores aren't sophomores anymore; they are juniors. I don't think the freshmen are freshmen anymore. I think we built on that. We stepped up a little bit, and the coaches said we aren't considered freshmen anymore. We gained that respect from the upperclassmen, and that goes a long way for a winning team.
Q: What do you enjoy most about playing here at Boston College?
A: I love learning. Like I said, coming in here, I wanted to learn everything about the game that I could. I didn't know everything that I should know coming in here. But, we have the greatest coaches in the country and, obviously, you are going to learn something new every day. Like I said, that's what I've been doing - learning something new every day.
Q: As a Boston-area native, you are certainly familiar with the BC-BU hockey rivalry, the annual, Beanpot Tournament, and action in the NCAA Tournament. Is there a certain game or part of the schedule that you are most excited about facing?
A: I don't think you can really look forward to any one thing. You come to BC to win. That's why you come here. It's a great school that has unbelievable athletics, and you want to win. The reason BC wins is because they take one game at a time. If you sit here at the beginning of the season saying, `Let's win the Beanpot,' or, `Let's get to the Frozen Four,' you are not going to get very far. If you think an opponent isn't that strong, you are going to lose. You need to take every game as seriously as the next. I can't say that I'm looking forward more to the Beanpot or the Frozen Four, even though that is our goal.
Q: You played with your brother, Justin, at BC High for three years before he graduated and played at Boston College last year. What's it like to be back on the ice with him?
A: It's great. I love it. We played for several years together, since I was maybe 5 or 6. We're just very fortunate to be able to come to the same school and make it a lot easier on our parents. We can just keep going with what we have been doing.
Q: Aside from hockey, is there a sport or hobby that you really enjoy?
A: I love golf. I don't think there is anything like golf. Other than hockey, it's definitely my hobby. It's a very relaxing game. In the summer time when I'm working out hard getting ready for the next season, I don't think there is anything better than just going out in the afternoon to the golf course. I haven't gone since I started here [at BC] because I've been too busy.