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Talk hoops all year long in Luke Winn's blog, a journal of commentary, news and reader-driven discussions about the college game.
2/06/2007 08:00:00 AM

Blog Q&A With ... Florida's Taurean Green

Taurean Green and the Gators were unanimously ranked No. 1 in the latest AP Poll.
AP
As the latest in a series of Blog Q&As, I chatted with Florida point guard Taurean Green on Monday. Green, along with fellow Gators Joakim Noah and Corey Brewer, was named to the Wooden Award's midseason top 30 list. The 6-foot floor general leads top-ranked Florida in points (13.8 per game) and assists (3.8 per game) and has piloted the team on a 14-game winning streak heading into Wednesday's date with Georgia.

Luke Winn: I see that Florida now sells jerseys for every member of your starting five -- something that I don't think happens at any other school. Can you rank them in order of which ones you see around town the most?


Taurean Green: No. 1 would be Jo's [Joakim Noah]. The second-most is Al Horford's jersey, and No. 3 is probably Corey [Brewer]. Then me and Lee Humphrey are in a tie for last.

LW: If you had to add one of those to your everyday wardrobe, which one would you pick?

TG: I wouldn't have any of them … but a jersey that I have wanted is an Adrian Moss throwback. [Moss was the lone senior on the 2005-06 title team.] Moss was here for like five or six years, and I'd take one of his early ones, in black.

LW: Those black jerseys aren't around anymore, are they?

TG: We were not successful in the black uniforms.

LW: Let's say you're on a fast break, four on one. Jo is on your left, Al is on your right, and Lee Humphrey is trailing for a three. What would you most like to do with the ball?

TG: I like to do it up big, so if it was really up to me, I'd pass it back to Humph for the three. But usually I go and get the easy bucket, the two, to Jo or Al for a dunk, so coach [Billy] Donovan doesn't get mad at me. If it's a four-on-one and I don't get the easy one, he will get mad. … But a three for Humph, on the break, is almost like a layup anyway.

LW: You're listed as a student in "Social and Behavioral Sciences" at Florida --

TG: I'm actually in Recreation Programming now.

LW: So what does that mean?

TG: It can lead into a lot of stuff, but the most obvious thing would be coaching. When I'm done playing basketball, that's what I want to do -- coach.

LW: Whose coaching style would you like to emulate?

TG: I would mix it up. I would definitely have some of coach D's style, some of my dad's style, too. [Taurean's pops is former UNLV and NBA player and college coach Sidney Green.]. I've been around a lot of coaches and I'd take some things from all of them.

LW: Your dad, Sidney, was a 6-foot-9, 220-pound power forward, but you're only 6-0 and 177. How did that happen?

TG: I inherited all of my mom's genes. She's 5-5. I always ask her, why couldn't you be 5-8 or 5-9? I'd be a good 6-4 or 6-5 then. I probably get my energy from my mom, too, even though both my parents are calmer than me.

LW: You poked fun at your dad during last year's NCAA tournament because he was crying all the time after your wins. ["It's OK for my mom to cry," Taurean said then. "Big Sid cannot cry. A 6-10 baby."] Did you inherit that gene from him?

TG: I'm a non-crier. I remember walking up to him after that title game, and I said, "Why are you still crying?" But then I thought, he has a pretty good reason to cry. And he doesn't care if I make fun of him for it.

LW: I've heard Jo tell the story of Ndongo, a word that has become your team's rallying cry. What's your version of it?

TG: Well, we came back to Gainesville from the summer, and [Noah] was like 'Yo, I got married in Africa.' I said, 'No you didn't,' but he told me it was tradition, and that his grandfather had set it up. So I said, 'What's her name?' -- and he told me 'Ndongo.'

I just started laughing, but I did believe him for a little while. Soon I found out he was just joking around.

LW: After the Vanderbilt game, Jo called you "a little stupid dude" for getting the Gators' first technical of the season. What's your reaction to that?

TG: I was right there in front of him when he said it. He was calling me a baby for getting the T. It's fine. We joke around about it a lot.

LW: When you were growing up, which point guards did you admire the most?

TG: I watched a lot of Isiah Thomas. I just liked the way he dribbled the ball, and how he carried himself on the court. And Earl the Pearl, too -- I watched a lot of film on him, and admired his basketball IQ and just how smooth of a player he was.

LW: I heard there's a good story behind the scar you have on your face. You mind telling it?

TG: I got into a little altercation in my junior year of high school. I was at IMG Academy, playing on the post-grad team with older guys against St. Petersburg junior college. We were just playing, and a dude was hand checking me a lot. I slapped his hand off of me a few times, because the ref wasn't calling a foul. On the next possession, the guy did it again, the ref finally blew his whistle, and I gave the dude a little elbow. I turned around to give the ref the ball, and the next thing, I started turning back, and the dude hit me with a sucker punch. It turned into a full-out brawl.

LW: You've played a solid schedule already this year, with Kansas and Ohio State in the non-conference season. Which team that's not on your schedule would you most want to play?

TG: It would have to be UNC. Growing up, you watch UNC all the time, and either want the chance to play for them or play against them. And me against Tywon Lawson would be a good matchup.

LW: You're still living in that four-bedroom apartment with Brewer, Horford and Noah. Any new additions to the décor beyond Noah's African masks?

TG: We've got a lot of new posters up. A new Jimi Hendrix one. [Noah walks by, yelling something at this point.] There goes Jo. He and I went to the store and bought that one together; I don't really listen to a lot of Hendrix, but our old teammate Adrian Moss loves Jimi, so we had to get something for our walls.

LW: Al Horford told me a long while back that you were the "hyper roommate." Is that true?

TG: Yeah. Jo used to call me "Crunk Juice" because I have all the energy. [Crunk Juice is a Lil Jon concoction.] I'm usually hyped all the time.

LW: So what's the craziest thing that's happened in your apartment since winning the national title?

TG: Aww ... I don't even know. Nothing really crazy has happened.

LW: And you expect me to believe that.


TG: [Laughing.]

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posted by Luke Winn | View comments (25) |

25 Comments:

Posted: 8:18 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Very nice interview. This kid is very unique. How many college players know who Earl "The Pearl" Monroe was. Very happy to see Taurean getting some love.
Posted: 8:54 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Green is one scary sonuvagun....
Posted: 9:27 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Why is Ohio State ranked over Wisconsin in the latest poll? Wisconsin has one fewer loss and has already beaten Ohio State! The polls are again bias against Wisconsin teams!!
Posted: 10:05 AM   by Anonymous Kyle
Luke,

KU actually sells jerseys of almost every player on the team and the jerseys have the players' names on the back too. They get each player's individual permission to do it so its within NCAA laws. Kenny Gregory is the most notable former player who refused to let them sell his jersey.
Posted: 11:20 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
go figure, wisconsin gets passed over in the polls despite losing to wisconsin, florida, AND north carolina...
Posted: 11:20 AM   by Blogger Luke Winn
Kyle,

I knew Kansas did that a few years ago, but I thought they had to stop ... am I wrong? Can you actually get a Brady Morningstar jersey?

- Luke
Posted: 12:33 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
"Why is Ohio State ranked over Wisconsin in the latest poll? Wisconsin has one fewer loss and has already beaten Ohio State! The polls are again bias against Wisconsin teams!!"

Why on earth do you people want all your cred? Look, your best bet in the tourney is to be an underdog darkhorse. Its always worked that way. Look at last year's champ. -_-
Why do you think Florida will have such a hard time repeating? Because they got a target the size of freaking China painted on their backs because they won it last year.
Why do you want your team (Wisconsin) with the same kind of target this year, being in the top 3 or No. 1? Why would you want to be ranked No. 1, if you want a shot at the NT? Stay undercover, quit whining about respect and blah-blah-blah, and go win the freaking National Championship.

The best thing that happened to Florida last year was losing those 6 games in the middle of the season. Everybody forgot about them. I'm not saying losing is the way to go, but dont be asking for hype. It doesnt pay. Get off people's radar.

Peace out.
Posted: 2:12 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
I'm a big Buckeyes fan, but obviously Wisconsin should be ahead of the Bucks in the polls right now, for the reasons given by anonymous. After Oden and the boys beat the Badgers in Columbus, maybe then the higher ranking would be deserved.
Posted: 3:37 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
wisconsin will be ahead of the bucks when they wax 'em in columbus
Posted: 4:01 PM   by Anonymous Bill Ireland
Sidney Green should be very proud of his little boy. For that matter all of the Gator parents have seem to have aced parenting 101....there doesn't seem to be a prima dona in the bunch. In this age of superstars it's great to see the team first attitude shared by these Gator hatchlings.
Posted: 4:08 PM   by Anonymous Bill Ireland
Ohyeah......give the creds to Billy D for keeping the reigning champs heads screwed on straight.
Posted: 7:27 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Green is the engine for that group. Nice interview! Who cares if Wisc. is lower than Ohio State? This is College BBall and the national champ is determined on the court and not in the polls.
Posted: 11:06 PM   by Blogger Scott
Love Taureen - met him as a freshman when he was behind Roberson while outside a restaurant. Such a down to earth guy and easy to chat with. His improvement from freshman to sophomore year is incredible for those who watched games in 2005. Noah sure, he didn't play freshman year and they busted onto the scene. But Green...he looked lost freshman year and man did he work hard and gain confidence that off-season. GO GATORS!
Posted: 11:04 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Taurean is a true WINNER. Since he been a Gator he has won.
1.Freshman Year- SEC Championship
2.Sophmore Year- Coaches vs. Cancer Championship. SEC Championship and the Ultimate NCAA Championship
we all know what he's doing this year. I believe, in High School he won a a State Championship as well. Without a doubt he is the best point guard in the country. Lets give him his due.
Posted: 11:12 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
I have to agree with a lot of these guys above....I am a Duke fan and experience tells me that being ranked number 1 doesn't add up to jack sheit unless it's the first Tuesday in April. Aside from that date, the next most important seed date is the Sunday afternoon/evening when the NCAA tourny committee determines seeds. They rank every team from 1-64 and then use a "snake" methodology to determine the brackets (Seth Davis wrote a great piece on this last year). But, then they move teams around so that conference foes won't meet in the early rounds, etc. Bottom line, in-season rankings don't mean much. Duke has spent more time at #1 then any other program over the past 10 years....with one ring to show for it.
Posted: 5:03 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
I believe he was MVP of the Coaches VS. Cancer Tournament, and also was MVP in the SEC conference Tournament and made the Final 4 all Tournament Team. I believe Dick Vitale mentioned the other night he is the most underrated point guard in the country. I am amazed he know who Earl "The Pearl" Monroe is. I could see if he mentioned "Pearl" Washington that played for Syracuse because he young enough to remember him. This kid is special. Keep doing your thang Taurean we are taking notice. Go Gators!!!
Posted: 5:33 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
This debate over Ohio State and Wisconsin, or any two teams in the polls, is so utterly meaningless at this point in the season that it's a waste of everyone's time to talk about it. It's annoying to lose even just the 10 seconds it takes to find the words "wisconsin," "Ohio State" and "polls" in the post. No one has a "we're #1 in the middle of the season party" on the weekend to justify the amount of time wisconsin fans spend agonizing over a poll which has no impact on whether they get a #1 or #2 seed in the tournament. The games against Ohio State and MSU will determine whether you get a #1 or #2 seed, and of much less importance, where you are placed in the poll. For everyone's sake, even your own, please save us the few minutes it takes each time we look for something to read during work to identify and disregard one of your pointless postings.
Posted: 2:33 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
the florida gator team is a unique bunch and we will talk about them years from now as a coming together of basketball talent that made them history.
let us hope they can complete the double.
this is definitely the year of the gator
Posted: 1:05 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
I guess Wisconsin fans have to find something to whine about since they stink at everything else (even though they did have a good run in FB last year). I heard they have a good badminton squad.
Posted: 11:11 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Tell that to the National Champions in Hockey (Men/Women), and CrossCountry. The track team is damn good too. Wrestling team has a few national champs, too. Sorry, Wisconsin has a little more than just badminton
Posted: 1:13 AM   by Anonymous Chris
Luke-

As a student at KU, I can confirm that they sell the starting 5's jerseys still. And although I'm sure there are some Brady Morningstar jerseys floating around out there, (he's popular here for looking almost exactly like Doug Funny from the old Nickelodeon cartoon) he isn't one of the starting 5 anyway...Still I know that this season I've seen many jerseys sporting the #30 and "Wright" on the back or the "Rush" #25...in fact I've even spotted some Omar Wilkes and J.R. Giddens jerseys this year, both of whom transferred from the program a couple years ago,(Wilkes to Cal and Giddens to New Mexico) so as far as I've seen they haven't been forced to stop...
Posted: 9:08 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Yes..Wisconsin does suck at every other sport..nevermind they had the Men's and Women's D-1 hockey championships last year...always at or near the top in track..consistancy in basketball the last umpteen years...near the top or contending the better pasrt of the last 18 years or so in football...truly an ignorant post..
Posted: 11:37 AM   by Blogger Fish
Yes, you can buy a Morningstar jersey, but this year's unis don't have names.
Posted: 12:25 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Let's see, 2005-06 men's cross country champs and 2006-07 runner-up, defending men's and women's ice hockey champs, 12-1 in football and ranked 5th in the final poll, 6th ranked wrestling team, dominating men's and women's crew teams, etc., etc. Geez, Wisconsin really does stink at everything else.
Posted: 8:01 PM   by Blogger michael
I live near Gainesville FL...and have enjoyed the availability of Gator news and broadcasts for several years...the Gators march to prominence in Basketball has been lead by Billy Donavon. The T. Green interview was really enjoyable...and he does deserve all the props he receives...as a person and as a player....AS DO the rest of the Gator team players...on any given night...because they play throwback team basketball...taught by Coach D and his staff...any of the starters...and most of the bench can become the catalyst for victory...and each would make for an interesting interview...anyone who beats this team will earn it.
Without a doubt..they have the finest starting 5 in college basketball...AND experience! Shades of Westwood.
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