Jalen Rose talks Kansas basketball and business after College GameDay

ESPN basketball analyst Jalen Rose took some time after the College GameDay taping on Saturday to talk with the Kansan about his many endeavors with the worldwide leader in sports.

 What do you think of Allen Fieldhouse your first time here?

“This is a terrific atmosphere. From the cheerleaders to the fans to the band we’ve been welcomed with open arms. I hear I’m going to get chill bumps once they do the national anthem tonight. I can’t wait to see the introduction.”

What’s it been like being on GameDay for you this year?

“It’s an exciting experience. Being an alumnus of the University of Michigan I still follow the game as much as the pros so I was never removed. It’s a great opportunity to work with Jay, Digger and Rece to be in the gym. To hear the gym shoes squeak and get closer to the action and get to interact with the players. It’s a terrific opportunity.”

Talk a little bit about a week in the life of Jalen Rose.

“It’s a lot of hard work, a lot of time energy and passion. You got to be committed to it, but it’s what I asked for. I’m fortunate in our society to work in my major, mass communications.

Monday through Friday is Numbers Never Lie, 2 p.m. eastern. On Numbers Never Lie I’m on there with Hugh Douglas and Michael Smith and then on NBA Countdown on with my childhood idol Magic Johnson, Michael Wilbon and Bill Simmons and that’s been terrific.

I do a podcast with Grantland.com, which has been terrific. I’m also going to be an insider writer for ESPN.com as well once every couple of weeks. It’s what I want to do, I’m passionate about it and it’s a lot of fun to stay current.

What’s your favorite part about working for Grantland?

“My favorite part about the Grantland pieces is that I can wear a T-shirt and some shorts or whatever I want to wear and I can say whatever I want to say. Without any B-roll, without any filler, it’s like Twitter in a 140 characters every time I say something.

Where did you get the bat idea from the Grantland YouTube videos?

“Well it really came from because I found out I upset a lot of people with the things I was saying on the podcast. So the bat is my bodyguard. That’s my protection. That’s why I’m carrying it.”

Talk about all the preparation that you put in for all your weekly commitments.

“I look at it like this: In the NBA there are 30 teams. In the NCAA there’s over 30 conferences so you really have to be on top of what’s current and what’s not and players and coaches and conferences. Who’s leaving, who’s staying. But the good thing is it’s not like I talk basketball one day and then rocket science the other.”

So do you watch a lot of film to prepare for all these games?

“I watched a lot of film. I’ve watched the last five games both of these teams have played. I’m really familiar about all the players and what they’re going to do in close game situations. I’m looking for Kansas to do their trademark dribble handoff. It’s just what I love to do and I’m excited about it.”

What have you thought about Ben McLemore from what you’ve seen?

“A very special talent, but the key for that is even though we live in a one-and-done era, you look at the top teams in the country, there’s only one that leads the team in scoring: Ben McLemore. I think he’s going to be a terrific pro prospect, but all players have things to work on. I’m pretty sure the coaching staff wants to see him get down a little more on the defensive end. Take leadership and accountability on that end. This team still has what it takes to make a tournament run.”

What’s your first impression of a kid like McLemore as a person and a player?

“He’s not only a productive college player, I think he really has what it takes to succeed at the next level. It’s all about work ethic and improving and he has something a lot of young players don’t have and that’s a mid-range game. A lot of players shoot the three or finish over the top at the rim and to have a mid range game is a valued trait.”

What’s it like having Michigan back in the national spotlight for you?

“It means a lot when we win our first 20 and the last team to go undefeated. Not so much when you’ve lost three of our last four, but I’m really excited that Michigan basketball is back. I’m proud we have the best backcourt in the country with Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. Once we get Glen Robinson III involved and Mitch Mcgary involved, if that happens they’ll be just fine.

  • Updated Feb. 25, 2013 at 12:54 am
  • Edited by Brian Sisk