Interview with Utah State rising Junior, Justin Bean.
Q: How much did it hurt when you heard the news of the NCAA Tournament being canceled? Sam Merill hit an unbelievable game-winner to beat a one-loss San Diego State team to secure a bid, then because of something out of your control the tournament is canceled.
A: “When I heard the news of the NCAA Tournament being canceled I was devastated, we all were. Last Year’s first-round game left a bitter taste in our mouths that we were looking forward to moving past and making some noise. We were playing our best basketball and peaking at the perfect time, so it was really sad, but at least we got to end the year as Mountain West Champions.”
Q: You started off as a Walk-On? How much does that feed into your current success?
A: “I embrace that part of my career and have always let that fuel me. Nothing I’ve achieved in College was ever given to me, I’ve always had to earn success.”
Q: What was the main reason for the huge jump in production for you this season?
A: “The biggest reason for the jump statistically for me last season was just earning the trust from my coaches and teammates every day in practice. I needed to prove to them and to myself that I could score, rebound, and defend at a high level and thankfully I was able to do that a lot more this year.”
Q: What could you guys have done in the tournament this season?
A: I feel like we were playing our best basketball during either of the last two seasons under Coach Smith, and felt like if we played our best, we could’ve beaten anybody in the country.
Q: Without Sam Merill and Abel Porter, what do you think a team led by you and Neemias Queta can do?
A: “Our team will look a lot different next season, especially with a newer backcourt, but I know the guys we have coming back, and those who are looking to prove something are all gonna be very hungry. We’ll be a lot more athletic this year. Neemias and I are excited to be playing alongside each other another year for sure. We know we’re capable of winning another Mountain West Championship and that’s our goal.”
Q: You are a really talented musician also, when did you start playing instruments and singing?
A: “My mom has me take piano lessons for a couple of years when I was about 9 years old. I’ve been playing the ukulele for about 2 years now. That’s my go-to when I’m just in my apartment with time to kill. I’ve always loved singing and music has been apart of my family forever. None of us ever took voice lessons or anything though so anything you hear from me is pretty raw and natural.”
Q: What should people who haven’t seen any Utah State games know about Justin Bean?
A: “People that have never watched a Utah State game should know that I’ve always tried to be the hardest working guy on the floor. Hopefully, they can see that. I’ve also expanded my offensive arsenal a lot this offseason and am excited to see where that takes myself and our team this season.”