At 6 feet tall, Samajae Haynes-Jones isn’t exactly short. Until, that is, you stand him next to Asbjorn Midtgaard, his 7-foot-tall Wichita State basketball teammate.
At last month’s Shocker media day, we asked both what was the best and worst thing about playing major college basketball at their respective heights.
Midtgaard, who’s from Denmark: “Height is definitely an advantage, just being able to catch and keep the ball up high. It (the basket) isn’t that far.” On the other hand, “The game is fast. I wouldn’t say I’m slow, but being a big guy, it’s sometimes hard to follow.”
Haynes-Jones, who led East High to a state championship: “I can’t go up and dunk on anybody” is the drawback. On the plus side: “My speed, picking my spots and getting into the paint. There are not many really tall people like ‘Oz’ (team’s nickname for Midtgaard) that can guard me.”
Players inevitably use the annual media day to interview each other. At right, returning senior Markis McDuffie, the Shockers’ most experienced player, asked Jaime Echenique, a newcomer from Columbia, “What’s the first thing you’d do if you were the last person on earth?”
“I don’t want to be alone!” Echenique protested.