Jon Teitel recently interviewed Santa Clara senior guard Kevin Foster, who is currently among the nation’s leaders in steals. The Broncos have lost to a pair of top-10 teams over the past 2 weeks (Duke and Gonzaga), and they travel to Loyola Marymount on Thursday for their first conference road game this season. Congratulations to Kevin on becoming the newest member of the career 2000-PT club:
There is a Kevin Foster at Fresno state who is one of the best rebounders in the WAC, and another Kevin Foster played for George Mason back in 2010. Has anyone ever confused you with 1 of the other Kevin Fosters?
No. I did not even know that until now!
In 2011 you led the nation in three pointers made, and barring an unforeseen incident, you will smash Loyola Marymount legend Jeff Fryer’s conference record of 363 career three pointers made. What is your secret for being a great three point shooter?
It is just a lot of practice. Even as a little kid I would practice shooting with my dad, and now it is just second nature to me after all of the repetition.
In the 2011 CIT title game you scored 16 points in a seven-point win over Iona en route to being named CIT MVP. What did it mean to you to win the title?
Whenever you win something it always makes you feel good. It meant a lot, and we wanted to keep building off that.
You missed the 2012 WCC conference tourney, but you bounced back and were named WCC Player of the Month in November. How on earth were you able to drop 32 pounds during the off-season?
I went back home and basically ran five miles-a-day for three months straight on top of shooting and lifting. I also changed my diet. I started cooking a lot of my own food and stayed away from fast food because I want to keep playing basketball after college.
In November you passed Kurt Rambis to become the all-time leading scorer in school history. What did it mean to you to break the record, and do you think that anyone will break your own record in the future?
Records are made to be broken, so hopefully someone will be good enough to come to Santa Clara after me and do that. It meant a lot to me because I worked so hard to get there. Kurt was a great player in college and with the Lakers, so it was an honor to break his record.
Santa Clara is the only team in the WCC with three guys scoring over 13 points-per-game (you, Marc Trasolini, Evan Roquemore). What impact has this offensive balance had on your team’s success?
Whenever you have balance like that it is a lot harder for your opponent to guard you, because they cannot key on just 1 guy. We have other guys in addition to Marc/Evan who can score as well.
You have scored at least 27 points in each of your team’s four losses this year. Do you feel like you need to do more than be a great scorer in order for your team to win, or is scoring just the best thing you can do to help your team win?
I am going to do what I do when I am on the floor. I also have good hands and can get some stops on defense. Maybe we just need to get everyone involved before I try to create for myself.
You are currently among the best in the nation with 46 steals. What is your secret to being a great defender?
I would not say that I am a great defender, but I have become much better since my freshman year. The key is to just work hard. The steals just kind of happen: I simply focus on defending hard each possession.
You played at Duke last month, where you failed to break their non-conference home winning streak (the longest such streak in college basketball). What was it like to play at Cameron Indoor Stadium, and do you think that Duke is the favorite to win the NCAA tourney?
Playing in Cameron was a once in a lifetime opportunity and a lot of fun. Duke is a really good team, so they have a good chance of making the Final Four in April. Hopefully we will too!
You are 1-6 in your career vs. current WCC leader Gonzaga (whose only loss so far was to a then-undefeated Illinois team). What makes them so good, and do you think you will have to beat them at least once in order to get into the NCAA tourney?
Gonzaga has a great tradition and Coach Mark Few gets a lot of great recruits. Our goal is to win the conference, so I do think we will have to beat them sometime this season, but we will just take it game by game.