By: Greg Levinsky
Boston University men’s basketball added another player to its class of 2022 when Head Coach Joe Jones announced the mid-year transfer of former Texas Tech guard Alex Vilarino on Wednesday. The freshman did not appear in a game for the 14th ranked team in the country. He joins Fletcher Tynen, Jordan Guest, Garrett Pascoe and Jack Hemphill.
Vilarino will be eligible for the fall of 2018 and is currently practicing with the team. He sat down with WTBU Sports to discuss his game, why he came to Boston University and expectations for his time donning the scarlet and white.
Greg Levinsky: Describe the way you play, is there anyone in the NBA who you model your game after or would compare your playing style to?
Alex Vilarino: I’m really aggressive, I like to get into the paint. I like shooting the mid-range jumper a lot, I like trying to finish at the rim. I just try and attack as much as possible. I wouldn’t say there’s anybody I play like, per say, but there’s people I study. I study a lot of Steve Nash, Allen Iverson clips, a lot of Chris Jackson from LSU back in the day.
GL: When you decided to leave Texas Tech, what brought BU to your attention and swayed you to come?
AV: Once of my coaches who I’ve known since I was a little kid is really close with the coaching staff here. He knew Coach Jones pretty well and talked to him for me and knew this would be a good fit for me. I really trusted them a lot and so far I love it here. It’s been good.
GL: Why did you decide to leave Texas Tech and look to transfer?
AV: I loved Texas Tech. I think they have wonderful coaches and a great staff, but it just wasn’t the right fit for me. I thought this would be a better fit for me, so I ended up here.
GL: What’s the experience been like so far as a transfer, how much different is it here?
AV: Oh man, it’s way different. When I was in Texas I was in the country part of it. Especially when I was in Lubbock, there’s nothing in Lubbock. Coming to the city, it’s just way, way different. It’s pretty cool though.
GL: What’s your favorite part about Boston so far?
AV: I don’t know yet, I still got to figure some things out. But, I definitely like the views that they’ve got over here of the water right next to you. There are restaurants all over the streets, that’s pretty cool to me.
GL: For someone who is such a competitor, is it hard to have to stay behind when the team goes on the road this semester? What do you do when the team is traveling to stay in shape?
AV: For the most part it is tough because you want to go and you want to play so bad. I haven’t really been able to play this year much, but honestly I just try to stay in the gym as much as possible, get shots up and work on my game so that next year I can be ready to play and help out this team a whole lot. I’m trying to be a leader and I want to help this team go as far we can. I want to make the NCAA Tournament and win a few games, that’s the goal.
GL: What are the things you are working on the most now in preparation to play in games next fall?
AV: Oh, a lot of stuff. I’ve been working on my shooting, obviously. I’ve been shooting the 3 a lot better. I’ve got to continue working on my ball-handling. Studying the game mentally too, you gotta prepare yourself by watching film. Watching film of other great players, watching film of yourself, taking feedback from coaches to see if you can do anything better.
GL: If there’s any team you could upset down the road in an NCAA Tournament game, who would it be and why?
AV: I mean there’s a few. I would probably say Duke or maybe Gonzaga. But really, any team. If I got to the NCAA Tournament it wouldn’t matter. I just want to go there and beat anybody because I am a competitive person and like to win. I want to do great things with this program. If I go the the NCAA Tournament and win a couple games with this team, first of all, that would be legendary to me and legendary to the team. That would be something I’d be blessed to do someday and it’s one of my goals.