Feb. 26, 2004
20 Questions With Tom Timmermans
1. Fullname: Thomas Andries Timmermans
2. Birthdate: July 31, 1981
3. Hometown: Driehuis, Netherlands
4: Major: Marketing
5. Favorite Class: Corporate Strategy with Professor Brunell
6. Hardest Class: Accounting II
7. What is the biggest reason that you chose to come to Notre Dame? I came here for both the reputation of academics and the basketball program. When I was recruited, I looked into the school a little more. I fell in love with both the academic and basketball aspects of Notre Dame.
8. Describe yourself first as a basketball player and then as a person. As a basketball player, I would say that I am aggressive and a physically “in your face” type of player. If anything happens on the court in a physical battle, I won’t really take it from the other team. As a person, I am not anything like that! You could say whatever you want to me and I will probably just be able to let it go. I like to just let things be, and I like to have my own fun.
9. Recently you have been called on to step up a bit more with the injury to Torin Francis and you have been able to elevate your game. What do you attribute your success to this season? I always felt like my role on this team was to get to the loose balls and to do the little things to make a difference. I still feel like that is the major part of what I have to do here. As for other things, like scoring some points, it is coming in the flow of the game. I am taking open shots and taking open opportunities when they are there, but I don’t think that is where is team really needs me.
10. How has your perspective of the world changed after living in the Netherlands and then coming to the United States? And, how has that impacted your personal growth? One of the major differences is that back home, I was never recognized and in coming over here the whole basketball world is very different. It is a huge change for me. I am a very shy person that doesn’t always know how to handle people knowing my name and that kind of stuff. I don’t really enjoy it. I just like to be my own person and hang out and have fun with my friends. I don’t really like much of the stuff that goes around the basketball world.
11. How do you prepare for games both physically and mentally? I never really prepare the same way. I am not really a person that likes to come in and warm-up for two hours before the game. I like to come in about an hour and fifteen minutes before a game, get dressed, get shooting and then get going. I don’t like the long wait before games. I would rather warm-up and start playing. Mentally, I think that I am always ready for a game. As soon as I step on the court I am ready to play.
12. What will you miss the most about being at Notre Dame after you graduate? I will definitely miss my friends. I will miss everything with my friends. I will miss just hanging out and having fun. And of course I will miss basketball.
13. What are your plans for life after Notre Dame? I would like to keep playing basketball for a couple of years, wherever that may be in the world. If that doesn’t work out, I will always have my marketing degree to fall back on.
14. Notre Dame has played well as of late winning three key BIG EAST contests in recent weeks, what to you attribute the team’s recent success to? We have been very confident all year. We have lost some close games but we have always been able to turn things around and come back. We have kept working and I think that is what we do best. We are very good, getting to loose balls and eliminating our opponent’s second chance opportunities. We have been very good in the last few games in our transition defense and limiting other teams from scoring.
15. Students created a shirt with almost fifty nicknames for you. Comment on the shirt and what is your favorite nickname? There is actually a website now with around 830 nicknames. The first time I heard about the shirt, I didn’t really believe it. Who would make a shirt about nicknames? They actually made a XXX-L shirt for me. I love it! It is very good to know that there are people out there who are into my game like that. I have talked to the person who made the shirt and we have had some good conversations, but I don’t really have just one favorite.
16. It seems that you have extended your shooting perimeter from beyond the low post and you even knocked down a three pointer against Syracuse. Describe the motives for the extension and your progress. I have always had a pretty good touch. I think that you can ask any of my teammates that. I have the ability to knock a shot down from three-point range. In a game I never really thought that was my role until this year. I feel that as long as it comes in the flow of the game then I can take that shot. Coach Brey is very confident in me and has told me that if I get that type of shot, and it is in the flow of the game, to just take it.
17. What do you like to do in your spare time away from basketball and your academic commitments? I think that I am a very lazy person outside of those commitments. I like to watch a lot of TV and a lot of movies. I enjoying going out to movies. I like going out and being social with my friends. I like just hanging out, and other than that, not much.
18. While playing in the BIG EAST and with Notre Dame’s rigorous non-conference schedule, you have gone up some of the best players in college basketball. Who has been the toughest player you have gone up against while playing at Notre Dame? I always think that it has been Mike Sweetney from Georgetown. He was an all-around great player. He was very tough to guard and very physical, yet he always had a soft touch. I have always thought that he was one of the toughest players we have ever had to play against in the BIG EAST.
19. What is your greatest personal athletic moment and on a lighter side your most embarrassing? For my greatest moment, I think that it was a series of games last year where we beat three ranked teams in a row. We beat Texas, Maryland and Marquette all in one week. That would be my highlight of being at Notre Dame. We came back from the trip to a couple hundred people waiting for us and that was such a high point for me. As for the most embarrassing, in my first few years here, I had trouble finishing close to the basket and I missed a couple of open lay-ups. Anytime you miss a shot from that close, it is embarrassing and I am trying to improve on that.
20. If you were stranded on an island for the rest of your life and could only have one meal, only listen to one song, and only spend your time with one person for the rest of your life, what would you eat, what would you listen to, and who would you spend your time with? For my meal, I would have the biggest filet I could get. I love meat, any kind of meat! For my one song, I probably would listen to “Alive” from Pearl Jam. I guess it is fitting because I would be trying to just stay alive on that island. I would spend my time with my girlfriend Elizabeth.
Bonus. Notre Dame is making a push for its fourth consecutive NCAA tournament berth. What do you think you have to do to get back to the tournament and how big of an impact do you think Notre Dame can make at this year’s tournament? We are a very confident team and a very good team, and I think we have been all year. We have lost some close games, but we have to just keep playing our game and our final goal is to get back to the tournament, but we need to just focus on the next game. If we take things game-by-game for the rest of the season and get back to the tournament, I think that we will be a team to watch. We are a team to lookout for if you are on the other side of the floor from us.