March 8, 2001
Below are Khalil Greene’s answers to the selected questions that you submitted this past week to “Ask The Tigers”. ClemsonTigers.com would like to thank you for all of your questions submitted. We would also like to thank Khalil for his time and sincere effort with “Ask The Tigers”. _______________________________________________________________
Khalil, I hope things are going well–I met you and your Dad at the CWS last year. Being a graduate of CU and a big baseball fan (been to the CWS 9 straight years) I was interested in what your thoughts are on “Tiger” pitching this year. I know it’s early but how do you think the pitching will stack up this year vs. last year? By the way, thanks for kicking the “gamecocks” butt Sunday!! Look forward to seeing you in Omaha again this year. I just booked my trip! Carl Griffin Fort Mill, SC
I think that it isn’t as set right now as it was at this point last year. Last year, I think we knew for the most part who are 1 and 2 guys were, and this year we have a lot of depth, but it doesn’t seem like everything has panned out completely. But I think as we go along everything will come out smooth and I think that the pitching will be fine in the long run.
Khalil, Do you think third is your natural position and where you’ll play in the pros? That play you made vs. Richmond was the best play I have ever seen live. Jim May Spartanburg, SC
Thanks. Well, I would say that third is probably not my natural position, because I had never played third until I came to Clemson. Right now I am playing short, and I have played a good deal of second as well. So I think that infield comes natural, but as far as a certain position, I wouldn’t say that third is my natural, but I enjoy it when I play there.
Khalil, I love the way you play. What are the goals of this year’s team? Kevin Cooper Easley, SC
I would say to host a Regional and to host a Super Regional and to get back to Omaha again. We would like to improve on what we did out there last year.
Khalil, Congratulations on your first 2 seasons at Clemson. We all miss you in Key West and we try to watch as many games as we can on TV. I would like to know if you still try to keep up with the Conchs and also if you keep up with your former teammates? Good luck this season we all know you will start hitting the cover off the ball soon like always.Brian Yoest Key West, FL
Yeah, I keep up with the Conchs a good bit. They have there own web site and I go on there here and there. As for guys I used to play with, yeah, I check a lot of stuff around college baseball just to see what is going on in the rest of the country, and I always check up on the guys I used to play with.
Khalil, Since you’ve always been known for playing so well at third base at Clemson, what are your feelings about being moved to shortstop?Anne G. Lake Easley, SC
I enjoy short. It is a little different. I played there a good amount of time before I came here. At Doug Kingsmore Stadium, it is a little different to see it from a different perspective. But it is as challenging as anything else I have done defensively and I think that it gives me a lot of room to show more range, and just show some different things that I can do.
Khalil, What prompted your move to shortstop from third base? John C. Manuel Durham, NC
Coach just basically told me that he thought that the move would be best for the team. I guess he just wanted to see something different from the shortstop position.
Khalil, How does the change to shortstop change your mental approach to the game?Jon Kitchings Boston, MA
It is a little different because the speed of it is a little different from third. At third you just have to be ready at any moment at the next pitch, just a step and a dive. At shortstop you have to cover a lot more ground on your feet before you do anything else. But I enjoy shortstop because it is just a little more open.
Khalil, How do you like playing shortstop compared to third base? Is shortstop harder to play? I used to play shortstop but now I play third base in little league. I am 11 years old. This is my 5th year of playing baseball. We come to see the tigers play about ten times a year.Brandon Roberts Boiling Springs, SC
I think that you have to be little bit more versatile at short than you do at third. I enjoy both positions a good deal, but I just think it is fun to do different things.
Khalil, Seems like the Clemson/USC rivalry has gotten more intense lately, probably due to both teams being highly ranked. Does the intensity seem to lead to a total dislike for each other or is it just a fierce, hard fought rivalry, full of respect for one another? Al Saunders Georgetown, SC
I personally don’t have any dislike for any of the players on the Gamecocks. I am not sure about some of the other guys that played high school with them, if they have a prior past. But I think that whenever you have teams that are as successful as we are now, and the amount of success they’ve achieved last year especially, and what they are doing this year. And then you look at what we’ve achieved. Any time you bring two teams together that are two of the better teams in the country, I think you are going to get very hard, competitive games. Being that both teams are in the state, and the fans are so into it, I think it is just generally going to lead to very competitive games.
Khalil, How will Frank be used upon the return of P. Boyd?Ben Wagener Midlothian, VA
I am not sure what they are going to do. I am assuming that Patrick is going to play center again when he comes back. But I really don’t even know. I guess they will work around Patrick in center and then work the rest of the outfield around who’s throwing, and D.H.ing, and who’s hitting at the time. But I’m not really sure.
Khalil, How do you like being a Clemson Tiger, and how did it feel playing in the College World Series?Louis Manuel Paez Key West, FL
I really enjoy playing at Clemson due to the fact that there is a lot of tradition here and that the baseball team seems to get a lot of support from everyone. We generally seem to have a very competitive team every year and we always achieve a high level of success in my opinion. And going to Omaha was one of the better experiences I have had in baseball. And hopefully it won’t be the last time I go out there.
Khalil, What influenced you the most during your early years of baseball that has helped you achieve the level of play that you consistently provide for the Tigers?Billy Donaldson Hilton Head, SC
I think that high school influenced me a lot in the fact that it was extremely competitive where I was. I think that definitely helped prepared me for competitive Division 1 baseball. We played a lot of teams in high school that had a lot of future Division 1 players. There was also so much influence placed on having a good team in high school, and we always did. So I think that really prepared me for what is to come.
Khalil, With Clemson’s rise in National prominence, and more and more recruits coming from all over the country, is there a noticeable difference in the style of game that players from different regions of the country have? (For example, South Florida vs. the Pacific Coast style of baseball)Scott Thompson Electric City, SC
Yeah, I definitely think so. Defensively I think there was a lot of flash where I played in high school, and there were a lot of guys in that area that were very advanced defensively. Offensively, the region tends to determine how advanced you are and what kind of pitching you have seen already coming into college. A lot players from certain regions of the country don’t see certain pitches, like a lot of breaking pitches and off-speed stuff. A lot of times some players see that is in college. But there are a lot of areas that are ahead in the high school level just because they get to see that type of pitching already.
Khalil, What’s you favorite part of traveling to Omaha for the College World Series?Anna Merrick Rock Hill, SC
I think that the fact that you are playing at the top level of collegiate competition. And once you start the season, Omaha is your final destination and once you are there it is just a great sense of accomplishment because that is what you have been aiming toward all year.
Khalil, I’ve been a fan of Clemson baseball forever and a fan of yours since your first game at Clemson. Once, on the roster sheet, it quoted you as saying that you wouldn’t reveal your favorite pre-game meal because hecklers would use it against you. Now that I’ve moved on, I realize that there will still be heckling (although less), but I’ve got to know! Thanks, and GO TIGERS!Brian Bunton Duke University Durham, NC
That is a long story, but it has to do with Boyd. They were all over him one game because he had to eat pasta before the game. So I just put that I didn’t want to reveal it as a joke. But I guess I would say, chicken.
Khalil, You don’t hear of many athletes that come out of Key West. What was it like growing up and playing baseball in a vacation/party town?Jay Madigan Clemson, SC
The leagues there are very organized, and especially at the little league level. Which is what I think what makes the high school teams very exceptional. The whole feeder system throughout. I had played my last high school game with the same guys I had played all-stars when I was 10 years old. It just seemed like the competitiveness in the little league carried over. I mean, when we were playing in the championship for little league, it was pretty much for blood. (for coaches usually more than players) Baseball is pretty much the big thing down there though. It is pretty much the only sport. I guess maybe the Latin influence has something to do with it, being so close to Cuba and Miami. But football was not really that big, and basketball wasn’t really that big, so baseball was pretty much the sport to place.
Khalil, If you weren’t a star third baseman, what other sport would you participate in? Brandon Michael Thompson Clemson, SC
Actually, I played soccer as long as I played baseball when I was in Florida. I started playing organized soccer when I was 5 and I really enjoyed that. Once I got into high school, our baseball team was really good and our soccer team was average at best. So I pretty much got into baseball but I always really enjoyed soccer and still enjoy watching it a lot.
Next week’s guest on “Ask The Tigers” will be the long time voice of the Tigers, Jim Phillips.
September 18, 2018