Crumpacker: 5 Questions with LMU's Markusson
#WCChoops columnist goes one on one with the tallest (Swedish) Lion
By John Crumpacker, #WCChoops Columnist
At 7-foot-3, Mattias Markusson of Loyola Marymount is the tallest player in the West Coast Conference, by an inch. He stands out when he’s just, well, standing.
He did a little more than stand when his Lions played Portland in the opening game of the WCC men’s tournament Friday night at the Orleans Arena. The sophomore from Sweden contributed 11 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block and 1 steal in LMU’s 78-72 win over the Pilots.
LMU will now face No. 1 Gonzaga in a quarterfinal game on Saturday night.
WCC Sports caught up with Markusson following the Portland game and used a ladder to climb up and present him with 5 Questions.
Q: Your team is 11-19. You lost to the Zags twice, 85-66 and 76-46. What is your outlook on playing the big dog in the conference, 27-4 and ranked in the Top 10 in the country?
A: It feels great. We’re underdogs, we know that. We welcome the challenge. We have nothing to lose. We’ll continue fighting and see where it takes us.
Q: In the last year or so you had a growth spurt that took you from 7-feet to 7-3. Are you done growing?
A: You never know. I thought so when I was 7 feet. I think so.
Q: Are you the tallest person in Sweden?
A: There’s no one I’m aware of (who’s taller).
Q: Is what you’re doing at LMU, playing Division I college basketball, resonating in Sweden?
A: Back home in Sweden people know about me. My coach in Sweden (Zeljko Brlek) is keeping in touch. He watches every game. He gives me feedback. He’s been coaching me since I started playing basketball. He’s awesome. He means a lot to me and my family.
Q: What Swedish food do you miss the most now that you’re in the U.S.?
A: It’s the Swedish meatballs. It’s a tradition. You can get them here but it’s not the same.
John Crumpacker spent more than three decades working at the San Francisco Examiner and San Francisco Chronicle. During his career he has covered the full gamut of sports from prep to professionals. Most recently, Crumpacker served as the beat writer for Cal through the end of the 2013-14 season. In addition to covering 10 Olympic Games, Crumpacker served as the beat writer for the San Francisco 49ers. He is a two-time winner of the Track & Field Writers of America annual writing award and has several APSE Top 10 writing awards. Crumpacker has been covering #WCChoops since the 2014-15 season.