I recently had the opportunity to interview Little Rock G Ben Coupet Jr. Ben started his career at UNLV before transferring to Little Rock. Ben had a breakout season for the Trojans averaging 11.2 PPG
Q1: So you started your career at UNLV and transferred to Little Rock. What set Little Rock apart from all of the other schools that reached out to you when you announced your transfer?
Ben: Two things really. When I was at UNLV all I wanted was a chance to play. When Little Rock reached out to me, it was a different kind of connection with them, as opposed to the other schools I was talking to. Another reason was because Coach Laird was on the staff and he was one of my coaches at UNLV.
Q2: Who would you say is the hardest player you’ve ever had to guard?
Ben: Hardest player I had to guard, I would say either Jabari Parker or Zach Norvell.
Q3: What did it mean to you to win the Sun Belt regular season championship this past season as well as start in every game and score in double figures?
Ben: It was a good feeling winning the Sun Belt and it felt good to actually be a part of the winning. But it really just felt good seeing everybody who was there from the beginning happy and excited because that winning culture was back.
Q4: What player do you try and model your game after and what elements of that player’s game do you try to incorporate into yours?
Ben: I’d have to say Paul George or Dejounte Murray. For PG I would say his pace, his reads on offense and defense, and his ball handle. For Dejounte we have a similar style of play when it comes to scoring and we have the same body type.
Q5: So you grew up in Chicago and played ball at Simeon, one of the more prestigious basketball schools in the state of Illinois. How have those things influenced your play and prepared you for the next level?
Ben: Simeon was like a college in the high school level so it got me prepared in every way by the time I graduated, and the exposure I got from going there helped too.
Q6: What would you say is the craziest atmosphere you’ve ever played in and why?
Ben: This past season when we played Memphis. The game was close, lots of people, and it was the first game they played without James Wiseman.
Q7: How have you been staying in shape and ready throughout this whole pandemic?
Ben: Just doing anything possible. Some bike riding, running, and just going to the gym when I get the chance.
Q8: If you couldn’t play basketball what sport would you play and why?
Ben: I would honestly play football for the free hits.
Q9: What are your goals for next season? Individual and team.
Ben: I want to be a part of the 50/40/90 club by the end of the season and make the NCAA Tournament and go as far as we can.
Q10: Favorite memory of playing D1 basketball so far?
Ben: When I was at UNLV we had a game against Illinois in my state and in front of my family. I didn’t play at all but that game put that anger in me and changed my game.
Huge shoutout to Ben for doing this interview.
Photo: Little Rock Athletics