Get to Know Oto Osenieks

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Get to know redshirt freshman Oto Osenieks. The Riga, Latvia, native talks about his home country, his redshirt year, and even Ricky Rubio in these Q&As.

Q: What are some things that you learned during your redshirt year?
A: On the basketball court, I learned a lot. I learned what Coach Smith wants from defense. I learned his system offensively, too. I worked a lot on my game individually. Off the court, I adjusted to American culture more. I learned the language the language more, and learned in classes.

Q: How did it feel the first time you came into a game this year?
A: It felt awesome to be able to step out on the court after the year that I waited. It was hard (waiting), and I was really happy to go out there with Elliott (Eliason) and Chris (Halvorsen), who also redshirted.

Q: When you are in the game, do you specifically look for three-pointers, or do you just take them when they come to you?
A: I'm always trying to spot up for an open three-pointer, but if it's not there, then I just screen somebody and move without the ball and try and make opportunities for other players.

Q: How did you develop your shot?
A: I remember when I was a little kid I used to shoot every day. I just love shooting. I used to play point guard, and I always shot threes. I love three-pointers.

Q: When was the last time you were home in Latvia?

A: Last summer, the year before, in June.

Q: How does your family follow the games?
A: When the games are on ESPN, they can see it in Latvia, too. On Big Ten Network, when the games are live, they stream them. But if the games are not live on TV, they cannot see them. They just follow the live stat updates.

Q: Do you talk to your family on the phone a lot?
A: We have an eight-hour difference, so it's hard to get on the same page time-wise. But we talk a lot on Skype on weekends.

Q: People probably get your last name wrong all the time, but how often do people spell your first name incorrectly (with two "T"s)?
A: Yeah, it actually happens. I don't know if they have the name Oto with one "T" in America. It's kind of rare. I understand the mistake.

Q: What do you like to do for fun outside of basketball?

A: I like to go to movies and play video games with teammates. But you don't get a lot of time off, usually.

Q: Have you chosen a major yet?
A: Business management. And a minor in sport management.

Q: How do you like your major so far?
A: It's good. I'm taking all my classes next semester that are required. The first years were just general requirements.

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