Earlier today CHN writer spent a few minutes with Saint Peter's senior forward Jeron Belin as part of his "Big Dance" interview series. Belin, along with Ryan Bacon, Wesley Jenkins and Nick Leon, have been rewarded for buying into head coach John Dunne's program. The Peacocks last made the NCAA Tournament in 1995.
Jon Teitel: In 2009 you were named a First Team NJCAA Division II All-American. What did it mean to you to win such an outstanding honor?
Jeron Belin: I was happy and satisfied to get recognized for playing basketball. It was an outstanding honor that I will always remember. It made me realize that people were talking about my basketball ability.
JT: After only scoring in double-figures six times in your first 20 games this season, you have scored 10+ points in each of your last 13 games. What has changed for you from the first half of the season to the second half that has made you such a consistent scorer?
JB: I feel real comfortable in my role now that everyone is healthy and contributing. When Wes Jenkins injured his knee earlier this season I found myself in an unfamiliar position, but ever since he came back I have been able to play my part and help the team win.
JT: Your three fellow double-digit scorers are also seniors. How important to your team's success is the leadership of the senior class?
JB: It has been a key to our success. You never want there to be a last game, especially in tournament play. The senior class has led this team all season, especially now in the postseason. We are not ready to play our last game yet because we do not know if we will ever play again.
JT: You were named MVP of the MAAC Championship after scoring 17 points in a five-point win over Iona in the title game on Tuesday. How were you able to play your best when it mattered the most?
JB: I do not even feel like I have played my best yet. I just got hot at the right time and the team followed. I could not have done as well as I did without the rest of the team contributing as well.
JT: I know you are not a fortune-teller but what seed do you think you will get and what kind of team do you think you would match up well against?
JB: It does not matter what seed we get or who we play: we are just ready to get there and play our best and hopefully ruin some people's brackets. As I said right after we won, why can't we be this year's Butler?!