Brownsburg, Ind., native answered fans’ questions Friday
COLUMBUS, Ohio Mark Titus, a junior on the Ohio State men’s basketball team, held an online chat on OhioStateBuckeyes.com Friday, answering fans’ questions about basketball, writing and more. Read a complete transcript of the chat below.
Titus joined the Ohio State program for the 2006-07 season as a team manager but soon decided playing was more to his liking. Just before the start of the record-setting 2006-07 campaign, Titus was added to the roster to help the Buckeyes prepare during practice. One of the best shooters in the state of Indiana during his senior season at Brownsburg High School, Titus remains one of the best long-range threats in the Ohio State program. The junior has played in 38 contests for the Scarlet and Gray.
Do you think you could have had a more rewarding career anywhere else than OhioState?
As far as basketball is concerned, I’m sure I could have scored more points and played more minutes at another school, but the opportunities for life beyond basketball that OhioState has provided are invaluable to me and I’m glad I didn’t go anywhere else.
Now that you’ve dumped Erin Andrews, who is your next imaginary celebrity girlfriend?
I’m thinking Taylor Swift might be my next imaginary girlfriend. My 17 year-old sister got me listening to her music against my will and I admittedly liked what I heard. Plus, she’s pretty easy on the eyes.
Chelsey:New York, NY:
Big fan of the blog, Mark! Would you ever try out for American Idol? What would you sing?
I would love to try out for American Idol, but I’m not sure I could wait all day to do my audition. I’m actually planning on participating in the OhioState talent show that they have for athletes and I’m going to sing. I would tell you what song, but I don’t want to ruin the surprise when the time comes. If it goes down like I plan, I’ll post the video on the site or something.
Mike V.:Richfield, OH:
Were you really recruited by Harvard? I’m not sure I believe that story…
Yeah, I actually was recruited by Harvard. I visited the campus and talked with their coaches regularly and was pretty set on going there. Fortunately, it didn’t work out and I ended up at OSU. But yeah, Harvard was definitely a possibility. It’s not like I would have gotten in without basketball, though.
I watched the public scrimmage and another practice prior to the season and I don’t remember seeing you get out there … how much of the practices do you spend sitting on the bench?
In previous years, I was very active in practice because we had a limited number of guys. At the start of this year, though, we had 16 guys and naturally, I’m at the bottom of the totem pole so when the time came to get reps in practice I kind of faded into the background. As guys quit and got hurt my role expanded and I started practicing more, but I have since hurt my foot and have been out for the past two weeks.
With your recent popularity, has there been any hostility from any of the other players given the disparity between your success with your blog and your lack of playing time?
I don’t think hostility is the right word, but there has definitely been a little jealousy/disbelief. It baffles them (and me to be honest) how I could take a thing like sitting the bench and somehow turn it into a glamorous happening. They actually ask for shout outs on the blog all the time, which is weird to think that star players are asking bench warmers to help them get a little publicity.
Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat? And I’m talking SNES versions here, obviously.
This is a no-brainer. Street Fighter is my favorite fighting game of all time. Blanca simply cannot be stopped. End of story.
Terrelle Pryor to David Lighty – better football or basketball combo?
This is a legitimately good question. Dave always talks about how good he could be at football and I’m convinced he’ll be in the NFL someday. I’ve never seen Terrelle play basketball, but from what I heard he was pretty solid. I’m thinking I like the football combination a little better and I honestly have no idea why. This is something that could be debated for hours.
What is the strangest thing a fan has ever given you?
A fan actually offered me his (and these are his words) “beautiful wife” if I would give him a shout-out on the blog. I’m not entirely sure what he meant by saying he would give me his wife, but rest assure I didn’t find out. The conversation was a little weird, but it makes for a decent story.
When are dropping the boot and returning to the bench in warmups?
I actually just got out of my boot today. I had no idea when I hurt my foot that it was this serious of an injury and it’s starting to get on my nerves. Our trainer claims that I won’t be able to run for another two weeks, but I feel fine right now and hope that it will be a lot sooner.
Mark, you’re the first Buckeye this Gator has ever liked. What’s your take on all of the Big Ten’s SEC struggles in football?
I really don’t know what the problem is. I guess in the Big Ten there aren’t a whole lot of really good teams right now, whereas in the SEC there seem to be four or five solid teams every year. Maybe the overall depth of the SEC prepares them for the bowl games better. But I’m an idiot and don’t know much about this stuff, so feel free to disregard my opinion.
Mark – Do you think that you will want to go into writing professionally after you graduate from OhioState? I think you could have a career with your wit and wisdom.
I never once thought about writing as a profession until about three weeks ago. I started getting bombarded with e-mails that said I should look into writing. I have since realized that it makes a lot of sense for me to do it because it really comes pretty naturally to me. Hopefully people still find what I write interesting. But yeah with the success of the blog, I’ve kind of realized that I’ve got something here that could be a lot of fun to mess around with.
What was the biggest moment for Club Trillion? You have to tell us.
I really can’t go into too much detail because I was sworn to secrecy, but a certain someone who I wrote about frequently on the blog approached me at dinner and asked why we broke up. We talked for a little while after that and that’s all I can really say. I’ll let you fill in the details how you see fit.
Two questions — is that allowed? Are you a Nascar fan? I see you grew up close to Pittsboro which is where Jeff Gordon is from. The blog is hilarious…keep up the good work.
I’m a huge NASCAR fan and cheer for Jeff Gordon like it’s my job. I love the fact that most NASCAR fans hate Gordon, but we grew up like 10 miles from one another so I really have no choice when it comes to choosing my favorite driver.
How difficult has it been to go from being a high school standout and 1,000 point scorer to being a role player at a Big Ten school with great basketball players?
It was weird at first adjusting to this role, but I have grown to understand the situation and instead of trying to fight it, just find a way to enjoy it. It’s really strange going from the go-to guy to the “who’s that guy?” but it’s helped me gain a greater appreciation for how good college basketball players actually are.
Did you except Gordon Hayward to have the success he has had so far this season at Butler?
The funny thing about Gordon is that he was only 6’1″ when I played with him and he grew like three feet after I graduated. I definitely expected him to get off to a good start. He’s got a guard’s ability in 6’9″ body. He has a chance to be a pretty remarkable player and I look forward to watching his career progress.
How often do your former teammates (Greg Oden and Mike Conley) come back to campus?
They come back for pretty much the entire summer, but they never come back during the seasons. It’s weird seeing those guys on the same court as LeBron and Kobe because I’ve known them since 8th grade, but I’m happy for them both and understand that NBA life hampers their ability to come back to Columbus a lot. But when they are here in the summer they’ll come to open gyms and other things to help them stay somewhat attached to the program.
Who was your favorite player growing up?
My favorite player growing up was Shaq, but as I grew older and figured out how to use YouTube and ESPN Classic, Larry Legend became my favorite player. I honestly could watch Bird play for hours on a time. He is everything I wish I was on the court.
So is the SID hovering over you watching your every move or is he actually typing for you?
They got an assistant or something watching me. It’s pretty intimidating and I find myself hitting the backspace a lot. The rules are keeping me down and I don’t like it one bit.
Not entirely sure what you were trying to ask here Jon, but I’ll take a stab at it anyway. If by chance you were asking about my favorite quote it’s “Don’t sweat the petty things and don’t pet the sweaty things.” Hope that answers it for you.
What do you think you’re better at: blogging/writing or basketball?
This is a legitimately good question. Surprisingly, I’m not too terrible at basketball, even though I rarely play. On the other hand, more people probably know me for my blog than for my basketball playing, so I’m thinking that gets the nod. It’s kind of discouraging to think that I have worked on my game my whole life and it’s masked by the writing I started a few months ago, but as I like to say that’s just the nature of the beast.
Is this part of the campaign trail for being voted the “whitest” player on the team?
Yes, yes it is. For whatever reason, the feedback I’m getting is from people who are saying they will vote for Kyle. This is the most important election of all American’s lives and I think they need to make the obvious decision and vote for me.
How did Evan Turner react to being considered for “whitest guy on the team” on your recent blog post?
I actually haven’t seen Evan since I wrote it, because we had practice off yesterday. The intent was for him to get mad because, well, I have a lot of fun getting under Evan’s skin. He takes it all pretty well, which is a good thing, but I’m sure I annoy him at least a little bit.
Are you really the son of Bill Simmons? Come clean.
When it comes to 21 year-old Mark, Bill Simmons you are NOT the father! I’m sorry for that, but I love Maury, especially the paternity test episodes. As far as I know, Simmons isn’t my dad. However, my (supposed) dad’s name is Bill, which adds to the drama a little bit. Ok, so maybe it doesn’t but oh well.
Do you think I look nice on the Bench :)?????????? LOL Hahahahaahahaha
Not cool, Dave.
That’s it for Mark. Thanks for all the questions!