Carnegie Mellon men’s basketball team defeated Ohio Northern University 71–60 in the championship game of the Radisson/Carnegie Mellon tournament on Sunday, Nov. 25. The Tartans improved their record to a 3–1.

Last week, The Tartan chatted with Ryan Einwag, a junior guard. Einwag led scoring with 20 points against Ohio Northern and was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.

Tartan: How did you first get involved in basketball?
Einwag: I used to just dribble a ball when I was younger, even when I wasn’t strong enough to make a shot yet. My dad signed me up to play in an in-house league when I was in first grade, and I had a lot of fun, so I stuck with it.

T: Was playing basketball a part of your decision to come to Carnegie Mellon?
E: I knew I wanted to play basketball in college if I could, so it was a factor for all of the schools that I considered. I liked the coaching staff and program here, and Carnegie Mellon had the best academic programs, so it was an easy choice.

T: How do you manage Carnegie Mellon’s academic load and basketball?
E: It can get hard sometimes because the heavy schoolwork always seems to pile up at certain times throughout the semester. During those times, I do my best to get started on projects and studying before I normally would. I’m sure every student at Carnegie Mellon feels as though they have a lot of work at times, so it’s probably not very different.

T: Do you think playing a sport gives you a different experience at Carnegie Mellon?
E: I think it does in the sense that I spend most of my time with my teammates. We live, eat, work out, and hang out together during our free time, especially during the season. I don’t think most other students here spend as much time with the same 15 guys, but we all really enjoy it. We also get to travel to a lot of places that I might not ever see otherwise, so that’s fun.

T: Do you have any pre-game rituals or good luck charms?
E: I try not to put my uniform on too early before a game because if I sit around too long I get anxious. I wait until I have just enough time to get loose with some stretching.

T: Do you have a most memorable game?
E: My freshman year, we played Princeton over the winter break. It’s always fun to play against Division I teams who are supposed to be a lot better than you. We were able to beat them 51–46. I’m sure I’ll never forget that game.

T: Do you have any personal or team goals in mind?
E: My personal and team goals are the same. I hope to improve individually and help us to improve as a team each day in practice and in games. If we succeed in doing that, everything else will take care of itself and we’ll still be playing deep into March.

T: What do you think of the new mascot?
E: I like it a lot, actually. It is a Scottie dog, but it has a mean look to it. It’s sharp.

T: What do you think could be done to improve school spirit, especially for athletics?
E: We are going to try to spread the word about our team and athletics in general around campus. We hope to get more students interested by word of mouth, posters, and Facebook. Obviously having a great season will gain the attention of the university too.

T: Do you have any big plans for winter break?
E: I look forward to having more free time and enjoying the holidays with my family and friends. A big chunk of our season is played over break, so that’s where my focus will be.