Cuonzo Martin yells from the sidelines during the game

Missouri men’s basketball head coach Cuonzo Martin yells from the sidelines during a game against Texas A&M on Feb. 9 at Mizzou Arena.

College basketball season is here, and to celebrate such a joyous time, the Missourian was joined by Missouri men’s basketball coach Cuonzo Martin for this week’s Fast Five.

What’s your favorite memory from your playing days?

Cuonzo Martin: “Truthfully, my favorite would be when I played in high school at East St. Louis. The state championships, my junior year (1989) we had triple overtime against Peoria Central. We won the state championship in triple overtime, probably one of the most storied games in Illinois state history. That was most exhilarating or most exciting.” (East St. Louis won on a buzzer beater, 59-57.)

Most embarrassing moment?

“Oh, I’ve got plenty of those. I remember playing against Illinois my junior year at Purdue — might have been my sophomore year — but I missed a layup in transition. Wide open layup. Easy layup.”

What’s your favorite movie?

CM: “I’ve got several favorite movies. I wish I could write them down. Shawshank Redemption is one of them. Black Panther, that was a good one. I thought the acting in Malcolm X, Denzel Washington was sensational. I’m a Jurassic Park guy. Transformers. Now, when I say Transformers and Jurassic Park, I’m a fan of those types of movies. So I would say all Transformers and Jurassic Parks. There’s one more I’m missing ... oh, Batman with Bane in it (The Dark Knight Rises).”

And if any actor could play you in a movie about your life?

CM: “That’s a good question. I mean, my wife would probably say Idris Elba.”

MJ or LeBron?

CM: “I would say MJ, because he’s done playing and you look at his numbers, he’s got six championships. Mike has six rings, LeBron has three. But I don’t think you can compare the two. I don’t know if that’s fair. Mike would score the ball, Mike took over shots. And I say that because LeBron is more of a guy you compare to Magic Johnson because he can be more of a facilitator, too. Mike would score. Mike, Kobe, those guys. That’s what people get confused in my opinion. They’re two different players, they did two different things.”

If you were stranded on a desert island forever, what three things would you bring?

CM: “If it was four I’d have my family: my wife and my three kids. But if it’s only three, if I could only have one human, it would be my wife. And we’d have water and whatever she wants to eat.”

What’s your ideal date night?

CM: “We don’t necessarily have a spot. Like last night for example, we watched TV on the couch in our pajamas. We’ve been married, it’ll be 25 years next June, so we just kind of go with the flow. We don’t have a specific spot we go to because we’ve been all over the world. It can be something on Netflix, something on TV. But normally on Sunday it always comes back to The Wire, or The Sopranos, or you name it, anything on HBO. Those Sunday shows.”

Supervising editor is Eli Lederman

  • Bennett Durando covers Missouri football for the Columbia Missourian. He is an MU junior from St. Louis, studying sports journalism. Reach him at, or in the newsroom at 573-882-5700.

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