.

Hundley is "Mr. Hustle"

By Harold Huggins

A murmur filters its way through the crowd at Memorial Gym when Scott
Hundley peels his warm-ups off from the bench for a trip into the game.
It's in anticipation of getting to see the Vanderbilt junior in action as

Hundley has worked his way into one of the Commodore fans' favorite players
this season not for his scoring as much as his all-out hustle plays he is
becoming known for.

"I just want to do what is asked of me distributing the ball, making some
hustle plays, and generally giving the team a jolt and just do my best,"
said the 6-4, 215-pound Hundley, just before the Commodores left to play
Auburn in their SEC opener.

"And start making my layups," he said with a smile after having some
trouble with that item early on. "Hopefully the guys kind of feed off my
hustle and play better and stay focused as a result."

In a recent game against College of Charleston, Hundley came off the bench
to score six points, hitting both his field goal attempts, including a
three-pointer, had five assists, four rebounds, a blocked shot and a steal
in 20 minutes.

It helped spark the Commodores, sluggish to that point, on their way to a
21-0 blitz en route to a 70-53 victory after they had trailed by five at the
half. "I think that kind of fueled our team," he said.

Hundley has had to alter his game significantly since high school when he
was named Kentucky Mr. Basketball after scoring more than 2,000 points and
grabbing more than 1,000 rebounds for his Scott County (Ky.) team. He became
just the 37th player in the history of the basketball tradition-rich state
to accomplish that feat.

"It was kind of tough my first two years," Hundley said. "I had to grasp an
understanding of what was expected of me. I had to start paying attention to
the little things."

"Scott is a hustle player, doing things like getting rebounds, diving for
loose balls, taking charges," said Coach Kevin Stallings.

"He is of great value to our team, with the toughness he possesses,"
Stallings said. "His biggest item is taking care of the ball, turnovers have
been his biggest bugaboo."

"When a big scorer comes in from high school, it sometimes takes an
adjustment period, because great scorers usually come off volume of shots.
Scott has made that adjustment," Stallings said.


Hundley is well aware of the long-time tradition of Kentucky players on the
Vanderbilt roster. Rarely since scholarships were offered at Vanderbilt in
1948 has there not been at least one Kentucky player on the Vanderbilt team.

"I remember watching Dan Langhi (the SEC co-player of the year in 2000 who prepped at Marshall County, Ky.) play here a couple of years ago and how great he was.

"I know the long history Vanderbilt¹s had with Kentucky players. This year
it's me and Brian Thornton (from Louisville), who is an up and coming
player," he said.

Hundley has made the most of his allotment of 14 minutes per games. He¹s
averaging 3.7 points, 2.8 rebounds per game, and has 22 assists, eight
blocks and six steals.

A close friendship evolved early between Hundley and Matt Freije,
Vanderbilt¹s leading scorer. Both juniors, the two met each other in
Nashville on the same recruiting trip.

"Scott is a big asset to our team in terms of his both his leadership and
experience," said Freije. "He is constantly diving on the floor for loose
balls, giving us second opportunities, he¹ll make a big defensive stop and
he makes a lot of hustle plays."

Looking at the SEC race, Hundley said, "it's so even, anybody can win,
anybody can lose, we just have to be at our best every game."
Hundley, who was born in Germany, got his early start from his father, who
played pro basketball in Europe. "It (basketball) was something I was always
pretty good at."

Hundley liked Vanderbilt from the first hello.

"I made a couple of visits, and I liked the atmosphere and the people,
everything about it," he said. "And as soon as they offered me
(scholarship), I took it."

Asked if Kentucky showed much interest inasmuch as he was named Mr.
Basketball, Hundley said, "not really, but my heart was already pretty much
set on Vanderbilt."

And with his recent play, his Mr. title could be changed to read "Mr.
Hustle."


 









 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
                   
Vanderbilt Athletic Department
2601 Jess Neely Drive
Nashville, TN 37212
615-322-GOLD (4653)