SEC Media Day in Birmingham, Alabama 10/30/02

Photo Gallery

Head Coach Kevin Stallings

On the look of the team...
"We have a different look than Vanderbilt teams have had in the past. We
were more adapt to shooting from the perimeter in past seasons. This year,
we have to be more physical inside. I think that defense and our inside play
will be strengths for our team this year, whereas we were a little weaker in
years past. We did not feel that our athleticism and strength inside have
been up to par, and it is something we have worked on changing this year. We
may not shoot as well as we did in the past, but that's a trade off for more
athletic and stronger guys."

On the importance of rebounding...
"Rebounding is so important. I don't think I can stress it's importance
enough. I think we need to keep in mind the necessity and importance of
rebounding. We don't have a lot of nasty-natured guys. We have some but not
enough. If you look at the winners in the SEC in years past and look at
their rebounding statistics, you can see the importance rebounding has. We
need to keep that importance in mind to be successful this year."

On the his courtside demeanor...
"I keep the same demeanor during games as I do at practices. I do not go out
to make a public relations show. I don't go out to keep emotions inside
either. I think my players know that I care about them and will do anything
I can for them on and off the court. Some coaches make it a priority to be a
sideshow. I just want to be me, and I know that may not be good enough

Forward Matt Freije

On rebounding....
"Rebounding and defense makes the team great. If we rebound the ball, we
win. If we do not rebound the ball, we loose. It's that simple of a
formula, rebounding wins games."

On the level of play in the Southeastern Conference...
"In Kansas its all about the Big XII, I knew very little about the SEC
before I came into it. The majority of my friends have been to an SEC game,
so they understand that the level of the SEC is very difficult. I honestly
feel that there is not a single bad team in the SEC this season."

On newcomers...
"They are fitting into the program really well and all are good teammates.
They show up to practice everyday with lots of energy. The coach says there
are two kinds of players: energy givers and energy suckers. Those guys are
all energy givers and there isn't a bashful freshman on our team."

Guard Russell Lakey

On Injury from last season...
"Last year with my injury I was less that 50%. Now I am healthy and I have
to do everything I can to help our team win. Being healthy should wok to
our advantage this season."

On the SEC...
"In the SEC it is so unpredictable, and you have to come out and play every
game your hardest. Any team in the SEC can beat any other team in the Sec
and we all know it. On any given game, the chances are 50/50. This is the
toughest conference in the NCAA.

On the Tenn. Game...
"I expect a fierce competition. We want to beat them at all possible costs.
I expect them to just come and attack us on the court, and they should
expect the same from us."



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