SEC Media Day in Birmingham, Alabama 10/30/02
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.
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
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
enough. I think we need to keep in mind the necessity and
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
need to keep that importance in mind to be successful this
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
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
Forward Matt Freije
"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
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.
feel that there is not a single bad team in the SEC this season."
"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
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
expect the same from us."