Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Q&A with Keegan Bell

After his announcement that he would be transferring from Vanderbilt at the end of the semester, freshman point guard Keegan Bell sat down to talk to the SportsVU about why he made the decision to leave, his future plans and what he'll miss most about being a Commodore.

SV: How did your teammates react when they heard the news that you were going to transfer? You and A.J. (Ogilvy) are pretty close, I know.
Keegan Bell:
You know, just like I knew they would. We’re kind of a family, we’re real close and they were very supportive. They wished me luck and they knew that I knew what was best for me and that there were no hard feelings towards them. They support me, and we’re all going to stay in contact. We’re so close, we’re all kind of like best friends. They’re sad. They’re definitely disappointed and all that, especially A.J. A.J. and I have been so close, we’re kind of like brothers. He was kind of devastated, but he said whatever’s best for me that he’d fully support.

SV: You talked before about you and coach Stallings not seeing eye-to-eye. I remember you were very enthusiastic about coming here, what did you think was going to be your role?
KB: I thought it was going to be more of my style, where I’m a little more of a flashy player.

SV: Like Steve Nash, right?
KB: Right, I kind of like to do that. (Stallings) was just kind of negative about that sort of stuff, and with a number of things it just felt I couldn’t play as much my game as I thought I was going to be.

SV: Had transferring been on your mind for a while?
KB: During the season, I wasn’t going to think about it at all. After every season, I was always going to evaluate how the season went and how things went. During the year I got frustrated a little bit, but nothing like this to even think about transferring. Afterwards, I talked to my family and let the frustrations out and came to this conclusion.

SV: You said you didn’t know where you were going to go, but do you have any specific coach or program in mind?
KB: I just want a coach that knows how I play and wants to play the up-and-down style. I like positive coaches that are very enthusiastic. I want to be able to play my game. I’m a point guard. Yeah, I can score, but I really like to dish the ball. Being somewhere I could push it up and play more and more my style of basketball would be a perfect fit.

SV: That game against DePaul, is that more your style, where you had 12 points and eight assists?
KB: That is. It was more freelancing stuff, that between-the-legs pass and all that kind of stuff, I like to do that. And when an opportunity comes to be able to score more, I enjoy scoring, that’s one of the strengths of my game, I believe. So, yeah, that was more of a hint of my style and how I like to play.

SV: Do you think playing in the SEC has improved your game?
KB: Definitely. Coach has gotten me so much better, I really appreciate everything he’s done. The players have gotten me better. The league is so tough, and it’s definitely given me great experience so when I go down the road, this year’s definitely been beneficial.

SV: Obviously, you’ve got to take a year off because of NCAA regulations. What part of your game do you want to work on the most?
KB: I’m just going to work on everything as much as possible. I really want to try and add a new dimension to my game. I was very 3-point oriented this year, and I want to be able to do it all. I feel that’s what I should do, jump shots and all that kind of stuff. So I’m going to go back and work on that kind of stuff, and improve my defense, fitness, strength and just kind of work on everything.

SV: What do you think you’ll miss most about playing at Vanderbilt?
KB: The fans, the students, the guys. Definitely going to be weird not being around them and my girlfriend, Jence Rhoads, she plays here, so it’s going to be weird not being around her and seeing her progress and having her at the games. Other than that, it’s just a great program. It’s a great place, a great university, and I’m definitely going to miss it.

9 comments:

David Shochat said...

Great stuff! Keegan will be missed. Sounds like he is a great guy, and Vandy will always be a part of him. Too bad that he couldn't work things out with Stallings. Hopefully, he finds a place where he can thrive (just not against us). I wish him all the best.

Kate said...

this was great to read!! at least we have some information about where his decision came from. good work :-)

Henry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

So, let me make sure I read this correctly.

Coach did a great job in improving his game. At a great school with great fans in a great city with great teammates that are like family where his great girlfriend also plays hoops.

So he wants to leave.

What a crock.

p.s. - american idol sucks

Braddock said...

Is it me or is Keegan, a fellow North-Alabamian, come across that everything was all about him and his game ("my game")? Truly unfortunate. Is this another example of the continual spoiling of youth-thus creating a egocentric environment or another example of an INDIVIDUAL not understanding TEAM. I wish Keegan the best; he does have to look out for him - however, he does have to fit into the team.

Jarred Amato said...

Braddock, you're exactly right. Instead of being honest with himself and accepting the fact he had the same # of turnovers (51) as Jermaine Beal in half as many minutes, Bell immaturely placed blame on Kevin Stallings for not letting him throw behind the back passes. I think Keegan is a great guy who loves the game of basketball and I wish him nothing but the best, but something tells me he will end up regretting this decision down the road.
With that said, if Vandy doesn't sign Tinsley, it will enter next season without a backup point guard, which is a pretty scary thought.

Tommy said...

"Is this another example of the continual spoiling of youth-thus creating a egocentric environment or another example of an INDIVIDUAL not understanding TEAM."

Nicely put and my sentiments exactly. I don't think he gets (or cares) that he's leaving us with no point backup next season unless Tinsley comes aboard.

Thanks Keegs you gave us some nice compliments but frankly actions certainly speak much louder than words.

JD said...

During the year I got frustrated a little bit, but nothing like this to even think about transferring. Afterwards, I talked to my family and let the frustrations out and came to this conclusion.

Ah, good ol' Coach Daddy.

Keegan has a decent back-up PG this year and he has the ability to become a very good player in the future. I suspect he'll miss the Vanderbilt program a lot more than it will miss him, though.

Braddock said...

Thanks Jared and Tommy on the props.

Indeed, there is no doubt that Keegan will regret this decision.

Who ya with? VU!

Keegan obviously was not! He was with himself and himself alone. Unfortunate for sure. Hope that the player who receives his scholarship is more appreciative of the opportunity given to him.