Monday, May 19, 2008

Stallings excited about program's future

Vanderbilt men's basketball coach Kevin Stallings was a guest on 104.5 The Zone last Friday and sounded very optimistic about the direction of his program. You can listen to the interview here.

This comment should certainly have Commodore fans excited:
"Our staff has really done a nice job in the last few years of continuing our efforts to upgrade our talent level. With the guys that we've added this year and the other guys we have in the freshman class, I think we've got some things going now to where once we grow this team up -- I don't expect us to be ready to contend for a National Championship next November or December or anything. But, I really believe once we have a chance to get these guys some real experience, I think we have a chance to have an outstanding and one that's maybe as good as anyone we've ever had here."

Here are some of the other highlights from the interview:

On Festus Ezeli
If Festus continues to become the player that he has indicated that at some point he will be, he'll be a weapon. He's 6'10" with a wingspan of 7'5" who is going to change how the game is played around our basket defensively.

On the future

We're accumulating some different kinds of talent than we've had in the past and it's going to be excited to see where it all leads.

On Jeff Taylor
Very athletic small forward and a guy that knows how to play. High energy level, plays hard, very good competitor, likes to win, has a knack for scoring the ball. We think Jeff can impact our team immediately.

On Brad Tinsley
We tried to recruit him last summer, offered him a scholarship and he ended up signing with Pepperdine in part because his AAU coach was hired there as an assistant. The staff got fired this year so Brad was released from his letter of intent and reopened his recruiting and I think our presence last summer really helped us this time around.

A number of Pac-10 and SEC and ACC schools recruited Brad. He's a point guard that's about 6'4" that can also play the 2. He's an outstanding shooter and passer and his shooting and passing skills will certainly give him a chance to impact our team immediately as well.

On Steve Tchiengang
A power forward from Cameroon originally. About 6'9", great body, real long arms, very good range from deep. The new 3-point line shouldn't be an issue for him. Plays hard, plays physically, has a chance to make an impact because of Ross Neltner's departure.

On Lance Goulbourne

A combo-forward, about 6'8". Went to The Hun School in Princeton, New Jersey, one of the finest academic high schools in the country. Nationally ranked tennis player as a 15-year-old. Great athlete. Both he and Jeff are as good of athletes as we've ever had here. Very mature kid who understands the big picture.

On Jordan Smart

We actually may end up giving Jordan a scholarship for this year. As it stands, we'll only have 11 guys on scholarship so we may actually put him on scholarship for one year. I'm not allowed to comment further on him because he hasn't signed a letter of intent.

On the incoming freshman class as a whole
We're excited about the class and think that all four of them at varying degrees will have opportunities to make an impression on our team next year.

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