INTERVIEW: Brad Tinsley

With the graduation of Jermaine Beal Vanderbilt junior Brad Tinsley will have some big shoes to fill. VandyMania.com spoke with Tinsley about his new role on the Vanderbilt basketball team, his thoughts on the new freshmen and more.

Don Yates: How's your summer been going so far Brad?
Brad Tinsley: It's going good. I had a good couple months here just working out with the team. It's been a lot of fun. It's been awesome just to be with the new freshmen and getting them going and just getting our team chemistry right.

DY: What are some of things you've been doing this summer?
BT: When I was back home in Oregon in May I was just working out and just relaxing a little bit. When I was here in June and July I was just doing some lifting and some basketball workouts with everybody.

DY: What did you think about that butt whipping the Oregon Ducks put on Vols the other day?
BT: [Smiles] That's what the Ducks do you know. It's awesome seeing them with their success. It was a lot of fun watching their game and I look forward to watching them in the future.

DY: So you wearing any Oregon gear lately?
BT: No, I'm not wearing any Oregon gear but I definitely root for them; my dad went there and it's just a lot of fun watching them play.

DY: What is your height and weight now?
BT: I'm just under 6-4, about 205.

DY: So pretty much the same as last year?
BT: Yes.

DY: After that stunning loss to Murray State in the NCAA what do you think the mood of this team is right now heading into the 2010-11 season?
BT: I think we are very ambitious about that. That loss left kind of a bitter taste in our mouths but we kind of got a good taste of what it means to be in the NCAA tournament and I think we can build off that and just look forward to the future and try to make it back.

DY: With Jermaine Beal gone you are going to be taking over the point guard position. What are your thoughts on that?
BT: I'm very excited to be the starting point guard but Beal was a great player and great guy; tough shoes to fill on that one but I'm very excited.

DY: Is there anything you've been working on in the offseason to improve on since you are going to fulfill that role now?
BT: Just a lot of stuff. One of the main things is trying to heighten my leadership skills because you are only as good as your best leader and I think leadership has lacked the couple of years that I've been here. I think we just need to collectively step up leadership wise and have some guys step up. That is the main thing that I've been working on; just connect with the guys, being vocal and doing the right things.

DY: Glancing at the schedule you guys got non-conference opponents like Nebraska, Marquette, Davidson and Western Kentucky in there. What are your feelings on playing such a tough non-conference schedule?
BT: It's very tough and one you didn't mention was at Missouri. That might be one of our toughest. It's very tough playing those teams but it's great also in the process because our league is so tough and playing tough non-conference games gets you ready for the league.

DY: You guys lost your two top scorers and your top rebounder. How do you think your team is going to be able to recover from those losses?
BT: I think we'll do fine. Year in and year out from different teams your top guys come and go but it also leaves various roles for guys to step up in. A lot of guys need to step up in the rebounding area and in the scoring area and I think we've got the guys to do so.

DY: Of all these freshmen coming in, from what you've seen in pickup games and stuff, which ones do you think can contribute this year?
BT: All of them. Kyle and Rod were here from the very start of the summer and their skill level has gotten tremendously better. Josh and James were here starting in July and they picked it up real fast, maybe even quicker than our class did, just getting to know guys well, connecting with the guys early and learning the similar routines we go through and just stepping up their game completely.

DY: Do you have any kind of routine like number of shots you shoot a day or stuff like that that you do during the off season?
BT: I don't really have a number of shots that I try to get. Aside from the pickups, conditioning and lifting I try to get two basketball workouts a day, one in the morning and one at night.

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