Interview: Jence Rhoads spoke with Jence Rhoads at SEC Media Days. Jence was asked about the affect of all the new size on the team, her shooting, impact freshmen, pranks played on those freshmen and more.

Don Yates: What are some of the things you did over the summer?
Jence Rhoads: I was in Greece for a Maymester. I was studying over there, me an Angelo Puleo, two of us who went over there for a class through Vanderbilt and we were there for the whole month of May. I was at home in June and then in July was out of school playing pickup and working out and things like that so we had a busy summer, hung out with the family, just the usual things.

Don Yates: What class was you taking for the Greece trip?
Jence Rhoads: It was called "Uncovering Greek Religion". It was very interesting, we got to travel around to all the Greek churches and temples. It was a lot of fun.

Don Yates: What kinds of things did you work on to improve your game during the off season?
Jence Rhoads: I did a lot of shooting. Outside shooting is one of my weaknesses. Also, coach is always getting on me about changing speeds, going fast to slow. I tend to go fast to faster she says. Working on going fast to slow, slowing my game down a little bit.

Don Yates: Coming off the disappointing NCAA loss to Xavier last season, what is the mood of the team heading into the 2010-11 season?
Jence Rhoads: I think we are extra motivated. I think that loss hit us hard and we all still feel it. We've talked about it a couple times as a team trying to share how we felt with the freshmen and everything too. I think it's been an extra motivation for us to keep working hard throughout the preseason and now during practice to feel not like we did at the end of last year this year.

Don Yates: What kind of pranks have been played on the new freshmen?
Jence Rhoads: We haven't gotten around to too many pranks.

Don Yates: Why is that?
Jence Rhoads: I know we let them off easy this year, I think.

Don Yates: Is it because some of them are very big?
Jence Rhoads: [laughs]I know, we don't want to get beat up by them, they are all bigger than us.

Don Yates: If you had to pick one freshman that you think will have an immediate impact this year, who would it be?
Jence Rhoads: Since we started practice all the freshmen are doing really well but for me personally I think that Jasmine Lister has been doing really well. She's a point guard so she has stepped in and has been learning, she understands the game a lot. She picks up things really quickly so I think she's going to be able to help us out a lot.

Don Yates: There is going to be a lot more size on the team this season. Who are some of the centers and forwards that you think might make an impact this season?
Jence Rhoads: Yes! A lot of them. Tiffany Clarke came back this year really motivated, she's been looking really good in practice. The freshmen also are really coming along and also, of course, Hannah [Tuomi]. Hannah is always our key post player for the past couple years. I think we are going to have a wide range of people that, and people that were injured last year coming back, Stephanie [Holtzer], she's looking very good in practice. We have a lot of different kinds of post players and a LOT of post players so I think that will be good for us.

Don Yates: Although you are an excellent shooter, in the past you've seemed to be more inclined to pass the ball than shoot. Do you see yourself taking more shots this season?
Jence Rhoads: [Laughs] I think so. The coaches are always getting on me to take some more shots in practice. I think with Jasmine as well she'll be able to play some point this year so I might be able to play some wing and 2 and 3 guard. Really just change up our offense a little bit for me to be something other than just the point guard.

Don Yates: After the first few practice sessions have you noticed a change in style of play with the new size on the team?
Jence Rhoads: Definitely. Coach has already added a bunch of things. We've been working on more high-low offenses. She's going back to her old style, she keeps saying so I definitely think our games will look a lot different now.

Don Yates: After the first few practice who do you see in the lead to replace Marsh and Lueders?
Jence Rhoads: Everyone came back. We have Angela Puleo now, she's stepping in as a 3-point shooter and Gabby Smith has worked on her shot throughout the summer so both of them will be able to come in and step in as our key 3-point shooters this year.

Don Yates: What's it going to take for Vandy to finally get past the Sweet 16?
Jence Rhoads: We are going to look different this year, we are a lot bigger, so I think that will definitely help. Starting NOW and continuously building until the end of the season and just having team chemistry and working hard througout the season. I think we'll be able to over that hump. Top Stories