Dan Cage warms up, leads All-Stars to victory

FRANKFORT, Ind.-- Vanderbilt men's basketball signee Dan Cage came off the bench in the second half Wednesday evening to hit three big 3-pointers for the Indiana All-Stars. Cage's late flurry lifted his team to a 91-79 exhibition win over the Indiana Junior Boys All-Stars at the Everett N. Case Arena.

The Junior All-Stars proved a pesky opponent for Cage & Co. in the early going, as the juniors took a surprising lead and held it until 15:48 remained in the second half.

But Cage, the 6-5 future Commodore from Indianapolis, caught fire from the floor to hit 4-of-5 field goals for 11 points-- including 3-of-4 from 3-point range-- and it was his outside shooting in the last ten minutes that sparked the team to a wide margin of victory.

Playing mostly at small forward, Cage was held to only a single field goal in six minutes of play in the first half.

"The first half I was just trying to pump up the team," said Cage. "I pride myself on playing with a lot of emotion.

"In the first half it seemed like we were really playing down in the dumps. I took it on myself to get some open looks, knock down some shots and pump the team up. Thankfully we were able to pull the lead out to 15 or 16 points."

Cage's 11 points were second only to Indianapolis-Pike's Justin Cage (no relation), the Xavier-bound Mr. Basketball in Indiana, who scored a team high 17.

Wednesday night's game was a warm-up for Saturday night's showdown vs. the Kentucky All-Stars at the Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Cage and the Indiana All-Stars meet the Kentucky team Saturday in the second of two exhibition games-- the Hoosiers won the first meeting at Owensboro, Ky. last Saturday in overtime by a score of 73-70. Cage had 5 points and 7 rebounds in that game.

"It's been great so far," said Cage of All-Star Week. "I'm having to assume a different role, as are all the other guys. We're all trying to get the ball distributed, make sure everybody gets their shots. But right now we're just trying to play some team basketball, get to know a bunch of great guys, and enjoy the experience."

Cage, recently graduated from Bishop Chatard High School in Indianapolis, said Wednesday he plans to report to Vanderbilt the second week of July to take summer classes and begin informal workouts with the team. He will be eligible to play next season as a true freshman.


Coming next week: An exclusive VandyMania interview with men's basketball signee Dan Cage.

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