The three member class includes 5-9 combo guard Rebekah ("Becca") Dahlman from Braham, Minnesota, 6-1 post Marqu'es Webb, from Birmingham, Alabama and 5-11 shooting guard Kylee Smith from Alpharetta, Georgia. All three were ranked in the Hoopgurlz top 100. Dahman was ranked #15 nationally, Webb, #22, and Smith #62.
The trio arrived on campus on June 2 in time to enroll for the first summer semester. The team's returning players also are on campus for summer classes and internships, so they were on hand to welcome them to campus and to help them adjust quickly from high school to the life of a D1 college athlete.
"We all arrived around the same time and we're all on the same floor in the dorm, so it was really nice, visiting while I moved in and seeing everyone, which was comforting, too," said Kylee.
"It's definitely a very welcoming experience," Maqu'es said. "Vanderbilt is just really a great place to be, awesome campus, awesome people surrounding it. The team, can't say enough about them, coaching staff is just great. I think I've adjusted very well so far. They're really helping us as freshman out a lot, so I'm really liking it. I'm loving my time here."
Their daily schedules vary a little from day to day because of a change in the NCAA rules. In the past, only strength and conditioning workouts were allowed during the summer. Players on campus for the summer were off-limits for observation or on-court instruction by their basketball coaches. The new rule allows the basketball coaches to work with players up to two hours a week for each player. These skills sessions are coached by the position coaches at different times of the day for different players.
Aside from that variation, a typical day for the freshmen follows a regular pattern: Wake up a 5 a.m., workouts at 6 a.m., shower in time for English 100 at 8 a.m. After class, there's study hall and writing workshop. Then lunch and some time for extra work in the gym, individual workouts, then pickup or conditioning with the rest of the team in the evening. After that, there's time to chill for a couple of hours before getting to bed early enough to start it all over again at 5 a.m.
In their first few weeks as college basketball players, the freshmen are in the early days of learning their roles.
"That's something I'm still trying to figure out," said Marqu'es, "but I was just talking to coach about it, bringing my passion to the game and my physicality and relentlessness, especially with rebounding and all that. And just the little things, just trying to put my feet in the water and go from there."
According to Becca, "They're looking for me to contribute right away, to do everything possible, especially on defense.That's what I think my main role is right now, -- we've got a lot of scorers, so my freshmen year all I really want to do is focus on defense and do whatever it takes to get this team better."
Kylee says that playing pickup with the team has shown her the importance of getting stronger for SEC play, but adds, "I've just got to keep shooting and remember that even though I'm a freshman, it doesn't mean anything. The age does not mean anything if you show up to play."
Christina Foggie and Rebekah Dahlman
Christina Foggie, Rebekah Dahlman, and Kylee Smith
Marqu'es Webb, Kylee Smith, and Rebekah Dahlman
(Click image to see a larger version.)
Front: Christina Foggie, Jasmine Lister, Rebekah Dahlman, Jasmine Jenkins
Back: Morgan Batey, Marqu'es Webb, Kendall Shaw, Kylee Smith, Heather Bowe, Kady Schrann, Kristen Gaffney, Rayte'a Long