Men's hoops: Dores depart for Spain Thursday

Kevin Stallings' men's basketball team departs Thursday for a ten-day sightseeing-and-basketball tour of Spain and the Canary Islands. VandyMania talked with senior forward Scott Hundley and freshman center Ted Skuchas to get their views on the upcoming trip.

Kevin Stallings' men's basketball team leaves Thursday for a ten-day sightseeing-and-basketball tour of Spain and the Canary Islands. For the Commodores, it's a chance to get a jumpstart on the 2003-04 season and hone their skills against some game-level competition-- not to mention enjoy some sightseeing and teambuilding.

"We're playing five games in ten days," said senior forward Scott Hundley. "I believe it's going to be against some club teams, some pro teams. And we're going to do a lot of sightseeing. So it's going to be a good time.

"They said we get to go see a bullfight, so I'm excited about that."

College teams are allowed an overseas trip once every four years. Teams preparing for an overseas trip are allowed ten extra practice sessions-- which Hundley sees as a big bonus, since it comes during the late summer when no practices would normally be allowed.

"We're feeling really good about our team," Hundley said. "We've been working really hard, and practices have gone well so far. The trip is going to be kind of a focal point for the summer and for the season. We are really hoping it will help develop our team."

The trip falls in the break between summer school and fall semester. The Commodores can take all 11 returning scholarship players on the trip, but are not allowed to take along incoming freshman guard Dan Cage, who has been in school this summer working out with the team.

"I think Coach Stallings is hoping we can learn the offense better, and get inside the offense better," Hundley added. "We just want to enjoy ourselves, enjoy our team, and hopefully jell as a team."

For 6-11 center Ted Skuchas, the trip abroad will provide the first opportunity to wear the black and gold and to face college-level game competition. Skuchas sat out his first season at Vanderbilt with a redshirt, and this season is expected to help fill the hole left by the offseason transfer of center Brian Thornton.

"I've taken a lot of trips as part of my high school team and with my AAU team, but I've never had the opportunity to play across the seas before," said Skuchas. "I'm just looking forward to getting on the floor and getting in some games before the actual season starts.

"I think [the trip] will bring us together more, make us more of a team. It gives us an opportunity to start playing together now, so that when we start the season, we have an edge on a lot of other teams that weren't able to practice like we did.

"I'm looking forward to seeing what life is like in all the different cities there, but what I'm really looking forward to is the basketball." Top Stories